The Vltava River (AKA the Moldau if you’re in Germany) flows through the middle of Prague, bisecting the historic district. On the east side are Old Town, the Jewish Quarter, and New Town, and on the west are Lesser Town and Prague Castle.
The Vltava River, from Vyšehrad
On the east side, from roughly Vyšehrad to the National Theater, a low thoroughfare follows the river, and it is a very pleasant stroll.
Fishermen on the Vltava
A nice blend of fishermen, locals, and tourists strolled this path on our visit, and an unused room under the street above had been turned into a temporary art gallery.
Mute Swans / Cygnus olor
Aside from the ubiquitous feral pigeons, many Mute Swans lined the shores, obviously accustomed to being hand-fed. Although these are the same swans one often sees in city parks in the US, they are native to central and western Europe, but introduced in the US.
Common Pochard / Aythya ferina
I saw what I thought was a Redhead, an uncommon duck in the San Francisco area, but when I looked it up upon returning, it turned out I had seen a Common Pochard (LIFER!). Although they look quite similar and are unsurprisingly in the same genus, their ranges do not overlap at all.
Climbing out of the shadows
In several places, funny statues were attached to the retaining wall.
Partway down the riverside roadway were several boats and cafes, serving snacks and beer. This little walk was a pleasant find, with little hint of the hustle and bustle of cars and trams just 30 feet above it. Definitely check it out if you’re there!
Old meets new, high-wheeler meets latex.
My first Sunday in Prague coincided with the Prague International Marathon. I was amused to see one fellow, decked out in latex, riding a high-wheeler cycle down the road, enjoying its closure to traffic.
Prague International Marathon
As seems to be the case nearly everywhere, North Africans dominated the leaders group (above).
Tančící dům – The “Dancing House”
One of the landmark buildings on the Vltava’s edge is Tančící dům, the so-called “Dancing House,” designed by Vlado Milunić and Frank Gehry. I liked its whimsical architecture, especially amid the myriad Nouveau, Gothic, & Baroque facades that Prague is famous for.
Bird over door
Many buildings here are adorned with pretty mosaics, and bird themes, especially owls, were common.
One building had a lovely series of murals from the early 20th century, depicting happy workers and homemakers.
Next to the National Theater, however, is an obviously Soviet-era building that looks for all the world like a squat mushroom enrobed in plastic bubble-wrap.
A small park near the Theater has a lovely ornate fountain with Wenceslas and his horse (not upside-down this time), and the now-familiar bird motifs.
Jackdaw / Corvus monedula
In that park, I found a couple of cooperative Jackdaws (LIFER!) to photograph. As I’m fond of Corvids generally, I enjoyed watching these alert birds, with their unusual light-colored eyes.
Prague Castle at night
At nighttime, the river has great views of Prague Castle, and plenty of shops (mostly selling tourist junk) and cafes (U Rudolphino was recommended by a colleague, and proved delightfully non-touristy).
It’s definitely worth spending some extra time lingering along the shores of this river that cuts right through central Prague, and except for right near the Charles Bridge, it is not too crowded with tourists.
- Part 1: Vysehrad
- Part 2: Vysehradsky hrbitov (Vysehrad cemetery)
- Part 3: Karluv Most (Charles Bridge)
- Part 4: Vaclavske namesti (Wenceslas Square)
- Part 5: Letecke Muzeum Kbely (Czech Air Force Museum)
- Part 6: Stare Mesto (Old Town)
- Part 7: Staromestske namesti (Old Town Square)
- Part 8: Prazsky orloj (Astronomical Clock)
- Part 9: Josefov (Jewish Quarter)
- Part 10: Vltava River <– You are here
- Part 11: St. Nicholas Cathedral (Chram sv. Mikulase)
- Part 12: Wallenstein Palace (Valdstejnsky palac)
- Part 13: Kampa Island
- Part 14: Mala Strana street art
- Part 15: Petrin Hill
- Part 16: Mala Strana
- Part 17: Mala Strana house signs
- Part 18: Strahovský klášter (Strahov Monastery)
- Part 19: Schwarzenberský palác (Schwarzenberg Palace)
- Part 20: Toy Musuem
- Part 21: St. Vitus Cathedral gargoyles
- Part 22: St. Vitus Cathedral (exterior)
- Part 23: St. Vitus Cathedral (interior)
- Part 24: Prazky Hrad (Prague Castle), I
- Part 25: Prazky Hrad (Prague Castle), II