A time traveller’s tale

A time traveller’s tale

Marketa watched through the window as snowflakes swirled around the approaching couple. As they pushed open the old wooden door the duo were met with the stares of twenty pairs of unblinking eyes, each seemingly imploring them to enter quickly and shut out the icy breeze which was their uninvited companion.

They waved their tickets vaguely in the air at both no-one and everyone and joined the others in the hallway. No more eye contact. They all stood, each in their own comfort zone, whispering to partners or friends and waited.

Time to go. The numbers were right and everyone accounted for. Marketa knew what was coming.

She stepped into the middle of the room and introduced herself – she had been a guide for just 6 months and she loved her job. Three flights of stairs first. Windy, metal staircases that twisted round and round. She paused at the top to let the dizzy and breathless rest and catch their breath and gaze admiringly at the artefacts and pictures around them. Men who had lived hundreds of years ago but whose discoveries reached across time. But it wasn’t enough. The best was to come.

She ushered them into the next room to face two large doors. The doors were ornate and inlaid with glass panels. They stood like gatekeepers to a different age and beyond them the darkness was impenetrable. But not for long.

The group gathered around the doors trying to peer in. They looked to Marketa with uncertainty – was this it? She smiled, nodded and opened the doors allowing the group to move slowly into the room.

Smell was the first sense to time-travel. Of paper, ink, and books that had been painstakingly catalogued and arranged and not been moved for centuries. The very air seemed ancient as if it was trapped in the room and now belonged there.

Then vision. She gradually turned on the lights, slowly bringing the past into the present. There was a collective gasp and then silence. She let them take in the scene before them – a Baroque library of such immense beauty that it took your breath away and overwhelmed the senses. The bookcases were divided by ornate gilded columns and books stood like signposts to the past on shelf upon shelf. The ceiling was painted with Renaissance style frescoes depicting the themes of science and art. And there in the middle of the room stood the globes. Globes that depicted a world that existed then but not now – and spoke of men on the brink of discoveries.

She let them time travel though history. But soon it was time- time to bring them back. Here and now. She knew that their lives would be forever touched by a glimpse into the beauty of the past. They said thank-you and left – back into the beautiful snow covered city of Prague. But something had changed. The past had reached across the centuries and left its mark. She smiled and turned – another group waited.


A Time Traveller’s Tale

  • The story is based on our visit to the Baroque library hall in the Klementinum which is in Prague in the Czech Republic.
  • It is situated next to the Charles Bridge and is one of the largest building complexes in Europe.
  • The Baroque library hall was first opened in 1722 and the books, the globes and the frescoes will I guarantee take your breath away!
  • The Baroque library is just one of the attractions in the Klementinum – the Astronomical Tower gives wonderful views of Prague.
  • The tours start at 10 am daily and start every 30 minutes – as part of the tour you get to visit the Baroque library hall, the Meridian Hall and the Astronomical Tower (we were also lucky to see the Mirror chapel as it was not being used at the time but it is not guaranteed)
  • For up to date information check out the website klementinum.com
  • For more information about our trip to Prague and a more detailed description of how to find the Klementinum (it took us a while!) read my post ‘A guide to Prague’

the-doors-to-time-travel time traveller's tale

the-baroque-library in the time traveller's tale


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Author: Tracy

Tracy is your expert expat!

She has lived and worked in 7 countries on 4 continents and travelled to over 50 more. A qualified school teacher with an interest in history, reading, photography, nature and wildlife she is always planning her next trip (preferably by train)

Through down-to-earth stories, tips and advice (based on her own extensive knowledge and experience of life as an expat) she aims to support new and prospective expats to survive and thrive in Australia.

With a lifetime of travel experience, and a network of friends all over the world, she is also able to share genuine insider guides, recommended best book lists and train journey inspiration to help you travel authentically to some of the most beautiful places on earth.


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  1. July 14, 2016 / 7:12 am

    Wow-that is so beautiful! Have you written anything else in this style? I’d love to read it!

    • July 15, 2016 / 7:58 pm

      Not yet but I have a few ideas. This was easy to write – Marketa made such an impression that I had to create the story from her point of view.

  2. July 14, 2016 / 8:50 am

    Really well written! Love it! I’ll have to go back to Prague to see this library – you got me intrigued!

    • July 14, 2016 / 8:01 pm

      Thank you! It is a beautiful library – i really felt like i had stepped into the past.

  3. July 14, 2016 / 10:31 am

    Shame that you didn’t win the Travel Writer’s competition, as that was really good read. I love library’s and this one has definitely being added to my list.

  4. July 15, 2016 / 1:57 am

    I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I loved this! So great! I’m sorry you didn’t win and Madagascar would have been great, but thank you so much for sharing this story with us on your blog. I appreciate your authorship and style. 🙂

  5. Mary Clamp
    July 15, 2016 / 8:38 am

    All I can say is the winner must have been flippin’ good!

    • July 15, 2016 / 7:50 pm

      Probably amazing! I will keep trying! I did enjoy writing this. ?

    • December 3, 2016 / 8:40 am

      Thank-you David. The reviews were a bit hit and miss but we loved it – i think we were very lucky to have the guide we had as she was superb.

  6. December 4, 2016 / 2:19 am

    One of my biggest regrets was not visiting this place when I was in Prague. Time slipped away and a lot of plans changed due to the rain. Hopefully, I will stop by the city in the future. #FlyAwayFriday
    Ruth recently posted…Street Art in Dallas (Deep Ellum)My Profile

    • December 4, 2016 / 4:48 pm

      I was so pleased we went as the reviews weren’t good but it was truly amazing!

  7. December 9, 2016 / 8:28 am

    Oh my gosh I’m getting the chills! It’s so beautiful!!!! Especially the library – I would probably pass out from excitement, haha! Thanks for joining #FlyAwayFriday!! xo
    Kana recently posted…How To Deal With Post Vacation BluesMy Profile

    • December 9, 2016 / 11:12 am

      Thanks Kana – it really is a special place!

  8. December 16, 2016 / 5:06 am

    wow!! this is so beautiful!! I’m dying to go to Prague and that library looks amazing! Can’t wait to see what you share with us tomorrow for FlyAwayFriday! xo Chloe
    Chloe recently posted…18 Weeks Pregnancy UpdateMy Profile

    • December 16, 2016 / 5:13 pm

      It is an experience Chloe – it just took my breath away its so stunning!

  9. May 2, 2017 / 5:03 pm

    What a creative idea for a post – I can imagine how somewhere this historic and beautiful would be the perfect way to inspire you… And us! Thanks for linking up with #citytripping
    Cathy (Mummytravels) recently posted…City Tripping #74My Profile

  10. May 2, 2017 / 11:15 pm

    Oh, my librarian heart sings! All those books, all those stories, all that history! A dream visit, for sure.

  11. May 5, 2017 / 5:08 pm

    I just wanted to keep reading. You really should have won Tracy! The library is calling me too. Thanks for joining #FarawayFiles
    Katy Clarke recently posted…Faraway Files #27My Profile

    • May 7, 2017 / 5:44 pm

      I hope you enjoy it as much as I did – such a beautiful place!

  12. May 8, 2017 / 1:23 pm

    I loved this post. You are an incredible writer – I felt like I was there!

  13. May 11, 2017 / 6:15 am

    It does look magical and I love the evocative way you took us there. I am always drawn to a place by a story. Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles

  14. May 21, 2017 / 8:55 pm

    Beautifully written! you are so clever! We’ve been to Prague but missed out on this library, will definitely visit on our next trip.
    Garth recently posted…KeukenhofMy Profile

  15. May 22, 2017 / 8:20 am

    Prague is lovely, what a shame I missed this library – your story brought it alive and it’s a shame you didn’t win, however I am sure you had a lot of fun writing The Time Traveller’s Tale and letting your imagination go! #feetdotravel

  16. May 26, 2017 / 8:46 am

    Amazing! Prague is on our list for 2018! Love the way you have written this post. The library is simply gorgeous. Must see for bookworms like us!

  17. May 26, 2017 / 2:09 pm

    Such a great visual! I could really picture the library and all of the sights and smells. Loved it!
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