Vysehrad’s most recent renovation was in 1903 – just a few years before the whole world fell apart for five decades. Here’s a WW I memorial in heavy cast iron that tells the whole story. It’s in front of the Emmaus Monastery discussed yesterday
Having seen two enormous, black church spires daily on my way home from school on the tram, I was determined to find the place today. Little did I know, the park, gallery and church were just around the corner from me.
I had decided to wander up the hill from my apartment, on the theory that going down would be would be easier later. This turned out to be true, but not in the way I expected. First, though, I passed a lovely-looking restaurant named Cafe Fresco. It was Italian-themed, so I could have read most of the menu even if it hadn’t been printed in English, as well as Czech.
The chef looked like Johnny Depp and the waiter looked like Vin Diesel. Had to wrack my brains to get VD’s name back into short term memory. Primed for Hollywood, later I saw a Bruce Willis lookalike. Good times.
Back outside the cafe after a lovely Pasta Puttanesca (with no tuna, darn) and what looked and tasted much like a cheese blintz decorated with honey, yet, (Shana tovah!), I saw a sign pointing to Vysehrad – pronounced VisheeRahd, meaning the Vyse castle! What a surprise! Tons of people were heading that way on foot, so all I had to do was follow them.
After a long walk, with much up and down, I arrived at a square where the castle and some other buildings were located. Originally built in the late 900s as a residence for the first rulers of the area, in 1080 Vratislav II turned it into a Romanesque basilica.
After admiring much in the area (some pix below), I headed back down by a different way. Strains of live classic rock music that sounded like warmups for a concert drew me inexorably to the small arena. I listened to them tune up for a while, but decided to get home before darkness and cold set in.
The final moment for me was finding that I was right by the right tram stop! Hopping onto the crowded tram, I heard a young guy saying to his friends what sounded like “tzadikim, tzadikim.” Was that a Czech word or Hebrew, meaning Righteous Ones. I took a chance and said, “Shana Tovah!” “Shana Tovah!” they answered back and called it out to me again as I got off the tram at my stop. “U’metuka,” I called back. And sweet!