Prague is a magical place in any weather, but there is something extra special about it when it snows. The snow falls softly, muting all sound. Gone are the noisy footsteps of humans, as they march across the stone streets. The sounds of traffic die away and everything is made new by the blanket of freshness that descends from the sky and accumulates on everything not moving.
The statues of Prague in particular seem to come alive in the snow.
Somehow the addition of snow brings the smallest of details into sharper focus. The swell of a belly not noticed before, now becomes three dimensional due to the small pile of snow that marks its contour. Shoulders become the foundation for heaps of white powder. Even details such as a the curve of a mustache or the hilt of a sword now no longer go unnoticed. They are redefined and refreshed.
The strange light that snow clouds provide softens everything so that it seems otherworldly.
The tortured stone faces somehow become more haunting than before.
In a way, the falling snow conveys the cycle of time. It forms, it falls from the sky, and eventually dies – melting back into the ground. But in those moments that it is freshly collected on the faces etched in stone, time stops and timelessness is born. Like graves with their permanence, the expressions in stone are stilled by the artist’s chisel – destined to remain unchanged. But the snow…the snow gives them new life – if only for a little while.
To witness this in one of the most magical cities in the world was a special experience indeed.
All photos by the author.