Sunday, July 4, 2010

Prague: The Changing of the Guard

  So this is really rather a silly ritual, but it's one of the more famous sights of Prague, so I documented it for your entertainment.  That's right, yours.  Sit up and pay attention.
  This is the noontime changing of the guard, when the ceremony gets most ornate and most silly.  It all happens in this courtyard:

  Here are a few guards standing around wondering "is it noon yet?"

  And now, from somewhere else in the city (I have no idea where) arrives a marching column of guards, ready for duty:

  An elaborate, and lengthy, ceremony is performed in the courtyard, with the head of the new guards accepting some sort of token from head of the old guards I think:

  Horns are blown from the windows of the buildings around the courtyard at various points:

  A squadron detaches to relieve the guards posted at the gate:

  Now — this is my absolute favorite bit — the new guards have sunglasses put on them by their (I'm guessing) supervising officer:

  The Donning of the Sunglasses.  A revered tradition since... 1972?  The sunglasses of the old guards were also removed by another officer, in like manner, but I wasn't ready for it and didn't get a photo.  I'm not really sure why they can't put on and take off their own sunglasses; if they're not competent to do that on their own, do we really trust them to protect the castle against invaders?  Anyhow, moving on.
  A bit more playing of horns are ceremonies in the courtyard:

  And then a column of the old guards, relieved of duty, marched out the gate and off to points unknown:

  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is Prague Castle's changing of the guard.

No comments:

Post a Comment