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Travel Writing Essay

2730 words - 11 pages

Travel Writing

"Wow!" I gasped as I stood amidst a flurry of foreign buildings,
culture and language. This wouldn't have normally been so blatantly
clear, but I was right in the middle of the bright and ethnic 'Prague
Folk Festival'. Prague celebrates a variety of carnivals throughout
the year, ranging from classical music concerts to 'Tanec Praha', a
modern dance festival.

CHURCH OUR LADY OF TYN

Click Picture to enlarge. Although the festival may have been bright
and joyful, I still couldn't ignore the menacing buildings behind.
They oozed with beauty and sophistication, but there was something
sinister and ominous about them too. The Old Town Hall, situated in
the Gothic 'Old Town' on the Vltava's east bank, is a prime example.
It stands in between a row of colourful Renaissance buildings and
intrigued me so much, I decided to haul myself up what it seemed an
infinite number of stairs to reach the top of the tower, but let me
tell you, it was worth it. As I looked down on one of Europe's most
beautiful cities, its compact medieval centre looked like a maze of
cobbled lanes, ancient courtyards, dark passages and numerous
churches. Prague is also known as 'the city of a hundred spires' and
from this breathtaking view, that is exactly right. After looking at
the city as a whole, single buildings started to attract my attention,
one in particular, was the Church Our Lady of Tyn. This is one of the
most dominant buildings in the Old Town, and was founded in 1385
during the tumultuous period. I noticed that the two spires are not
symmetrical. This was due to the gothic architecture of the time which
tried to represent both the masculine and feminine sides of the world.
Inside the Church, there are many Baroque arts on display, but on the
whole, the interior is far less impresse than its outward
appearance.

Another dominant building in the Old Town Square is the Astronomical
clock, on the Old Town Hall. There are a number of fictitious legends
that relate to this clock. One of which is regarding the clockmaker,
Hanus. The clock was originally made in 1410 and it was said to have
been so incredible, that the councilors struck Hanus blind, so that he
could not create any more clocks. Since then, many changes have been
made to the image of the clock, due to past wars, age and change in
fashion. Despite the various changes, the impact of the clock still
remains as strong. Luckily, I was just in time to see the clock at its
very best. Every hour, the two doors above the clock face slide open,
and the statues of 12 apostles glide by, meanwhile the 15th century
conception of the 'evils of life' dance below. This features a death
skeleton, a 'preening' Vanity, a corrupt Turk and Greed, formerly
known as an 'acquisitive' Jew.

[IMAGE]

The clock has two dials called the...

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