The Jewish Cemetery in Praha

The old Jewish Cemetery in Praha (Prague) is one of the important Jewish historical monuments in Prague. It served its purpose from the first half of 15th century till 1786. Renowned personalities of the local Jewish community were buried here. Today the cemetery is administered by the Jewish Museum in Prague.

During the more than three centuries in which it was in active use, the cemetery continually struggled with the lack of space. Piety and respect for the deceased ancestors does not allow the Jews to abolish old graves. Jews were forbidden from land purchases and from owning gold. Hatred of Jews was not invented by Nazis.

To gain space if necessary, a new layer of soil was heaped on top of an old grave. For this reason, there are places where as many as twelve layers now exist. Thanks to this solution the older graves themselves remained intact but the cemetery looks like none other with tombstones stacked on top of each other.

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The Jewish Cemetery in Praha

The Charles Bridge of Praha

The Charles Bridge is one of the most famous landmarks of Prague. We were in Prague for five days and The Charles Bridge was always crowded. I am sure early in the morning it is not as crowded and less crowded on week days. However it is like the Ponte Vecchio of Praha (Prague) and if you were there you wouldn’t miss it. It is a pedestrian bridge and connects the old city with the Prague Castle area.

This picture was taken from the gardens at Prague Castle looking down on the old bridge.

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The Charles Bridge

The Holy Crucifix and Calvary on the Charles Bridge

The Charles Bridge is an historic bridge that crosses the Vltava river in Prague. Construction began in 1357 and for a long time it was the only way to cross the river in Prague. The bridge was the most important connection between Prague Castle and the city’s Old Town. The bridge is lined with sculptures and always filled with vendors, street musicians and tourists from all over the world.
The bridge was closed to vehicular traffic in the 1970’s and had to undergo significant repairs. It was decided to make it only pedestrian traffic and has become a famous tourist location. You stroll on the bridge, but it is not a good place for excercize although you see some attempting to jog.

The balustrade of the bridge is lined with 30 baroque sculptures created between 1683 and 1714.The Holy Crucifix and Calvary is one of the most famous and as you can see difficult to photograph on a crowded bridge. I do believe the young lady’s face adds more to the composition than would the top of the cross. Although at the very top are the Hebrew words “Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh” which is part of an ancient and important Jewish prayer.

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The Holy Crucifix and Calvary on the Charles Bridge

Forty-Five… European Street Music

Recently we took a four week trip through Europe. We started in Amsterdam and finished in Prague. I made a vow to myself that I would take video of every street musician we saw. Some were great, some not so great but all provided an interesting taste of the countries we traveled through. What I like as much as the music is the action in the streets around the performers. Watch until the end and take a look at the “gold statues” behind the performers.

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Prague Castle

Prague Castle is the largest and oldest castle in the world. It is actually not a castle but a complex of buildings including two cathedrals, the most famous being the St. Vitus Cathedral.The castle dates back to the early ninth century and is currently the official residence of the President of the Czech Republic. The castle was previously a seat of power for kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman emperors, and presidents of Czechoslovakia.

This view is from the lower garden. It is too large to capture in one image and worthy of a panoramic photo project and is probably best viewed from the air.

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Prague Castle

Prague Castle

View of Saint Francis Church Praha

There are so many churches in Praha (Prague) and so many church spires. I think that is why I was drawn to the view of this church from Prague Castle. It is one of the few that has a dome in addition to the spires. This is the Saint Francis of Assisi Church located near the foot of the Charles Bridge on the Prague Castle side. You can see this view from the upper garden of the castle below the St Vitus Cathedral.

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The Dome of St Francis

The Dome of St Francis

For Susana

I am fortunate. I know a lot of very creative people and successful artists. I have even had the honor to help train some of them. There is one woman though who is really unique in that she is a successful commercial and fine artist and she is successful in multiple disciplines.She is in some respects my teacher because she has gotten me to change the way I view different photographic subjects.

Frequently when my wife and I go off on assignment together…hey it’s still an assignment even if we assign it to ourselves, we find certain views and look at each other and say, “Oh that’s an image for Susana.” We found a few on our junket through Europe and so here is the first image for Susana.

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For Susanna #1

For Susanna #1