More history, religion, and politics. Yesterday was filled with synagogs, today was filled with churches. As part of our tours to Prague's Castle complex and the town of Kutná Hora, we visited St Nicholas Cathedral, the baroque church where Mozart's funeral was held, St Vitus Church, the gothic church within the castle complex, and Santa Barbara Church, which while still beautiful is plain in comparison to the other two.
From our guides, Marketa and Nina, we learned stories of the royals, religious leaders, and top political leaders; and how they each influenced the lives of the Czech citizens throughout the centuries. The adjustment from Communistic rule is still relatively fresh, and it was interesting to hear from both our guides who grew up during that time
We had lunch in the castle Vineyard restaurant, then left Prague to visit the small town of Kutná Hora. Our first stop in Kutná Hora was Santa Barbara church, which offered a strikingly quiet, serene experience compared to the ornateness and crowds of the churches of historical Prague.
Next up for the others was a tour of the silver mines where they retraced the steps of the miners and experienced, if only for a moment, the fascinatingly dangerous working conditions. The guide reported that as many as 5 miners died working each day. The spaces were incredibly small, dark & damp. With only a small oil lamp to see, it was very difficult to find the silver. The miners actually relied more on smell and sound than sight. It's amazing to realize how tough their working conditions were. -- Too claustrophobic for me, so instead I had a one-on-one walk through the mostly empty streets of Kutná Hora with Nina. It was interesting to hear about the current Czech times in terms of economics, education, and family life.
Our last stop of the day was the Bone Chapel. Inside there were 6 pyramids, one chandelier, and various decorative elements.... all created from actual human bones. Pretty creepy! Pretty amazing too! In fact, the chandelier contains every bone in the human body.
Back in Prague, we finished the evening with our best meal yet at V Zátiší. Our charming waiter served each course with warmth and charm. By the time dinner was through it was already close to 11:00 p.m. and we were thoroughly exhausted. We all turned in, ready for a good night of sleep.
Tomorrow we say goodbye to Prague and hello to our ship, Viking Njord, in Nuremberg.