25.03.2008 - 29.03.2008 18 °C
On a tour we saw the old Jewish cemetrty and walked passed some synagogues. The old town hall is a beautiful old building with a clock that no one really knows how to read and the old town square is gorgeous with great markets everyday, and kids concerts at night. The "Our Lady of Tyn" is a gothic church but since its building, there have been buildings built in front of it...so all you can really see is the two towers- one of which was destroyed and rebuilt with slightly narrower dimentions than the other...some think they were trying to depict Adam and Eve...Adam being bigger and more protective of Eve, the narrower tower and others think that the Czech cant measure.
Charles Bridge crosses the Vltata River- commissioned by Charles IV in 1357, he was a huge advocated for renaissance and science.
Wenceslas square was a place where many protests have taken place and student Jan Palach burned himself to death in 1969 to protest against the soviet invastion. This was also the focal point for the Velvet revolution, so called becasue the protests went so smoothly, with essentially no violence. In 1989, Alexander Dubcek announced the end of Czeckoslovakia communism...but today I think the square has been ruined with Mc Donalds, cabaret performances, beggars, pickpockets, taxis that rip you off, chain cafes...alll things capitalist.
David Cerny is famous for his strange and wacky sculptures...like "good King Wenceslas" mounted on a dead upsidedown horse- apparently how he "sees" Prague...I guess this can be interpreted in many ways.
I really enjoyed the Cubism museum. Cubism is an art form that uses shapes- particularly with sharp edges. Most were paintings of faces, bodies or still life. If they were painted normally, they were very simple...but mostly the images were quite enigmatic. The shapes can be flat, or with shaddow and depth and size and propotion of the object did not really matter. The Czecks are the only ones to have applied this to architecture and furniture and I found the museum building quite facinating...with mirrors and wallpeper with black and white areas making it almost confusing.
On my second full day in Prague I went to the castel- a massive series of museums, palaces and art galleries surrounding the great gothic St Vitus Cathedral, begun in 1934 and finished in 1929. The perimeter of the cathedral consistes of a series of chapels, the most outstanding of these being dedicated to Wenceslas...famous golden doors from the outside lead to this chapel. The old royal palace, St georges Basillica were other buildings of fame and most famous is the Golden Lane...full of tiny houses (now shops). In one building in this lane, you can go upstairs into a huge hallway to see hundreds of medievil amour and helmets with all kinds of crazy decorations. The torture chamber of the Prague castel had a famous prisoner called Maree Katrina (my middle name is Maree)...but I couldnt understand the story.
A black light theater production of Cats was also interesting, but really mostly for kids!! But they used fluoro gloves and elastics to make the cats and the scenery and it was very cleaverly done.
That was my experience of Prague...I would have liked just one more night there, but obviously I felt ridiculously uncomfortable after the first night, so now Im in Munich and I feel so much safer...tell you about BEAUTIFUL Munich soon...