In November 2004, my wife and I briefly visited two of the most splendid cities in Europe: Prague and Budapest. Free of Communism since 1989 and steeped in centuries of human history, these two cities charmed us with their beauty, enchantment and grandeur.

Prague is often called the city of 100 spires as the domes and spires of the city's churches and other buildings are its main landmarks. This is a view of Prague Castle and the spires of St. Vitus's Cathedral from the bank of the Vltava River

Until 1741, Charles Bridge was the only crossing over the the Vltava River. It was built in 1357 and the first statue was added in 1683. Now strictly a pedestrian bridge and lined with statues, it is the most famous bridge in Prague and connects the Old Town side of town with the Little Quarter side.

The Old Town Bridge Tower at the Old Town side of the Charles Bridge. This Gothic tower was built at the end of the 14th century as part of the Old Town's fortifications.

A mixture of locals and tourists stroll across the Charles Bridge.

The Town Hall Astronomical Clock in Old Town Square. In 1490, it's creator is said to have been blinded by the town councilors to prevent him from building another one like it elsewhere.

Every time the clock strikes the hour a procession of the 12 Apostles is seen passing by the two openings at the top.