Dam and Hydro-electric plant on the Vltava at Vrané © Ricky Yates
As most people who know me will already be aware, I have had a lifelong interest in canals and inland waterways. I was therefore delighted to discover that the Vltava, the river on which Prague is situated, is navigable. Engineering works, begun in the nineteenth century, have provided locks, navigable cuts and a sufficient depth of water to allow quite sizeable craft to reach the city.
The Vltava (or Moldau in German) leaves the Labe (Elbe in German) at Melnik, about 50 km north of Prague. From Melnik, it is possible to travel downstream along the Labe/Elbe all the way to the North Sea at Hamburg as well as connecting with canals and rivers that lead to Berlin and other German cities. Upstream of Melnik, the Labe is also navigable as far as the Czech city of . . . → Read More: A Trip up the River Vltava
Catholic Church in Karlovac with partially repaired war damage © Ricky Yates
I’m sorry for the two week delay in posting my final piece about our time in Croatia. Since being back in Prague we’ve had a succession of visitors which has left little time for blogging!
We spent the night of Monday 20th July, our last in Croatia, in the town of Karlovac. Although considerable work has been done to repair the damage caused to buildings in Karlovac during the 1991-95 conflicts that followed the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, there still remains much to do.
The picture on the left is of part of the outside wall of a Roman Catholic Church attached to a Franciscan Monastery in the centre of the town. You can clearly see where holes caused by bullets and shrapnel have been filled in at lower levels whilst higher up, they remain un-repaired. . . . → Read More: Some reflections on the Croat-Serb Conflict
Sign warning of landmines by the road side between Šibenik & Knin © Ricky Yates
After spending the nights of Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th July in Primošten and exploring Šibenik, we set out on the morning of Monday 20th July on the long journey back to Prague. Having driven down into Croatia on the coast road, we decided to return through the interior. Therefore, once we had reached the outskirts of Šibenik, we headed inland on the road leading to Knin.
From background reading, I knew that we would be travelling through an area that was fought over during the conflict that took place between 1991 and 1995. So I was expecting that we would almost certainly see some remaining war damage. However, what we did observe still did come as quite a shock.
Within 20 km of the coast we saw the first few damaged buildings. Shortly . . . → Read More: Journey home through the interior
As Karen felt that the last view of the sea was …breathtaking (see the first comment on the previous post) – here is another one! This is the commercial port of Šibenik viewed from the fortress/citadel above the old part of the city. The Cathedral is just off to the right of this picture.
Šibenik habour and commercial port as seen from the citidel © Ricky Yates
And here is Primošten, an ancient village but now a popular holiday resort some 25 km further along the coast from Šibenik, where we stayed for two nights before beginning our return journey to Prague.
Primošten just before sunset © Ricky Yates
. . . → Read More: Šibenik and Primošten
After ten very enjoyable and relaxing days on Dugi Otok, we returned by ferry to Zadar and headed slightly further down the coast to Šibenik. The ancient city centre of Šibenik has a network of steep pedestrianized streets which are fascinating to explore and in the midst of which is the Cathedral Church dedicated to St. James.
The west front of Šibenik Cathedral © Ricky Yates
The Cathedral was constructed during a period of just over 100 years between 1431 and 1536. It is built entirely of stone quarried from nearby islands without any brick or wooden supports. Large stone blocks or slabs were brought together in such a way that the edge of one slab entered into the groove of the second slab. It is reputed to be the world’s largest Church built in this manner.
On the outside of the Cathedral are many fascinating carvings including 71 . . . → Read More: The Cathedral of St. James, Šibenik