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Location - Eastern Europe; Capital - Prague; Population - 11 million; Currency - Czech Crown (Koruna) MORE CZECH REPUBLIC

At the beginning of 2012 I spent about ten days in the Czech Republic (or Czechia to give the country its official short name), returning to London by train - January 2012.


Czechnote100 Czech Crowns. Eventually the Czech Republic will enter the Euro zone.









czech66A painting outside a bar in Prague advertises Pilsner Urquell, the original pilsner beer. Of course Pilsner Urquell is a Czech beer.


czech3Climbing the old castle steps to Prague Castle's eastern entrance - Prague



czech4Look down on the city from the hill on which Prague Castle is built - Prague













czech12Golden Lane is a section of the castle comprising 16th century cottages - Prague














czech19No.22 Golden Lane was inhabited by Czech author Franz Kafka in 1916/17 - Prague



czech21Prague Castle covers a huge area and is made up of several buildings linked by lanes and courtyards. It dates to the 9th century and was expanded and reconstructed over the centuries. Above is the Basilica of St George - Prague


czech27 Standing opposite the basilica, in St George Square, is the massive St Vitus Cathedral - Prague













czech31Keeping a watchful eye (actually maybe he isn't) on the tourists below - St Vitus Cathedral, Prague













czech33The bright colours of St Vitus Cathedral's stained-glass windows - Prague


czech35Inside the cathedral is St Wenceslas Chapel, containing the tomb of St Wenceslas, duke of Bohemia in the 10th century and also known as Good King Wenceslas - Prague


czech42Also within the grounds of Prague Castle, and lining the Third Courtyard, is the Old Royal Palace - Prague













czech43A doorway next to the entrance to the Story of Prague Castle - Prague













czech51West of the castle - at Loreta Square - is the Loreta, a Christian pilgrimage site - Prague


czech52The 18th century Cernin Palace was used as the SS Headquarters during Nazi occupation - Prague













czech56The pathway to the Petrin Tower affords some good views of the city, Prague Castle and the Vltava River - Prague












czech57Go up Petrin Tower for more views. The wall below is the 14th century Hunger Wall, built by the poor in return for food - Prague



czech61Walk down from the castle-area along Nerudova to Mala Strana Square - Prague


czech59There's quite a few absinthe shops in the Czech Republic; this one is on Nerudova - Prague













czech65Uowards to the castle from Mala Strana Square - Prague













The John Lennon Wall is dedicated to political graffiti and messages of peace and love - Prague


czech69Love padlocks on the bridge to Kampa Island - Prague



czech76The 15th century Charles Bridge spans the Vltava River - Prague













czech78Staying on the west side of the river, the Franz Kafka Museum lies on the Vltava banks - Prague













czech80In the museum courtyard is David Cerny's Piss sculpture. This photo shows what happens to any coins thrown in - Prague


czech83This is described as the narrowest street in Prague, complete with pedestrian traffic lights which never seemed to change



czech88Crossing the pedestrian Charles Bridge (Karluv Most) to the Old Town - Prague













czech95 These guns were hanging in the courtyard of an exhibition - Prague












czech132The cobbled streets of the Old Town, called Stare Mesto in Czech - Prague


czech98Covered outdoor restaurants sell mulled wine and hot chocolate in Little Square, with the Old Town Square's Church of Our Lady Before Tyn in the background - Prague



czech117The Astronomical Clock on the left in the Old Town Square - Prague













czech101 The impressive spires of the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn - Prague













czech104Every hour tourists crowd around the Old Town Hall's Astronomical Clock, waiting for the 12 Apostles to show themselves in the windows - Prague



czech105Besides displaying the normal time, the Astronomical Clock also has an astrological and sunset clock. Or something like that - I'm confused.. Prague


czech109A trumpeter from the balcony of the Old Town Hall clock tower will also do his business on the hour - Prague














czech119On the right is the Old Town Hall and tower, as seen from the Old Town Square.
The square is a hive of tourist activity at all hours - Prague













czech121The Jan Hus statue and St Nicholas Church are also in the Old Town Square - Prague



czech202The building on the left is the birthplace of Franz Kafka and now an exhibition centre in his honour. On the right is St Nicholas Church - Prague



czech163Take the lift up to the balcony of the Old Town Hall tower for some sweeping vistas of Prague, including the castle in the distance












czech166Prague Castle's St Vitus Cathedral can be seen from many places around the city - Prague













czech160Check what's going on in the Little Square beneath the Old Town Hall - Prague


czech161Prague's Old Town, leading westwards to the hill on top of which the Petrin Tower is located



czech172The Old Town Square and the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn.
On the right, a few hundred metres back, is the Powder Gate - Prague













czech175The Church of Our Lady Before Tyn is ever-so-slightly off the Old Town Square and getting up close means straining the neck - Prague















czech225The Little Square stretches a little further. Notice a couple of old open-roof cars available for hire - Prague



czech130A street in the Old Town around midnight on a Friday. I get the impression that Prague in the summer isn't this quiet.



czech2Na Prikope connects the Powder Gate to Wenceslas Square - Prague













czech138Wenceslas Square is a busy area full of bars and restaurants - Prague












czech137The National Museum is at the end of Wenceslas Square - Prague


czech144Take in the whole of Wenceslas Square from the National Museum. On the left is a statue of St Wenceslas - Prague


czech142Candles in memory of Vaclav Havel, former president and first leader of Czechoslovakia following the Velvet Revolution against communism, who died in December 2011 - Prague













czech179At 216metres the TV Tower is the tallest building in Prague


















czech188Crawling along the TV Tower are several babies, courtesy of David Cerny's 'Miminka' installation - Prague



czech185Babies on the TV Tower - Prague



czech195A sculpture above a shop in the Old Town - Prague















czech198Vysehrad Fortress (its walls visible on the left) lies above the Vltava River - Prague














czech204The Old-New Synagogue forms part of the Prague Jewish museum and dates to 1270 - Prague



czech208Also part of the museum is the Klaus Synagogue with the Old Jewish Cemetery behind (not visible) - Prague



czech221This sculpture is outside the Roberta Guttmanna Gallery and the Spanish Synagogue - Prague


















czech213Head for the bridge east of the Old Town's St Agnes Convent for these views - Prague














czech217Another take on Prague Castle while walking along Dvorakovo Nabrezi - Prague


czech223A quiet backstreet in Stare Mesto (Old Town) - Prague



czech227I really like David Cerny's sculptures - Prague














czech229This one - called 'Hanging Around' - is on Husova Street in the southern part of the Old Town - Prague



















czech234This memorial is dedicated to the students attacked by police on 17 November 1989, in Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution - Prague



czech236This run-down Soviet plane is a converted bar from communist times. Apparently it's pretty much the same state inside - Olomouc













czech238 The 15th century St Moritz Cathedral - Olomouc













czech246The Town Hall is the centrepiece of Horni Namesti, the main square in Olomouc


czech249And like Prague, Olomouc's Town Hall has an astronomical clock


czech247To the left of the Town Hall is the 18th century Holy Trinity Column - Olomouc













czech251Several fountains surround the Town Hall - Olomouc













czech255Dolni Namesti is the lower square and sports a Marian Plague Column - Olomouc


czech253Southwest of Dolni Namesti are some extravagant looking houses on Videnska and Spojencu -Olomouc


czech259The two squares form the heart of the old quarter, which has plenty of cobbled streets and lanes - Olomouc












czech261The city is in Moravia, about three hours train ride from Prague heading to Slovakia - Olomouc













czech266Bezrucovy Sady is a picturesque park lying below the old quarter - Olomouc


czech267If you book a tour you can explore this atomic bomb shelter, next to the old city walls in Bezrucovy Sady - Olomouc


czech268The old city walls that divides the old town from Bezrucovy Sady -Olomouc













czech271A Morava tributary flows through the park; a spire belonging to St Wenceslas Cathedral rises centre left - Olomouc












czech272St Wenceslas Cathedral is in the eastern part of the old town - Olomouc


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