A Walk in Prague: Contemplating West’s Achievement, by Vasko Kohlmayer

Western civilization has a lot to be proud of. From Vasko Kohlmayer at lewrockwell.com:

It was good to visit Prague once again. Known as the “City of a Hundred Spires,” it truly is a marvelous place. Positioned in the center of Europe on the banks of the meandering Vltava, it has been long acknowledged to be among the most beautiful on the continent. This surely means something, for Europe is home to many stunning cities: Rome, Florence, Athens, Paris, Vienna, Cologne, Venice, Bern. The list goes on…

Panoramic cityscape of Prague by Jan Fidler

In almost all of these great cities you can still locate their ancient heart – usually a square – where in times past the elders would come together to confer on the affairs of their community. It was also a point where the people would gather to take part in their civic life. Prague’s ancient heart is called the Old Town Square. This stately plaza – in which the mixture of architectural styles bears witness to the wealth of its history – is presided over by the Old Town Hall, a medieval structure built out of large limestone blocks. An imposing watchtower was completed above it in 1364. Standing at nearly seventy meters tall, its peak was the highest point in the city through the medieval age. Crowned with a steeple roof flanked by four turrets, the whole structure is exquisitely balanced. Constructed without the aid of motors or electric tools in an era when most people did not expect to live past the age of forty, the edifice is a testimony to the indomitability of the human soul. By creating something so robust and charming, its builders clearly wanted to leave behind something that would transcend the ephemerality of their personal existence. In this they surely have succeeded. The balance and dignity of their creation take breath away even centuries after the hands of those who built it had turned to dust. But even though the builders are long gone, they still speak to us through the stone testaments they left behind. Contemplating their handiwork, one cannot but stand in awe of the people whose skill and determination brought an edifice of such grandeur into being.

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