A timeless stroll through Prague

It is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It's a walkable city with meandering, cobbled streets, gold-topped spires, a castle, and the layered textures of centuries etched into its soul.

When I visited Prague in 1986 as a Monitor staff photographer, Czechoslovakia was in the Soviet orbit. The old city, saved from the bombs of World War ll, was crumbling and peeling. The country's economy was also in tatters, and the Czech people seemed numb to the forces controlling their lives.

I remember how surprised I was a few years later when Czechs rose up en masse and created the "velvet revolution" that freed them from the stranglehold of the Soviet Union. Not only did it save their own lives, but their crumbling city's as well.

This photograph was taken looking down from Prague's famous Charles Bridge - filled with statues - that crosses the Vltava River. The men's suits look old-fashioned, probably Soviet-made. I love the timelessness of the image. It takes me back to the haunting city I would love to revisit.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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