Bila Hora or White Mountain

One snowy January day we decided to go to see where the Battle of White Mountain took place.  We found a map and saw a little dot in the middle of a large empty space just outside Prague.  (The little dot was suppose to be the monument to the Battle.)

From previous readings we learned this battle took place on White Mountain or Bila Hora in the Czech language.  It was an early battle of the Thirty Years’ War on 8 November 1620.  There an army of 15,000 Bohemians and mercenaries under Christian of Anhalt were routed by 27,000 men of the combined armies of Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor.  The battle marked the end of the Bohemian period of the Thirty Years’ War.

Tram 22 would take us there.  Riding to the end of the line, we got off in a residential area with a lovely old church called P. Marie Vitezne and a date over the door that said 1713.Church of P. Marie Vitezne, Prague, Bila Hora


We followed the road from the tram stop through a housing area to a very large open area we could see in the distance.Housing area near Bila Hora, Pragueskiers at Bila Hora, PragueWe came to a huge open area with a couple of cross country skiers racing across and a rather small mound in the distance.  It was so cold and clear with the sun making all that white snow very sparkly and it dazzled the eyes!Snow fun at Bila Hora, Prague


Michael set off, walking to the Monument where a mother and 2 small children were having fun sledding down the slopes of the mound. Monument to Battle of White Mountain, Bila Hora, Prague


The monument, of course, is written in Czech but the dates were there so we knew we were in the right spot!  It was hard to imagine such a battle going on with horses, men and their weaponry; all fighting for their own cause.  They say the Battle only lasted 2 hours with much loss of life.  Hard to imagine because on this day, in January 2010, it was so serene!Rusne airport from Bila Hora, Prague


Looking towards the airport. . .Star Castle at Bila Hora, Prague


And looking towards the Renaissance summer palace built in the shape of a six-pointed star. It was built in 1556 for Archduke Ferdinand of Tyrol.  This palace was there when the Battle took place!Nice snow covered houses and streets, Bila Hora, Prague


We walked through this neighborhood and on past the church to the tram stop.what a wonderful day!  I could even imagine myself living in this area . . . there is something very special about the country and open spaces and fresh clean air.

The End is only the Beginning!

It is now December and we are coming to the end of our first month in Prague (but not the end of the posts).  After we arrived Prague received its first light covering of snow with the promise of more to follow!  Since we live in Greece, on an island, where snow is unheard of, this was such a treat!  I was reared as a child in Washington State, USA and Michael in Portland, Oregon.  Both of us remember the snowfalls of our childhood, so the snow in Prague was a delightful and welcome Christmas Gift!  However, I understand it was not the feelings of most Czechs, as it was the worst winter in 40 years!  We were as innocent of that as babes!

Since it is the end of the year, I thought I would show a few pictures taken at random during the month of December.

Easy ID photos in Prague

When Michael and I first got to Prague we went to the Prague Transportation Department where we filled out a form to get a Senior Discount Pass for 3 months – which comes out much less than having to spend money for each trip.  This pass is good for buses, trams and the Metro (subway).  We even found it good on the funicular from Mala Strana to the top of Petrin Hill! 

One of the things we had to do was get photos of ourselves.  We were told one of these foto booths (above) which could be found around the city would suffice.  We had to giggle because the last time either of us had used them was when we were teenagers and took goofy pictures of ourselves with our friends!  Notice how rigid Michael is this time!  He even had his glasses off!  And I had to make sure my hair looked just right!  We found this booth in the Mustek Metro Station.

Wood cooked barbecue in squares of Prague

I mentioned in previous posts, that the Christmas markets had wonderful outside booths, many with mulled wine, hot sausage stands, etc.  This particular barbecue stand, outside a little restaurant, was in the Namesti Republiky (Republic Square).   I don’t know why we didn’t eat any, probably we were in a hurry to go elsewhere.  It makes my mouth water just too look at it now!Colour in architecture in Prague

I found myself taking lots of pictures of buildings.  Nothing seemed ordinary to me.  The white seemed as delicate as icing on a wedding cake.  Prague has an enormous variety of styles: Romanesque, Baroque, Renaissance, even Cubism to the heaviness of the communist era.  It is said Prague was practically untouched during WW ll so it is a wonderful place to study architecture. architecture detail figure over doorway in Prague

Over a doorway. . .tower close up in Prague

This looks like it should have been in one of the Harry Potter movies!

Holy family and nut fresco in Prague

This particular painting over a doorway really intrigued me and I tried in every way I knew how to find out something about it.  Also to know the significance of the arm holding the ball.  I could not find any information about it.  (If anyone knows, please tell me!)  It was on a little side street, of which I am not sure now where, but think it was near Bethlehem Square.Dessert after walk at Potrefena husa's on Vinohradska

We often walked miles, taking loads of pictures when suddenly one of us would call for time out and a coffee break!  They always were a treat and really perked us up!  Amazingly, I didn’t gain weight from all these beautiful desserts. . .but I practically wore out a pair of shoes!

And so ends December.  And to think we have January and February ahead of us!  We feel so lucky! 

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A Walk in the Snow

Well, this blog is certainly off to a slow start–just like our settling into a new life in Prague.  All I can say is that we have been too busy living life to blog about it.

So to keep you dear readers entertained until we get better organised here is one of Karin’s evocative reports.