CZ, Pilsen – Republika Square in Christmas Time
The construction of the cathedral started at the time of the foundation fo the city. The cathedral was comleted in the 16th century and now it is a sight of national cultural significance. I can tell you a complex description of the church. However, different people find different things interesting. Little ones may like a small angel figure on the grating in cathedral's back. It is said the angel brings luck and fulfill secret wishes. If you meet someone who lives in the city, it is possible you will meet at the very angel. HE is so popular that people even dress angels in winter clothes.
There are many beautiful old strucutres and cafes around the cathedral. Should you be intrigued by art, go and see sgraffitoes by Mikolas Ales which you may find around the square such as on U Cerveneho Srdce house. There is a red heart in the center of the facade. The sgraffitoe depicts a famous joust which took place in Pilsen to honor Archduke Ferdinand II.
We pass Pilsen's town hall on our way to Petatricatnici garden when we follow streetcar rails. The town hall's design is done by Italian architect Giovanni de Statia. Sgraffitoes adorn the building, they depict Czech rulers and city's coat of arms. Right next to it is the Cisarsky House (Imperial House) named to honor Rudolph II. He hid there when there was a plague outbreak in Prague in 1599. The mayor of Pilsen has his office on the first floor now. Across the street, opposite to the Imperial House is a Marian Column. Pilseners raised it in 1681 to give thanks for not being struck by plague that hard. A baroque replica of the Virgin Mary of Pilsen stands atop the column. The original is situated inside St Bartholomew's cathedral.
The remaining corners of the square see three fountains with gilded gargoyles and black reservoirs. The fountains symbolize Pilsen's coat of arms – angel, greyhound, and camel. The fountains are covered through winter. People either love them or hate them and thus the fountains are evergreen topic in local debates.
There are dozens upon dozens of cultural events, festivals, and other events. Seasonal and farm markets take place here as well. Today I put stress on Christmas market which begins on the last Saturday in November and ends day before the Christmas Eve. Personally, I love the lighting of the Christmas tree the most. The square crowds with people, families walk around here, drink mulled wine, eat cany, and enjoy the Christmas atmosphere.
Text and photos: Kateřina Fúdorová
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