A View from the Top: The Cathedral of St. Bartholomew

Yianni Garris is a student at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is an ISA Featured Photo Blogger and is studying abroad with ISA in in Prague, Czech Republic.

I greatly enjoyed my trip to Plzeň this past weekend as it allowed me to experience a Prague-like city, but without the fast-paced lifestyle and crowds of people.  I was quite surprised when first arriving, as the streets were quiet, and I saw very few people walking around the beautiful town.  I also noticed that the streets and city itself was very clean, and the people I encountered were friendly.

The Cathedral of St. Bartholomew is a massive structure, and the picture above does not give true justice to how tall this building actually is when you see it in person.  The building was originally founded in 1295 and follows a Gothic style like so many other buildings in the main city areas.  The cathedral stands at approximately 46 meters high and about 26 meters wide, and the tower attached to the church stands at 102.6 meters.  Be ready for a leg workout when climbing the stairs to the top, as you are essentially walking up a football field’s worth of stairs. 

Being over 335 feet up in the air means that you are in the highest church tower in the Czech Republic, and it gives you a view of the entire city.  When looking at the viewpoint as seen in the picture above, you are able to get a view of the Great Synagogue.  This Jewish temple is the third tallest synagogue in Europe and the fifth tallest in the world at 45 meters.

From this angle you are able to see the top of Renaissance Town Hall, which stands at 61 meters in height but is still no match for the Cathedral Tower.  Although it is highly covered by all of the buildings, parts of the Mže River can also be seen, which cuts through Plzeň.  More to the right some practice fields for Viktoria Plzeň FC can be seen. The soccer team is currently in second in the Czech Republic‘s first division. 

Taking a trip to Plzeň and seeing the Cathedral of St. Bartholomew was a great way to start my day trip and helped me to get an entire layout of the city.  For 35 korunas (about $1.56) to go to the top of the tower, and being only an hour away by train from Prague, the Cathedral of St. Bartholomew is a no brainer to visit. 




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