1968 visit to Prague

karlsjen

The Charles Bridge, it is said, is one of the oldest stone bridges in Europe. One mile long and now limited to pedestrian traffic, it is lined with 30 Baroque statues (some are replicas because the originals were damaged in floods) and is one of my favorite vistas in Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic.

My sister and I were in our mid and late twenties when we walked through Hradcany, or Castle Town, the old shopping district. I was completely exhilarated to be in a place that was constructed in around 1200 and has not changed much since then. I was thinking of the ancients who tread across the cobble stone streets before us. My sister burst out crying because she was so depressed looking at the drab, durable, heavy looking dresses in the windows as the Communist regime recommended for women to wear, instead of the sleek and attractive women’s wear sported by the fashion capitals of the western world.

We walked through Karlsjen Castle with its twin towers connected by a wooden bridge which was to be burned if enemy warriors attacked one of the towers.

There was a lovely and busy outdoor beer garden with the fine Pilsner beer the country is known for, called locally, Pivo.

Now I thumb through my book of Oscar Kokoschka paintings to bring me back to the charming old country capital of Prague.

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