Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Castles and Cubism in Prague

By Claire
After seeing the Cubist House of the Black Madonna yesterday, I decided I really wanted to go back and see the museum and eat in the Grand Café Orient. Chuck was game so we took off this morning bundled appropriately for the 10° drop in temperature. I am so glad I brought my folding ear muffs, scarf and gloves. What a difference a day makes.

I know nothing about Cubism so if you're interested, click on the link. This is direct from Wikipedia:

Analytical Cubism is one of the two major branches of the artistic movement of Cubism and was developed between 1908 and 1912. Synthetic Cubism was the second main movement within Cubism that was developed by Picasso, Braque, Juan Gris and others between 1912 and 1919.

Prague became the city of cubism with cubist apartment blocks full of cubist flats furnished with cubist furniture. The inhabitants could drink coffee from cubist cups, put flowers in cubist vases, keep the time on cubist clocks, light their rooms with cubist lamps and read books in cubist type. (Miroslav Lamac, art historian)

I knew I saw Picasso in some of the art work displayed. Even more, it seemed to me I could see how Cubism evolved into Art Deco. I loved it, but wouldn't want a house full of it. In fact, I also found it hilarious.

Museum stairway

We adjourned to the upstairs Café, fittingly decorated with a Cubist flair. Lunch was just so-so and we didn't linger. We walked to the Old Town Square to meet up with our Castle Tour, led by Huw again. This time it was 250 crowns or €9.84 each and worth every cent.

Let me just say that it is impossible to capture what this city has to offer. The variety and number of architectural wonders is so vast that, well, you'll just have to come to Prague to see it for yourself. Our tour lasted over 4 hours and included a beer break at the Strahov Monastery brewery and beer hall. I'm including a few, well maybe more than a few, photos of our journey today.

Douglas from Brazil, Brady from North Dakota and Luke from Colorado. Brady and Luke are exchange students in Ireland.

The Czechs claim that this hilltop TV Tower not only looks like the Eiffel Tower, but is taller, if measured from sea level.

St. Vitas Cathedral

St. Vitas Cathedral--started in 1344, construction was stalled by wars and plagues. It was finally finished in 1929. These are two of four guys in suits responsible for the completion.

Inside St. Vitas, with the light coming through the stained glass, reflecting a rosy glow on the columns.

What a unique building, with a gold crown, overlooking the Charles Bridge.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. ~ Marcel Proust


Diane said...

Prague is definitely on our list now. David will be in hog heaven with the architecture. Love the photo of the two of you and it makes me miss you so much! love, Diane

Karin said...

I am reliving Prague through you! I loved the photo of "Prague's Eiffle Tower" on Petrin Hill and especially seeing the trees leafed out! What a contrast to our snowy adventures! We also had a delicious soup when at the Strohav Monastery....and great beer! I bet you had fun in your group....while drinking! When I go back again, I am going to do a "tour" because I have the feeling you get more of the stories that go with the buildings...I knew that St. Vitus Church was finally finished in the 1900's but did not remember seeing the men you showed. I love your pictures and your enthusiasm!

And yes, you hit it straight on the is impossible to see Prague and all it's architecture (and hidden spots) in even 3 months!

Since Prague was not bombed (only a little) in WWII I guess that is one reason it still has so many "layers" of architecture as compared to Dresden or Berlin.

I thought about you all day yesterday ......and will continue to do so today. Enjoy!

Karin on Paros