13.10.2012., subota

Prague - the city of inconspicuous charm

Prague is situated in the heart of the Czech Republic. It is its capital and one of the most visited tourist cities in Europe. After many years behind the "iron curtain", the last 20 years represent the real tourist renaissance, and for visitors from Western Europe and the USA, the opportunity to re-discover this beautiful city. It is, without exaggeration, one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Every part of this city acts as if it was tailored to suit you. Streets, squares, trams, walking paths ... Especially in autumn and winter, when the first snow falls, it beckons you to aimlessly wander through the city. A well-deserved rest and refreshment after wandering follows in one of the local breweries. One thing is for sure, if you like beer you'll love Prague.
There is no easy way to find a beer that suits you best, you have to sample as much as possible. That won't be so hard if you know that the Czech Republic is a country of probably the best beer in the world. If you sit down, have a drink and look around anywhere in Prague , you will notice something different in comparison to other cities and towns that you have seen. It is rare to see someone drinking coffee, wine, juice or anything other than, you guessed, beer. Everyone drinks, old and young, male and female, beer is everyone's favourite beverage.
Your stay in Prague will become more comfortable when you realize what are the most important things about this place. You should relax ..., go sightseeing ..., and try several different kinds of beer during the pauses.

- 11:53 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

29.09.2012., subota

National Theatre

At the far corner, where the quay Is crossed by Narodni trida (National Street), which debouches onto May Day Bridge, is the National Theatre (Narodni divadlo) in Prague, the finest work of Czech 19th century architecture. The Theatre had an inauspicious start: its cost was met by public subscription, but on August 12 1881, scarcely had it been completed, before it burnt down; new public collections enabled It to be reopened in 1883. It was festively opened twice, and both times with a performance of Smetana's Libuše. The foremost artists of the day shared in the building and decoration of this symbol of a Czech national culture: Architect Josef Zitek, who also designed the House of Artists, the sculptor J. V. Myslbek, the painter Mikulaš Aleš and many others. Aleš's cycle of lunettes, Vlast (Homeland), in the theatre foyer, is a notable work as are also the Curtain, a eulogy in paint on the self-sacrificing spirit of the Czech nation in building the theatre, by Vojtech Hynais, 8 ceiling frescos of allegorical subjects by F. Zenišek and allegorical representations of the different theatre genres In lunettes, by Adolf Liebscher; on the attic of the loggia are statues of Apollo and the Muses, by B. Schnirch, teams of horses driven by the Goddesses of Victory on the pylons of the main facade and the portal on the Gottwald Quay, with statues of Opera and Drama, are by I. Myslbek. In the basement of the National Theatre are the foundation stones brought from historical places throughout the Republic; in 1963 the Foundation Patent, splendidly illuminated by Josef Manes, was discovered, unfortunately in very poor condition, so that it will require much patient reconstruction. The National Theatre is to this day the foremost Czecho-slovak stage, although it is now only one of the 25 theatres the city can boast. We may now continue along National Street which, especially where it approaches the centre, is one of the busiest shopping streets in Prague. It arose, in the same way as Na prikope, by the filling up of the ditch surrounding the city fortifications. Obliquely opposite the National Theatre is the massive building of the Czech Academy of Sciences, with interior sculptural decoration by Myslbek. We pass the Baroque Church of St Ursula at the corner of Voršilska ulice (Ursula Street), of 1704. In front of its portal is a statue of St John Nepomuk, by Ignac Platzer. This section of Narodni trida reaching to ulice 28. rijna (Street of the 28th October), at the corner of which is the department store 'Perla', contains no other buildings of note, but look to see if by chance there is not an interesting exhibition on at the House of Czechoslovak Writers. Another exhibition room is in the Danube Palace, on the right-hand side, and further on is the House of Arts and Crafts, on the same side of the street; in the shop, Krasna jizba, you may perhaps choose some souvenirs or gifts to take home, the work of folk artists, or modern Czech articles for home decoration. Opposite is the shop selling glass and china (No 43) and Just beside it, at the corner of Perlova, is a Tuzex sales point with objects d'art and antiques.

- 17:09 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

The St. Vitus Treasury

In the Second Courtyard was formerly a socalled Mathematical Tower, remains of which are still discernible in the masonry; its flat roof served Rudolph's astronomers and astrologists as an observatory. In the right-hand corner, as seen from the Matthias Gateway, stands the Castle Chapel of the Holy Rood, built by A. Luragho in 1753 and later restyled in Neo-Baroque (1852-58). Since 1961 a major part of St Vitus's Treasury has been deposited here, especially its artistically more valuable items. The rest, such as the relics of saints arrd objects without artistic value, are retained at the Cathedral. The St Vitus Treasury is the richest and artistically most valuable in Central Europe. Despite various fosse; suffered in the past, it still comprises an admirable collection of liturgical vessels, ecclesiastical and secular jewels and a collection of curiosities assembled by Charles IV, whose taste in such matters was anything but eclectic. In part in the Chapel and in part in the Cathedral are relics of the Bohemian patron saints: the skulls of St Wenceslas and St Adalbert, the St Wenceslas helm and chainmail shirt supposedly worn by the saint, the sword of St Stephen and the mitre of St Adalbert. There are also replicas of the royal Insignia of the Bohemian Kings from the grave of Rudolph Habsburg, the golden Zavig Cross, with Byzantine enamelwork of the 13th century, an ivory statuette of Our Lady, of French provenance, a Gothic copy of the Roman Madonna Arcacoeli and a Gothic bust of St Ludmilla in silver (all 14th cent.), a Gothic gold coronation cross, inset with antique cameos, a Baroque gilded cross of silver of 1711, containing a Gothic Patriarchal Cross, with relics of Christ's Cross, a Romanesque reliquary of the 12th century, a Gothic jug of natural crystal, with a textile material allegedly from the time of Christ, an onyx goblet from the middle of the 14th century, numerous monstrances, chalices and reliquaries of various shapes, artistically executed. And then a quantity of relics of dubious authenticity, besides curiosities of all kinds, including those from the domain of zoology. Charles IV had a passion for collecting relics and did not hesitate to demand them as gifts wherever he came across them. A number of secular and clerical forgers turned out a wide variety of relics in order to gain his favour. From every journey abroad the Emperor brought additions to his collections, his ambition being to have the largest and best In the whole world. His letter of 1354 is preserved In which he wrote to Archbishop ArnoIt of Pardubice: 'I think you will not find a city in Europe — with the exception of Rome — where the pilgrim will find more relics than in the metropolitan cathedral of St Vitus. A carriage-way and footway lead Into the Third Courtyard, which Is the largest and oldest, being the actual core of the whole Castle complex. In the carriage-way remains are visible of the Romanesque ramparts of the 11th-12th centuries. We come out opposite the entrance to the Cathedral of St Vitus (chrim sv. Vita), the largest ecclesiastical building in Prague. The part of the church beyond the crossing, along with the tall bell tower, is original Gothic of the 14th and 15th centuries. The rest of the edifice, including facade and towers, was added in the style of the original building at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. The building thus took six whole centuries to complete, and today continues to be supplemented by sculptural and other artistic decoration (wroughtiron door, stained-glass windows, etc.). It is reckoned that more than two hundred statues will yet be commissioned for the exterior decoration.

- 17:07 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

13.07.2012., petak

Synagogues and Jewish Cemetery

The latter is among the largest Gothic buildings in Prague and is, today, the oldest preserved synagogue in Europe. It was erected about 1270 and has later additions. It contains a double-alsled hall, with ribvaulting supported on two pillars, into which a portal leads, with delicate ornamental decoration, the oldest surviving portal in Prague. A Gothic iron screen divides the synagogue in two. The Old-New Synagogue was formerly the centre of the Jewish town, which grew up out of a settlement of Jewish traders not far from the banks of the Vltava, in the earliest period of urban settlement. Although the Jewish population suffered numerous pogroms, it numbered at the beginning of the 18th century about a quarter of the total inhabitants of Prague. The community lived, however, within the confines of the small area enclosed by the Ghetto in this part of the town which, picturesque, but unhygienic, disappeared in the slum-clearance plans of a large-scale scheme of urban renovation at the end of the 19th century. And yet Prague possesses the greatest concentration of historical Jewish remains in Europe. The Nazis, who in great part carried out their plan of liquidating the Jews in Europe and destroying everything Jewish, thought to found in Prague a kind of school of anti-Semitism and so left here intact not only the whole former Ghetto area, but gathered together, in several synagogues, remains from other Jewish communities in Bohemia and Moravia. Opposite the Old-New Synagogue, in Cervena ulice, is the High or Town Hall Synagogue (Vysoka synagoga) dating from the 16th century, where the collections of the Jewish State Museum are deposited. Adjoining it is the former Jewish Town Hall, with its characteristic little wooden tower and a clock with Hebrew numbers on the dial. Both buildings, along with others, were erected at the cost of Mordechai Maisel, the richest man in Rudolphinian Prague. The inventory of his property, made at his death, came to what was at that time the fantastic sum of over half a million gulden. Named after Maisel is a street and the Maisel Synagogue in this part of the town, today used as a part of the Jewish Museum, with a remarkable collection of silver articles from the Czech synagogues. Here are exhibited upwards of 500 liturgical vessels, spice jars, chased dishes and drinking vessels, with figure decoration, a small part of the wealth confiscated by the Nazis and deposited in Prague, following the liquidation of 153 Jewish religious communities during World War II. (In the adjacent house is a period-style restaurant, U Golema (At the Golem), which aims to combine the material needs of people in the living present with the Jewish romanticism of the past (you will learn more about the traditional Golem legend below, in connexion with the Old Jewish Cemetery). The greater part of the collections of the Jewish Museum, its topographical department and objects documenting Jewish religious customs, are concentrated in the street, U stareho hfbitova (By the Old Cemetery), in the house formerly belonging to the Burial Club, and in the former Klaus Synagogue (Klausova synag6ga), built in 1680. Thus in the synagogues in which there is no one left to pray are endless rows of little silver hands, with which the place in the torah was pointed out, hundreds of men, susah, which were nailed to the door of dwelling houses, wishing peace to the departing one, whole batteries of eight-branch candlesticks, lit on the Feast of Chanuk, hundreds of thousands of prayer books, as well as rare first editions printed in the first Prague Jewish printing works of Horowitz. There is no museum in the world that has more than a dozen or so of torah curtains. In the Prague museum-synagogues there are 2,800, besides whole kilometres of brocades, embroideries and plain linen. From the street, U stareho hibitova, is the entrance to one of the historically most interesting Jewish cemeteries (2idovski hibitov) in the world, and, after the Nazi destruct, ion of the cemetery in Worms, the oldest Jewish burial ground in Europe. Its core was burial land bought at the beginning of the 15th century. It was extended several times by additional purchases of land, but the area was still too small, so that in certain places burials are superimposed in as many as ten or more layers. Burials ceased here at the end of the 18th century. If we leave out of account the Gothic tombstones from the 14th century, transferred from the old cemetery which was given up about 1350, the oldest tombstone is that marking the grave of the poet, Abigdor Karo, buried here in 1439. Over 12,000 tombstones are scattered among gnarled old trees, a sea of stone slabs, standing at all angles and sunk, some more, some less, by the subsidence of the soil, while others still form orderly rows — slabs roughly chiselled or inscribed, of crumbling sandstone, dark with tge, or of rose-coloured marble, with epitaphs In elegant cript, the stone archives of long-past generations, still docunenting the difference between rich and poor. But all are sin kng irrevocably, at the rate of ten centimetres in a century, to oin the dust of those whose graves they marked. And although the Talmud forbids the making of images, on many ombstones is carved the likeness of a young girl or of a child, ymbols of the trades and, on the gravestone of Rabbi Spira imself, his portrait! The scholars and experts are at a loss or an explanation. Was Prague Jewry overtaken by a wave f heresy? It is a fact that Jewish sectarians fled to Prague ringing with them views unauthorized by the Talmud; are were gathered the cabalists, here lived Loebel Pressnitz, ho painted the sign of God on his breast and smeared it ith phosphorescent matter, causing a panic of terror when I bared his breast in the dark twilight of the temple. Or as it the work of artisans, accustomed to carve rudely In one the emblems of a rose, a tulip or a heart, who tried eir skill on the monuments for the Jewish cemetery? Or i the Prague Jews just follow the fashions in the Christian meteries in their surroundings? In 1564, beside the wall of the Old Cemetery, the Jewish rnmunity erected a high school of Talmudistic studies, ospital and a synagogue, all under one roof. In 1573 a certain luda Low, son of Bezalal, son of Khaim, achieved such eputation for learning and wisdom that with his person associated the legend of the Golem robot, which he is said have created out of clay.

- 00:13 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

14.04.2012., subota

Prague Town Hall

The secular dominant of the Old Town Square is the slim, almost 70 meter high tower of the Town Hall (radnice), which is open to the public and from which there is a splendid view of Prague, its Old Town hip-tile roofs and the other Prague towers. It is part of the complex of town-hall buildings, which the Prague Town Councillors successively purchased. Permission for the erection of a town hall was granted by Jan of Luxemburg, on condition that they should finance the work from the duty on wine. Plenty of wine must have been drunk in those days in Prague, for in 1338, in the same year as they gained the Royal consent, the City Fathers installed town council chambers in the house which they purchased adjoining the present tower. Still in the 14th century several more houses were incorporated. The tower was erected about 1380, but not till about the beginning of the 15th century did it receive the adornment of the famous Orloj. The horologe was overhauled and reconstructed by the Utraquist Professor in the Charles University, Hanug of Rae. The Orloj was, for its time, a very complicated mechanism and not seldom broke down, whence arose the romantic legend according to which its maker intentionally put it out of gear when the Councillors had him blinded, so that no other town might pride itself on such a technical wonder. The Orloj on the Town Hall Tower is made up of two parts: the upper part shows the apparent movements of the Sun and Moon and the time of day; the calendar plaque below shows the days of the week and the months of the year. On this plaque are painted the twelve Signs of the Zodiac, and medallions of the months, with scenes from country life, by Josef Manes (1865). The present calendar plaque is a copy; the original Manes paintings are in the Prague Municipal Museum.
Above the Orloj, two windows open as the clock strikes the hour, at which statuettes of the Apostles and of Christ appear in succession; there is also a figure of Death the Reaper, who tolls the passing of time, and figures of a Turk, a miser and a crazy prodigal. The Orloj always attracts its crowd of spectators, even though it was constructed long before Columbus set out on his voyege of discovery to America. Its mechanism may be compared in some measure with the astronomical clock in Hampton Court Palace, which shows more or less the same things but records, in addition, the time of high water at London Bridge. It is, however, by far not so artistically designed and decorated, and is younger by more than a hundred years. The vestibule of the Town Hall is decorated with a mosaic, "Princess Libuše foretells the Glory of Prague" and "Homage to Slavdom", executed after a cartoon by Mikulag Aleg. The Old Town Hall played an important role especially In the Hussite Age, when it was the centre of revolutionary activity and actually put through its demand that the King of Bohemia should be elected within its walls. The election of George of Podebrady is depicted in one of the pair of immense pictures by Brožik hanging in the Session Chamber of the Town Hall. The other Brožik picture alludes to the beginning of the Hussite Movement; the scene it pictures Is the condemnation of John Huss by the Council Of Constance. In the course of the Prague Uprising at the end of the Mond World War the town hall suffered great damage. Nazi bombardment devastated the chamber where George of Podebrady was elected King of Bohemia, and the city archives, Comprising 70,000 volumes, as well as historically priceless manuscripts, were destroyed by tire, which also melted the boll, dating from 1313, the oldest in Bohemia.
Nevertheless what has survived still ranks among Prague's most valuable monuments. As by a miracle, the old Council Hall from the 15th century remained intact, with its timbered roof and the six gilded chains with which the Prague streets of the Old Town were at one time closed at nights. Hung on the walls are the 60 emblems of the old Prague Guilds and in the hall itself is a rare Gothic statue, carved in wood, from 1414, with the Latin inscription, as an injunction to the judges who sat here: "Judge justly, Sons of Man". Forming the entrance to the hall is a lovely Renaissance portal of red marble.

- 13:01 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

11.04.2012., srijeda

Prague Powder Tower - Prašna brana

At the busy crossing opposite Hybernska ulice (Hibernia Street), is the Powder Tower (Prašna brana), erected in 1475, as one of the gates in the Old Town fortifications. The tower is open to the public and, inside, remains are preserved of the original decoration. The tower was restored at the end of last century, when it acquired its present Neo-Gothic appearance. It was used for a time as a magazine for gunpowder, whence its name. The Powder Tower Gateway was also formerly the starting-point of the Royal Road, the route by which the Kings of Bohemia reached Prague Castle, on entering the city. The tower is linked by gallery with the Municipal House (Obecni dum) of Prague, which is architecturally an example of the Secession style of the beginning of our century. The building is decorated above the main entrance with a mosaic, Homage to Prague.
- 20:28 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

<< Arhiva >>

Creative Commons License
Ovaj blog je ustupljen pod Creative Commons licencom Imenovanje-Dijeli pod istim uvjetima.

< listopad, 2012  
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        

Listopad 2012 (1)
Rujan 2012 (2)
Srpanj 2012 (1)
Travanj 2012 (2)

Opis bloga