Tale of five cities – Part II

We said a big bye to Prague and moved towards Bratislava. While I was searching the net to find details on Prague and Bratislava, I came across this beautiful place called Telc (pronounced telsh). Mesmerised by the pictures in the website, we decided not to miss this special spot. We were truly wise and lucky this time too!!

 

 

The historic centre of Telč was added to the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage in 1992, thanks mainly to the chateau and beautifully preserved town square. Though it’s a colourful, busy place ringed with outdoor cafes and restaurants, the Telč square has essentially kept the same appearance for centuries and is one of the best examples of Renaissance architecture north of the Alps. http://www.myczechrepublic.com/telc/

 

 

A place so calm and peaceful – would let one forget the busy – ‘running with the wind’ kind of lifestyle!

 

regarded most beautiful in the republic

very impressive

So, if you plan to visit Prague, Telc is a ‘not to miss’ zone, with the State Chateau of Telc and the historic square. You will be mesmerised by its stunning beauty!

Shopping tip: I could also find some classy Bohemian Crystal Vases and many more collector’s items at much lesser cost in Telc than my search in Prague.

 

 

BRATISLAVA

Then, we continued our journey towards the capital of Slovakia – Bratislava. It is also called the small big city of Europe – small in size but big in its importance of historical sites.

 

 

Known as Pressburg to German-speakers or Pozsony to Hungarian-speakers, Bratislava got its present name only 90 years ago.  But the city has a long and proud history that dates back to pre-Roman times. http://visit.bratislava.sk/en/profil.asp?p1=810

Since we stayed in the old city, all historical attractions were at walkable distance.

After a quick visit to the Information Office, we went to the Primatial Palace – which is the former archbishop’s winter palace.

primatial palace

Today, the palace serves as the office of the Mayor.

Walking in the old city is really an interesting one, with many surprises – like these-

statue sticking out of a hole

man with a hat

relaxed man in the square

Proceeding towards some serious historic places, on the way towards the Bratislava Castle, stands tall the National Theatre

St. Martin’s Cathedral

St. Martin’s Cathedral is the most sacred building in the town, where there used to be a Roman Church. 11 Hungarian Kings and 8 consorts were crowned in this Gothic Church between 1563 and 1830. The tower of the Church has a huge crown on it.

St. Martin’s Cathedral

and the crown

Bratislava Castle

Bratislava Castle stands above the river Danube. At present, the castle houses expositions of the Slovak National Museum and some of its premises are used by the Slovak Parliament.

Castle

The Roman settlement on the Castle mount dates to the end of 1st century A. D. After the territory fell under the rule of Germanic tribes that came to conflict with the Roman empire.

The Castle Hill in Bratislava and its Slavonic castle were of importance in the period of the Great Moravian Empire. Archeologists have found a great number of Slavonic deposits originating from that time – foundations of both civic and ecclesiastic architecture. http://www.slovakheritage.org/Castles/bratislava.htm

 

 

Towards the castle, one has to take a breath taking walk to reach to the top. Some clicks on the way –

the steep path

an interesting menu on the way

river danube and cruise ships seen from top of the castle

BUDAPEST

Next destination was Budapest, Capital of Hungary. When we entered Budapest, it was late night.  We were astonished by the well lit Chain Bridge and Buda Castle, and the whole of the mainland city made us feel we had entered a Royal City.

 

 

Chain Bridge

 

 

Built in the middle of the 19th century the stone bridge with the lion bridgeheads was the first permanent connection between Buda and Pest.http://www.budapest-tourist-guide.com/chain-bridge.html

fascination by day missed to capture at night

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has listed the view of the Danube embankments and the Buda Castle District – which is one of the most beautiful and romantic parts of the city of Budapest – as a World Heritage site on the 11th of December, 1987. The latter is an ancient town district, giving home to some of the most important historical monuments in Hungary. While nearly 800 years passed since it has been originally founded, its beauty still stands unparalelled, despite earthquakes, fires, sieges and world wars. The buildings themselves in Budapest bear tell-tale signs of recent and ancient history.http://www.budapest.com/city_guide/attractions/world_heritage_sites.en.html

We took a hop-on-hop-off tour and could do a bit of justice to the most important places in Buda and Pest.

Heroes Square

The millenial monument was built in 1896 to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of the arrival of Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin.http://www.budapestinfo.org/herossquare.html

statues of kings, govenors and famous characters of Hungarian history

Shuttle Boat

This boat is a part of the hop-on-hop-off tour. The view of the beautiful buildings from the boat in the River Danube was certainly a memorable affair.

Parliament

The Hungarian Parliament is certainly the most impressive monument that I have seen in Budapest. The view of the Parliament from the river Danube is amazing!

The building stretches 268 meters in its length, along the Danube embankment. Ornamented with white neo-gothic turrets and arches, it forms the most outstanding landmark of the Pest side horizon. Statues of Hungarian monarchs and military commanders decorate the outer walls.http://www.budapest-parliament.com/

St. Stephen’s Bascilica

The Bascilica is named after the first Hungarian King Stephen, who helped Christianity enter Hungary. This is the largest church in Hungary.

The most famous article inside, is the right hand of exactly, King Stephen.

Another interesting thing is that the heaviest church bell weighs more than 9 tons. The former bell was taken away during the Second World War, and its successor only arrived in 1990. http://www.hungarybudapestguide.com/budapest/st-stephens-basilica

truly very impressive

inside the bascilica

Matthias Church

Mathias Church is a very different landmark – also called the Church of Our Lady, the colourful exterior and interior walls are very unique.

the church

the colourful roof

and the interiors

VIENNA

Now, we move on quickly to our next destination – Vienna, capital of Austria. The first thing that comes to our mind when we think of our trip to vienna is their excellent connectivity through metro stations. All the main destinations are very well connected that makes a tourist feels so much at ease and comfort.

Hofburg Castle

This was originally a medieval castle and now is home to the National Library, Imperial Treasury, and has a collection of musical instruments and weapons and many other exotic things.

The Austrian Parliament

The main entrance is a copy of the doorway of Erechtheion on the Akropolis in Athens. The walls are decorated with marble and Greek statues. Behind the entrance the visitor encounters the Great Hall of Pillars. The 40 m long hall has 24 Corinthian style marble pillars. The capitals of the pillar are gilded with 23 carat gold and the marble floors are polished to perfection.http://www.gothereguide.com/austrian+parliament+building+vienna-place/

The Town Hall

the seat of the mayor of vienna and city council

Karlskirche

the biggest cathedral in baroque style, north of the Alps

The church has a panoramic lift, which offers a spectacular view of the city. A lift inside a church was quite interesting!

Schonbrunn Palace

Schonbrunn Palace was the summer residence of Austrian Emperors and used to be the summer residence of the royal family until 1918.

The castle was build to rival French Versailles in Baroque beauty and importance but House Habsburg lacked funds to outdo its rivalling nation France.  In earlier times it served as summer residence to various Habsburg rulers.http://www.aboutvienna.org/sights/schoenbrunn_palace.php

St. Stephen’s Cathedral

St. Stephen’s Cathedral is the seat of Arch Bishop of Vienna. It stands on the ruins of two earlier churches, first consecrated in 1147.

The highest south tower (136 m) took 65 years to build – from 1368 to 1433. The two Roman towers at the main entrance are 65 m tall. The roof is extraordinary with its colorful mosaic and is covered by 230,000 glazed tiles.http://www.gothereguide.com/st+stephens+cathedral+vienna-place/

NUREMBURG

After the spell binding tour, we travelled towards our fifth city, Nuremburg in Germany.

We did nothing of the nuremburg trial related tourism.  We chose Nuremburg as a stop gap destination to proceed towards holland, after a long drive from the previous place Vienna. It turned out not only to be a relaxing but also a lively and picturesque city. We visited the Kaiserburg Castle and the Main Square of the city – the Town Hall Square.

Kaiserburg Imperial Castle

This was one of the most important fortified imperial palaces of the Old Holy Roman Empire.

The Town Hall Square is marked by historic buildings and monuments inclusive of the Town Hall, St. Sebald’s Church and the Church of our Lady.

The Rathaus – Town Hall

St. Sebald’s Church

This is the oldest city parish church built in 1215.

Destroyed during World War II like the rest of the city, St. Sebald was reconstructed in 1957 and reconsecrated. The reliquary shrine (ca. 1397) in the tomb cast in bronze by Peter Vischer and his sons (1508-1519) is prominently located in the interior of the church. The bones of Nuremberg patron saint Sebaldus are presumed to rest in the silver embossed “casket”.http://tourismus.nuernberg.de/en/sightseeing/places-of-interest/churches/d/nuernberg-kirchen-st-sebald.html

The Church of our Lady or the Frauen Kirche

While we wandered for quite a while in the town hall square,  there was a fair going on – a sunny summer sunday! Amongst those beer shops and live rock music stuff, we found a crepe shop and clicked a few snaps while the efficient lady of the shop was making them.

honey or choco pasta for the sweet tooth/teeth

for cheese lovers

Crepes, Pancakes, Pannekoeken or Dosais – everything needs the artistic movement of hands to make them perfect.

It reminds me of our Gothumai Dosai (South Indian Pancakes made of wheat flour) and Maida Dosai (the same made with all purpose flour). The South Indian version always needs a spicy chutney (thakkali-kaara-chutneyspicy-tomato-chutney/)  or sambar (sambar/) to go with it!!

I think it has been a long time not discussing food.  See you soon with some of those I have missed so long!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Aarthi says:

    Telc looks just like a place out of a fairy tale ! The statues in Bratislava look truly awesome and Budapest reminds me of Rome – the pillars ,high roof cathedrals , et al !! Nice to read about your wonderful trip 🙂

  2. What a great adventure – so brave, and so wonderful. I love Eastern Europe!

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