U Tri Pstrosu

Bonnie Manion


At one end of Karlov Most, situated  under 

the grand arch for five hundred years, a small

hotel named U Tri Pstrosu is tucked into busy

foot commerce, stone threshold worn down.


Solid oak beams support hand-hewn planks 

laid above each etage.  There are five floors 

at U Tri Pstrosu,  each ceiling of rough timber

supporting the floor above,  all reached by one

spiral stone staircase covered in worn carpeting.


Our room on level three overlooks the famous

bridge; we could eavesdrop on conversations 

through our casement window. Larger-than-life

pious statues lining both sides of Karlov Most

faded charmingly into evening fog our first night;

by the next morning they are silhouetted against  

a yellow dawn breaking across the Vltava River.


Lying in bed, I wonder about the one who once 

had painted primative roses on the overhead spars.

About the one who had emptied the chamber pots.

Or hand-scrubbed ancient bedsheets on river rocks 

scattered along the nearby shore.


A medieval city completely intact, Praha buildings

share common walls and front directly onto narrow

cobblestone streets.  Often there is a green courtyard

for the family (who lived upstairs) secreted behind.

Today, centuries-old palaces, churches and mansions  

snug between storefronts offering tourist souvenirs.


Main Location:

Prague, Czech Republic