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Prague Skyline

Photograph of Prague Skyline

Photograph of Prague Skyline

Prague, like many European cities, has a wonderful blend of two opposite kinds of architecture: historical and modern. In this photograph, both of these types of architecture can be seen.

In the center of this photograph is one of the best-preserved and most beautiful buildings in all of Prague: the Church of Saint Nicholas. If one looks closely, the two black spires of another church can also be seen to the right of the massive green dome. On the other side of the dome, however, there is evidence of Prague’s modern side. Three skyscrapers dominate the skyline, and looking closely, one can see cranes in operation, perhaps constructing more, even taller buildings.

While development and infrastructural expansion is inevitable in cities all around the world, it should not come at the cost of the loss of historical heritage. It is the duty of city councils, builders and citizens to ensure that development is carried out responsibly and in a manner that is not threatening to historically or culturally valuable buildings. Prague is a fine example of a city where the historical heritage has been well preserved.

(Submitted to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: “Wanderlust“)

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Monochrome

Photograph of Prague

Photograph of Prague

Though lacking hue, monochromatic images often have more character than their coloured counterparts. In a coloured image, the colours stand out and draw all the attention of the viewer. Hence little or no attention is given to other important aspects of the image such as texture, shadow and contrast. In a monochrome photograph, however, without the presence of distracting colours, it is much easier to examine and admire these aspects of the image.

Prague’s Old Town in the heart of the Czech capital is a place like no other. Walking down the narrow, cobbled streets flanked by small, neat buildings and the occasional church is a unique experience that can be matched by few others. Hours at end can be wiled away with ease on these streets, just roaming around, taking in the architectural beauty and rich history of the surroundings. Despite the crowds of tourists, there is an atmosphere of tranquillity that is becoming exceedingly difficult to find in modern cities. There is no traffic, no sense of urgency and nobody telling you to hurry along. There is something unique and exciting to be found at almost every corner, from a Museum of Torture Devices to a shop dedicated solely to clocks. Prague is truly a city unlike any other in the world, and it is not difficult to see why tourists so love it.

(Submitted to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: “Monochromatic“)

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Street Light

Photograph of Streelight

Photograph of Streelight

Many European cities have extensive tram networks. While trams are an easy and efficient means of transportation, they do cause a few problems. The most noticeable of these is the untidy and often ugly wiring that must be put up. Trams run on electricity, so wherever the trams go, the wires must follow. On most streets there is just one set of wires travelling overhead, so the overall appearance is not too badly damaged. However at certain places (such as road intersections), the number of wires crossing each other can become so high that the wiring becomes a mess.

In Salzburg, Austria there are no trams. Instead, the overhead system of wires is used for buses. It is a strange system, since the buses do not have their normal flexibility, being connected to the wires. They cannot turn arbitrarily, and must follow the wires at all times.

I remember wondering what would happen if a bus driver accidentally turned at the wrong place. I concluded that the wires would break and the bus would be stranded in the middle of the street. As a pedestrian it is very interesting to watch the buses turn because when they do, the wire they are connected to stretches and strains, before finally regaining its original position.

The above photograph shows one of many busy crossings in Salzburg. It is located in central Salzburg, and is well connected to the rest of the city. While street lights are considered boring and ugly, they are very important for the proper functioning of city roads and the smooth flow of traffic.

(Entered in the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenges: “(Extra)ordinary” and “Connected“)