In Prague, the leaves are changing into brilliant splashes of color scattered among the city’s rigid architecture. And autumn in Prague also means fog. Which means more beauty, and mystery for this gilded city straddling the Vltava River.
With hopes to photograph Prague in the early morning fog, I ventured down into Mala Strana (Lesser Town) last week, just catching the last hints of fog lingering along the Vltava River when I arrived. And, I enjoyed a few serene moments alone in the magnificent St. Nicolas Church in Mala Strana (photos below).
In contrast to the lovely sites, however, daily living in Czech Republic is a challenge. Last week, a grocery cashier sporting a typical Czech chip on her shoulder threw the bread I was buying onto the floor at her feet. (People here normally buy three items at a time, as opposed to people like me, who buy a mountain of food to feed the four men in my house for one day…)
But despite the difficulties, this second year of living in Prague, I find my love deepening almost daily, for the city, for the history that pours from its centuries’ old stones, and for the potential that continues to build of Czech’s restoration after the devastation of communism. St. Nicholas Church in Lesser Town, which sits above the Vltava near MalaStranka Square (Sv. Mikulas Kostel, Mala Strana), beckoned … since I had never taken the chance to go inside. I was awed by its magnificance.
|The Church of St. Nicholas in Mala Strana, Prague|
I am a Cathedral girl. I love a space massive enough to stretch high toward the heavens, inspiring visitors with not only majestic architecture, but also frescoes or stained glass or both. St. Nicholas, of Baroque styling, boasts one of the largest frescoes in Europe, painted over an area of 1500 square meters. St. Nicholas’ spires stand tall, and add substance to the impressive Prague skyline. Ironically, St. Nicholas’ bell tower was used in the recent Communist era by the State Secret Service, for spying on the people and the embassies below.
|The view up, of St. Nicholas’ frescoes|
To me, I love the place where human imagination creates something so grand we cannot help knowing that God had a hand in the realization of that dream. A cathedral, rising toward the sky in adoration, happens to be one of those places for me.
|The View of the Prague Castle, the Powder Tower, and St. Nicholas’ spires from Charles Bridge|
Luckily, Prague is said to be the city of a thousand spires — the beauty is unending. Despite whatever snags daily life throws at us, we can always choose to look for the beauty. It is always waiting, even in a simple changing autumn leaf. Here’s to finding the beauty in each day …
Starting the conversation (leave a comment below): What have you encountered lately that has inspired you?