18 February 2020

Prague, Part One

Good morning friends! We are just back from a [very] short trip to Prague.  I have many thoughts about that city and our experience there.  Today, I'd like to share the gloriousness that is St Nicholas Church in Prague -- by this I mean the true, Catholic church and not the Hussite one of the same name.

We had a rather arduous journey getting to Prague.  Since we live in the Northern Highlands, we can either fly out of Inverness (which does not have many routes, but does, thankfully, have KLM flights to Amsterdam, which is a hub), OR we can fly from Aberdeen (again, not a lot of routes or airlines), OR we can fly from Glasgow or Edinburgh.  This trip, we flew from Edinburgh.  This entails either a long drive by car, a bus, or a train.  We always choose the train, but this time -- sheesh!  Our train was cancelled, and at the last minute, we got on a train to Aberdeen, where we changed for Edinburgh.  It added about two hours to our already long travelling day.  An overnight stay in EDI, and then the flight to Prague, which actually did not get us there until after dark.  So, our first experience of Prague was being shuttled for 30 minutes from the airport to our hotel, and then wandering about looking for a place to have dinner.  But more on that later!

Our first real experience of Prague was walking into THIS CHURCH!  We went through the door, and it absolutely took our breath away.

We have evolved into "religious tourists" -- wherever we go, we just gravitate to the churches and cathedrals, to the shrines, to the votive stands, to the kneelers.  It is a wonderful way to travel, really.  It is so uplifting.

St Nicholas Church in the Lesser Town of Prague is the most famous Baroque church in the city, and is considered the most valuable Baroque church north of the Alps.  It was completed in the mid-18th century, and is an absolutely stunning piece of architecture, filled with even more stunning pieces of art and sculpture, and most importantly, the glory of God!

We spent a long time wandering awestruck around the church.  There are huge statues of the four Orthodox Doctors of the Church:  St Basil the Great, St John Chrysostom, St Cyril of Alexandria, and St Gregory Nazianzen. 

The grace which shone from your mouth
like a torch of flame
enlightened the whole earth;
it laid up for the world the treasures of freedom from avarice;
it showed us the height of humility.
But as you train us by your words,
Father John Chrysostom,
intercede with Christ God, the Word,
that our souls may be saved.

You can also go up into the gallery, where you can see the organ, and which same organ Mozart played when he visited Prague!

It was a good thing for us that the first thing we saw on this trip was this marvellous, glorious church.  This aspect of Prague was wonderful.  Next up... the rest of our first day walking through the city!

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