Exploring Malta

Valletta Malta Skyline – orangeviaggi

Malta is an extraordinary country with many hidden treasures! Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, the Maltese Archipelago is a world of its own – south of Sicily, east of Tunisia, east of the Strait of Gibraltar, and north of Alexandria Egypt! The three main islands are Malta, Gozo, and Comino. They’re rich in culture and nature with Neolithic archeological sites, Baroque architecture, historical museums, art galleries, ancient forts, forests, water sports, lighthouses, windmills, and beaches.

Xarolla Windmill – mymalata.com

Wednesday I took a ferry to Valletta. The weather was warm, hazy, and windy with piercing sun. After a long trip my photography skills are waning and processing photos with slow local WiFi is painful. To help communicate Malta’s beauty, I’ve used some media shots in this post.

Mediterranean Sea

Overlooking Malta Grand Harbor

Catamaran Ferry

Getting to Malta was more complicated than I imagined. Weather permitting, there are daily ferries from Pozzallo to Valletta and back. The huge catamaran has gambling – slot machines – shops, food, and is clean and comfortable. I booked my ticket online – the date changed several times due to heavy wind and stormy seas.

Garden Grand Master’s Palace

It’s amazing that it can be clear when boarding the ferry and 30 minutes into the 1.5-hour trip to Malta you run into Mediterranean squalls. Many passengers got sea-sick and no matter how sure-footed you were, walking around the boat was difficult – bumping off walls and seats. The captain asked everyone to remain seated.

Triton Fountain Valletta – Images George Rex

A few days before departure, I received notification that the return trip was departing Valletta two hours later. That was fine with me and would allow more time to explore. I asked if the Pozzallo departure was also changed and the reply was it would leave as scheduled – ha

Nativity of Our Lady Chapel Birkirkara – Trip-Suggest

I gave myself time to walk to the ferry – about 30 minutes along the coast. I could see the ferry approaching as I got near the port and quickened my pace thinking I might miss it – ha, ha, ha. The ferry departed almost two hours late!

Yacht Blue Lagoon Comino Island – Photo Malta Tourism

Auberge de Castille Valletta

The security check was quick but the boarding area packed. Upon arrival, trucks and autos exit the ferry first – before passengers are allowed to disembark. This doesn’t make sense but there must be logic behind it? The tedious process made everyone antsy and seemed to take forever.

I ran into familiar faces from Pozzallo and chatted with passengers. Easter is a major Italian holiday followed by Independence Day on April 25, when many families visit. Malta’s ferry was more chaotic than those for other archipelagos and isolated islands experienced – Azores, Seychelles, Zanzibar, Mozambique, Greek and Turkish Islands.

St John Cathedral Clock Tower

History and Geography

The History of the Maltese Islands dates back 7,000 years to 5200 B.C., when Stone Age farmers settled along the shores. Normans, Arabs, Romans, Byzantines, Phoenicians, Swabians, Angevins, Aragonese, and Castilians invaded the archipelago.

Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel – cagliariturismo

Malta gained independence in 1964, changed from a Commonwealth to a Republic in 1974, and joined the European Union in 2004. It’s the smallest country in the EU by area and population, but the most densely populated. The Maltese archipelago has seven Mediterranean islands – only three are inhabited.

Mosaic Domus Romana Ruin Gozo Island – heritagemalta.org

Valletta City Gate

Malta is the largest island. The capital is Valletta with Birkirkara the most populated city. Malta has a series of small towns forming one Larger Urban Zone (LUZ) with a total population of around 450,000. Maltese is the national language, but there are two official languages – Maltese and English.

Valletta Malta – LandLopers

Locals appear to think of their towns almost as separate countries. During the day I got disorientated when my offline maps didn’t work and no one could help me find the ferry departure point in Valletta. I had strayed into another town where they disavowed all knowledge of Valletta.

Ft. St. Angelo

It’s easy to see why the Maltese Archipelago is an important Mediterranean maritime hub. It has three large natural harbors – Marsamxett, Marsaxlokk, and Grand. The fourth harbor – Ċirkewwa – is manmade.

Church Our Lady of Mount Carmel – commons.wikimedia.org

Locals often assume you’re a cruise ship passenger – there were several massive ships in Grand Harbor… After circling the waterfront a few times, I finally found the right departure point. The stress of finding the ferry location on time was unnecessary since there was another departure delay.

Unknown Buildings Near Valletta Port

Accommodation, Transportation, and Tours

Malta accommodation is expensive. I wanted to stay there but opted for day trips from Pozzallo – before realizing the hassle of getting back and forth via ferry. I planned to book a tour in advance, but am glad I didn’t. With the delay in ferry departure it would have been impossible to join a tour group on time.

Swatar Birkirkara – Wikipedia

I did research to find points of interest and guide myself. It was slightly overwhelming. It’s impossible to explore Malta in one day – you need more time to see and understand even basic cultural and historic attractions. Captivated by Malta’s beauty and mystery, I plan a return visit and extended stay.

Church of St Catherine of Alexandria

Known as Europe’s “culture capital,” Malta is one of the most beautiful places in the world! A new art gallery – Muża – opened in 2018. The name stands for Mużew Nazzjonali tal-Arti. In Maltese it means “muse or inspiration”. Renovated 15th-century Auberge d’Italie combines the art collection of Malta’s former National Museum of Fine Arts and recent Muża acquisitions.

Grandmaster’s Palace Valletta

Automobiles and motorcycles run the perimeter of the island. In central Valletta old town, you can walk, take a horse-drawn carriage, or ride a small motorized vehicle for children and those less mobile. Exploring the island on foot is by far the best.

MUZA – Valletta 2018

Valletta Piazzas

Valletta has several main squares:

  • Republic Square – known for cafés
  • St. George’s Square – home of the Grandmaster
  • St. John’s Square – home of St. Johns Cathedral
  • Triton Square – near Valletta City Gate
  • Freedom Square – reminiscent of the 1970s Communist period
  • Castille Square – overlooking the Grand Harbour and Auberge de Castille
  • Independence Square – beautiful terraces and traditional Maltese houses

Malta has an extensive local bus system. Knowing I had limited time, I waited in line to learn about buses and buy a pass. The lines were long and included migrant refugees – mostly from Africa. I waited behind a young man who was very calm and patient. When he got to the front of the line, he was told that he had to provide a paper copy of his travel permit. After obtaining the copy, he had to come back and wait all over again. I felt sorry for him. He handled it gracefully.

Grand Harbor View from Upper Barrakka Gardens

The best advice was from a concierge at the Phoenician Hotel who recommended touring on foot and pointed out the most accessible attractions in Central Valletta. Every street was fascinating! Many look down on the harbor, and like in San Francisco, sea and Bay vistas from the hills are breathtaking. I stopped for lunch at an outdoor café and then continued to St. Johns Co-Cathedral.

Valletta Malta Festa Facade – Photo Juliet Rix

St. Johns Co-Cathedral

St. Johns Co-Cathedral is a “shrine and sacred place of worship” and “gem of Baroque art and architecture”. It was the church of the Knights of St. John who ruled Malta for over 250 years from 1530 to 1798. The Grand Masters and knights donated art and made contributions to embellish the church”.

Sacra Infermeria – Hektoen International

The noble Knights protected Malta. Their origins were of peace and caring for the sick. A tour of Sacra Infermeria (Holy Infirmary) reveals their past.

Archaeological Sites

Malta has ten magnificent archaeological sites – three listed with UNESCO. Megalithic temples on Malta and Gozo are the oldest freestanding structures in the world.

Malta Map – CIMBA Italy

Archaeological areas include burial sites, temples, and catacombs:

The Sleeping Lady Neolithic Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum Temple – Jimdo

National Museum of Archaeology

Malta’s National Museum of Archaeology is an introduction to the pre and early history of the Maltese Islands. Upon entry a “figure of the Sleeping Lady flashes before you on a limestone screen”. The mysterious Sleeping Lady is 5,000 years old!

Malta – Daily Express

Her famous image from the Neolithic Period “honors one of the first cultures to leave a mark on Malta”. The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum Temple, a “sanctuary and necropolis,” is one of the best-preserved examples of Maltese temple building culture. Archeologists have documented the remains of over 7,000 individuals.

Interior St Johns Cathedral Valletta – Photo Juliet Rix

Artefacts date back to the Neolithic Period (5000 BC) up to the Phoenician Period (400 BC). Highlights include medieval palazzo doorways and bronze daggers from the Tarxien Temples.

Birkirkara St. Helena Basilica – maltaphotos

Grand Master’s Palace and Armoury

The Grand Master’s Palace and Armoury is the most “grandiose” palace in Malta. Today it’s the office of Malta’s President, George Vella. Some say the palace is haunted!

Sliema Malta – bayviewmaltacom

The armoury has the “world’s largest collections of knightly arms and armor”. Façade improvements were the efforts of Grand Master Pinto de Fonseca.

Hotels Birkirkara – Reserving.com

Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The Roman Catholic Parish Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a neo-gothic church in Balluta Bay, the town of St Julian’s Malta. The church is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site including Valletta. It’s a small but special church.

Triton Fountain

Built in 1580 and damaged during WWII, Our Lady of Mount Carmel was rebuilt in the 1950s in Pisan Romanesque style. The church has spectacular mosaics representing Carmel’s story.

Museum of Archaeology Grandmaster’s Palace – corinthia.com

The marble altar is magnificent as is the bell tower “surmounted by a bronze statue of the Madonna”. The central chapel dates back to the eleventh century and has a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. I took a break and sat inside admiring the art and dome.

Armor Grand Master’s Palace – Heritage Malta

I thoroughly enjoyed my limited time in Malta but hope to return and explore other islands, archaeological sites, and natural wonders like the blue grotto. “Malta” comes from a Greek word meaning “honey” – it’s an appropriate name.

Valletta City Gate

Arriverderci!

Valletta Waterfront at Dawn – Photograph Alamy

Jeunesses Musicales Competition Belgrade Serbia

Radio-Television Symphony Orchestra of Serbia (RTS) – Belgrade Beat

This week I’ve enjoyed exceptional performances in Belgrade. Last night the concert was part of the 49th International Jeunesses Musicales Competition. It enables young musicians to “test and confirm their artistic values”.

Belgrade Philharmonic Studentski Square 

I tried to get tickets for the Belgrade Philharmonic in Studentski Trg (Students Square) – a different venue than ballet and opera at the National Theatre. I missed the special March performances. Officially, Belgrade Philharmonic season begins in April and annual passes sell quickly. Single tickets are almost impossible to find.

Ilija M. Kolarac (1800-1878) – Wikipedia

As the name suggests, Studentski Trg is lined with educational and cultural institutions like the University of Belgrade and Kolarac Public University. Kolarac University Concert Hall is the venue for the Musicales Competition.

Kolarac Music Center Studentski Street – British Council Takeover

Kolarac Public University Music Center

The group sponsoring the piano competition – Ilija M. Kolarac Foundation – isn’t associated with the Philharmonic. The Philharmonic performs in Kolarac Foundation Concert Hall. Tickets and information are in another building. Maybe I’m getting rummy learning my way around new European cities?

Kolarac Concert Hall – News Kolarac

Jeunesses Musicales Competition

Founded in 1932 by successful Serbian merchant Ilija Milosavljević Kolarac, Kolarac People’s University is a “unique cultural institution”. Its aim is “spreading knowledge and cultivating the attributes of its own culture”.

Buildings Studentski Trg Belgrade – Itinari

Since 1971, the Jeunesses Competition has promoted the discovery of new international music talent. The “multidisciplinary competition has a five-year cycle”.

Johannes Brahms Composer – Dallas Symphony Orchestra

Brahms and Dvorak

The performance last night was the Opening Ceremony. Everything was in Serbian, so I didn’t understand the introductions and tribute to distinguished judges.

Antonin Dvorak Composer – Classic FM

The music was beautiful! The program lasted a few hours and included two pieces:

Dvorak’s dramatic New World Symphony is an all-time favorite of mine!

Pianist Eugen Indjic and Conductor Bojan Sudjic

Piano soloist Eugen Indjic was masterful during the Brahms piece! The Serbian Radio-Television Symphony Orchestra’s (RTS) performance of Dvorak’s New World Symphony was outstanding! It’s one of the best philharmonics I’ve heard!

Bojan Sudjic – Chief Conductor Serbian Radio-Television Symphony – mp.rts.rs

Bojan Sudjic is chief conductor of the symphony and artistic director of RTS Music Production. He’s a powerful but happy conductor, smiling during the entire performance.

Eugen Indjic Pianist – Bohemian Ticket

It was an impressive and memorable evening.

Central Belgrade Serbia

Church of St. Mark

After catching my breath, I’ve continued exploring Belgrade. It’s an impressive European city influenced by Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, Serbian, Russian, and Austro-Hungarian empires. One of the oldest cities in Europe, it’s the only capital built at the confluence of two rivers – the Danube and Sava.

Old Telephone Exchange – Wikipedia

Complex history, language, and names make writing about Belgrade a formidable task. Belgrade’s history runs deep. Memories are short, so the purpose of my blog is making the effort to capture travel experiences.

Branko Radičević Serbian Poet – sikari.rs

Belgrade Tours

I’ve taken several guided walking tours and learned about Belgrade on my own. The complex history is a bit overwhelming. One tour guide – the owner of my rental flat – is “strongly connected with the history of Belgrade and Serbia”.

St. Mark’s Cathedral

Aleksandar’s family has lived in Belgrade for four generations. He’s knowledgeable about its history, traditions, and heritage and enjoys sharing his knowledge with visitors. The goal is providing tourists with an “understanding of Belgrade’s history and a perspective on modern life and culture”. Aleksandar is developing tours of Belgrade and outlying areas. His central city tour was fun and well-organized.

Syndicate House – Wikimedia

Central Belgrade

Central Belgrade is near my apartment. It’s a short walk to iconic buildings like the Old Telephone Exchange, Central Post Office, Church of St. Mark, Parliament Building, Presidential Palaces, and other landmarks. Many of the buildings were damaged during WW I and II and rebuilt.

Building of the Patriarchate Serbian Orthodox Church

Old Telephone Exchange

The Old Telephone Exchange is around the corner. Completed in 1908 it was designed by architect Branko Tanazević in Serbo-Byzantine style. The beautiful building is part of Belgrade’s cultural heritage. I enjoy admiring it from cafés along Kosovska Street.

Belgrade Central Post Office

Belgrade Central Post Office

A significant cultural monument, Central Post Office architecture reflects the “complexity of social and political circumstances during the interwar period – 1919 to 1940”. It represents modernist and functional architecture. Built as a branch of the National Mortgage Bank, Serbian architect Aleksandar Đorđević designed it in the “spirit of the French school of academic style”.

Belgrade Historical Museum – Virtuelni Mazei Dunava

Orthodox Church of St. Mark

The Church of St. Mark is spectacular inside and out! Dedicated to Apostle and Evangelist Mark it’s in Tasmajdan Park near the National Assembly. Spring is in the air and trees in the lovely park are beginning to bud. Walks in the park and stopping for coffee at nearby cafés is always on my itinerary.

Old Telephone Exchange Belgrade

The original church was destroyed during the war. Construction of a new building occurred during the interwar period. There are several tombs inside the church, including Mlan Obrenovic, King Alexander Obrenovic, his wife Queen Draga Mašin, and King Stefan Dušan the Great.

Belgrade National Assembly – Parliament Building

Completed in 1936 and designed by Russian architect and painter Nikolay Petrovich Krasnov, the National Assembly is the Republic of Serbia’s “supreme representative body holding constitutional and legislative power”. The Assembly has 250 elected members. The scope of the National Assembly is “given by the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia”.

Belgrade National Assembly

I haven’t been inside the National Assembly but it’s beautiful and the sculptures at the entrance are magnificent. Entitled Black Horses at Play, they’re the work of Croatian sculptor Toma Rosandića.

Belgrade National Theatre – Shutterstock

Supposedly, the theme of the statues is the struggle between man and nature. There are other more “political stories” about the meaning – most of them over my head. Belgrade has sculptures throughout the city honoring leaders and historical events. Some are by exceptional Croatian artist and sculptor Ivan Meštrović.

Black Horses at Play – Toma Rosandica Sculptor

Old and New Palaces

Belgrade’s palaces are across the street from the National Assembly on Andrićev Venac Street. Each palace has complicated history. There are interesting stories of Serbia’s two royal dynasties – Karađorđević and Obrenović – including an assassination.

Terazije

New Palace – Novi Dvor – was the royal residence of Serbia’s Karađorđević dynasty and later the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Today, it’s the seat of controversial President Aleksandar Vučić.

Belgrade National Assembly

Built when Serbia became a Kingdom, Old Palace – Stari Dvor was the Royal Palace of Serbia’s Obrenović Dynasty. The beautiful palace was restored after damage from WW I and II. Today it houses Belgrade City Assembly.

King Alexander Karageorgevich – Heroes of Serbia

Nikola Pašić Square

Serbian and Yugoslav politician Nikola Pašić is an “important statesmen and diplomat”. He’s credited with protecting Serbia from Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman, and Russian influences.

Mihailo Obrenović III, Prince of Serbia

Pašić founded the People’s Radical Party and held prominent government positions including president of the Serbian National Assembly, Prime Minister of both Serbia and Yugoslavia, Mayor of Belgrade, and Serbian Envoy to Russia. He was one of the authors of the St. Vitus Day Constitution of 1921 giving Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes a unitary monarchy.

Belgrade National Assembly

A square in Central Belgrade is named after Nikola Pašić. In 1998 a monument created by Serbian Sculptor Zoran Ivanović was erected in his honor.

Tasmajdan Park – debuggil.wordpress

Terazije Square and Fountain

Terazije Fountain began as a water source for Belgrade. Towers were built throughout Belgrade to bring water from wetlands into the city. The “Turks called the water towers terrazioni,” so the square was named Terazije.

Nikola Pašić – en.wikipedia.org

Located close to famous hotels, taverns, and shops, Terazije Square was “the center of Belgrade’s social life”. It’s also near the location where German fascists hanged five Serbian patriots in 1941. Moved and reconstructed many times, the Terazije is now in front of famous Moscow Hotel, a great place to enjoy tea or coffee.

Terazije Square Moskva Hotel Belgrade – Tradesco Tours

Republic Square

Republic Square is undergoing major renovation. The square features a monument to Prince Mihailo Obrenovic (1823-1868), son of Prince Miloš and Princess Ljubica. He came into power following the death of his elder brother Milan in 1839.

Belgrade Republic Square Statue Prince Mihailo Obrenovic – Travel to Serbia

Italian sculptor Enrico Pazzi created the monument in 1882 honoring one of Prince Mihailo’s most important political achievements – “expulsion of the Turks from Serbia after five centuries of governance”.

Djura Danicic Serbian Scholar – Wikipedia

Mihailo Obrenovic was elected. He wasn’t a hereditary prince. In 1842, an uprising forced him into exile and brought Alexander Karageorgevich to the throne. Obrenovic spent six years outside Serbia collaborating with writers and poets including Vuk Karadžić, Đura Daničić, and Branko Radičević. When Prince Miloš returned to Serbia in 1858, Mihailo accompanied him and took command of the army.

Nikola Pašić Square – Relja Ivanić

After the death of Prince Miloš, Mihailo regained the throne in 1860 and established an army to “rid Serbia of the Turks”. “Expecting war with Turkey, Mihailo made alliances with other Balkan states – Montenegro, Greece, Bulgaria, and Romania.” In 1868, he was assassinated in Košutnjak, a forested Belgrade suburb.

Black Horses at Play Toma Rosandića – Atlas Obscura

Albania Palace

Built in Republic Square in 1939, Albania Palace is one of the tallest buildings in the Balkans. It replaced beloved 19th century Albania Tavern, a popular but cramped and neglected establishment. In spite of its shabby condition, the old Turkish-style building was a favorite spot for local socializing.

Palace Albania

Albania Tavern’s loyal patrons were “reluctant to abandon their favorite gathering place”. On the day it was demolished they gathered at the tavern. Guests were served “until firemen started taking tiles off the roof”.

Belgrade National Assembly

The Palace was the main headquarters of the Nazi work organization Todt. During 1944 in a WW II Allied bombing it was hit by a “half-ton bomb”. Luckily the well-constructed building only suffered minor damage. In 1983 Albania Palace became a Belgrade Monument of Cultural Importance.

Cathedral Church of St. Michael – Flickr

Belgrade National Theater

As directed by Prince Mihailo Obrenović, Aleksandar Bugarski, the “most productive Belgrade architect in the 19th century”, designed the National Theatre. The architecture is based on the design of La Scala Theater in Milan. It’s built on the location of former Stambol Gate – one of four gates placed at each way out of Belgrade.

Belgrade National Theatre Republic Square – Hostel Show Belgrade

Built in 1869, it’s a symbol of Serbian culture, tradition, and spirituality. The popular theatre hosts opera, drama, and ballet performances. The amazing performing art venue has performances every day of the week. Most are sold out. National Theatre was declared a Monument of Culture and Importance in 1983.

Nikola Pašić – Zoran Ivanovic

Bombings during 1941 and again in 1944 damaged the theatre’s exterior, interior, and façade. Many architects and engineers participated in upgrades, annexes, expansions, and reconstruction between 1870 and 2018.

Vuk Karadžić Serbian Linguist – Kurir

The design is a blend of Vienna Secession and Baroque architecture. Even with auditorium and stage expansions, there’s limited seating.

King Alexander Obrenovic and Queen Draga – balkanekspresrb.rs

Belgrade National Museum

Established in 1844, Serbia’s National Museum is the largest and oldest museum in Belgrade. Since 1950 it’s been in Republic Square. The “museum’s collection has grown to over 400,000 objects, including several foreign masterpieces”. It was declared a protected Cultural Monument of Great Importance in 1979.

Belgrade National Museum – Like A Local Guide

Like the National Theatre, the National Museum experienced bouts of redesign and renovation. Various architects and builders were involved, including Andra Stevanović and Nikola Nestorović. It’s built in Neo-Renaissance style with Neo-Baroque elements on the domes. WW II bombings destroyed the domes.

Prague Municipal House

Municipal House Apotheosis Mosaic

Municipal House Apotheosis Mosaic

Yesterday I visited Prague’s Old Town Square and Republic Square. Both squares have major historic buildings with exquisite architecture.

It was an overcast day. Dark, ominous skies framed the skyline creating a dramatic background for the buildings. My main interest was spending time at Municipal House, a renowned Art Nouveau building at the former site of the royal residence. It’s next to Powder Tower in Old Town’s Republic Square.

Powder Tower Gate

Powder Tower Gate

During the Middle Ages Powder Tower was the gate to Prague. On the way to coronation ceremonies at Prague Castle, future kings of Bohemia entered town through Powder Tower Gate. It’s named Powder Tower because of the gunpowder stored there in the 18th century.

St. Nicholas Chruch Old Town Square

St. Nicholas Church Old Town Square

Republic Square was the center of Czech cultural and social life at the turn of the 20th century. Today it’s still a busy place with public and cultural activities always in progress.

I made it to Municipal House Café just before the heavy rain began and sat under an umbrella during the worst of the deluge.  Cobblestone streets don’t drain well and when it rains you’re literally walking in puddles of water – sometimes an inch deep.

Powder Tower

Powder Tower Republic Square

Municipal House was a place for concerts, exhibitions, conferences, festivities, and grand balls. It played an important role in the beginnings of the Republic of Czechoslovakia. The National Board was founded there as a base for the future Czech Parliament. The Czech independent republic was declared from the balcony of the Municipal House on 28th October 1918.”

Smetana Hall

Smetana Hall Prague Municipal House

It took 6 years – 1905 to 1911 – to build Municipal House and at the time, it was a modern and a technologically advanced venue for Czech cultural events. The building is a mixture of several 19th century styles – neo-Renaissance, neo-Baroque, and Art Nouveau. Above the entrance there’s a mosaic called the Apotheosis of Prague.

The inscription reads, ”Hail to you Prague! Brave the time and malice as you have resisted all the storms throughout the ages”. In part, these words refer to Prague miraculously escaping the World War II bombings that destroyed many other European cities.

Municipal House Café

Municipal House Café

Municipal House has splendid concert halls including Smetana, Rieger, Palacky, Sladkovský, and Mayor. The Conductor Apartment has a unique panoramic view of the Prague Castle complex. Municipal House is definitely a “must see” for anyone visiting Prague. Even with rain it was a fantastic day!

Smetana Hall is an architectural masterpiece, a mix of carved white stone and gold, illuminated by hundreds of lights, and with frescoes adorning the walls. The hall is the main place of work for the Prague Symphony Orchestra and the most important place for Prague’s concerts and music festivals. I have a ticket for a concert on the 25th! It will be a performance of beloved Czech composer Bedřich Smetana’s Die Moldau – one of my favorite symphonies. Moldau is the German name for the Vltava River.

Old Town Sq. Our Lady Before Tyn Church

Old Town Square Our Lady Before Tyn Church