Architecture, Discover Czech Republic

Kutna Hora Encore

I couldn’t resist and took more pictures and even made a video of Kutna Hora on a Saturday two weeks ago. It was an evening when my husband Vratislav organized open-air Nabucco at Kutna Hora Art gallery courtyard. A great excuse to come to Kutna Hora in the morning and take more pictures of all hidden corners and little cafes in tiny lanes. I stopped by at the Glass Dependence of Borek Sipek. If you are into design glass, you cannot miss this shop. Look at some of Sipek’s glass at this e-shop. The store manager is a very nice man, we chatted for a while and I walked around the store and admired shapes and colors of beautiful vases and bowls and…. I discovered you can even have a cup of coffee in the back of the store.

Of course, I stopped by at the Felix Jenewein bookstore, hard to walk by without checking in. A short break in Blues Cafe with a saint statue above my head overlooking the tiny square and back to the St. Barbora Cathedral. Walking towards the cathedral looking at Saint John, Saint. Barbora, Saint Florian, Ignac of Loyola, ….. Yes, the statues may not be of the same art quality as the ones at the Prague Charles Bridge but anyway, imagine a man from Kutna Hora who created all of them over thirteen years, by himself. Impressive.

After sitting quietly inside St. Barbora cathedral admiring the private chapels and the ceiling (don’t forget to look up, pure beauty), I am ready to have a bite to eat. U Hrncire restaurant has great food and terrace. Although, I am almost ready to offer help to the waiter who clearly struggles with orders overload. I managed to get my soup and salad and continue to St. Jacob church and the breath-taking view next to the church. The Rudhardska street is a romantic medieval street with slightly morbid story about a young girl immured in one of the cellars here. A bit radical for my taste.

Walking down the Rudhardska street, I reach the Italian courtyard. I am sitting here, looking around and think about the time when this place used to be the “National Bank of the Czech Kingdom.” Kutna Hora, once city of wealth, silver and coin production. Today, a beautiful one day escape from Prague. It is time to head back to the Art Gallery to enjoy “Va pensiero” and Nabucco.

Finally, I will ask you to excuse my English and my video making skills but I love it, I can’t help myself. And here is my previous post on Kutna Hora.

Architecture, Art, Prague hidden gems

Kampa Museum Prague

You may not notice this place when exploring Kampa island and its romantic corners. When coming from Charles Bridge, head accross the park and keep on the left side. You will soon see the giant babies, an art work by famous and according to some controverrsial artist, David Cerny. You are almost there – the Kampa Museum, a former mill owned by Sova family in 15th century – thus the original name, Sova Mill or Sovovy mlyny in Czech.

The building was rescued by a Czech-American art collector, Mrs. Meda Mladek who supported Czech artists during the comunism era together with her husband, Jan V. Mladek, one of the top officers of the International Monetary Fund after WWII. Meda Mladek returned to then Czechoslovakia after 1989 and turned the mill building into a muzeum and art gallery featuring an exquisite art collection of Frantisek Kupka, a co-founder of abstract art and cubism. The gallery belongs to leading Central European art centers regularly hosting avant-gard exhibitions attracting visitors and modern art enthusiasts from all over the world.

The place is magic, romantic, offering beautiful sights of Prague. Enjoy coffee or glass of wine in the Museum cafe, definitely visit the Museum shop and do not forget to stop by at the Praying Monk statue – Mr. Harmony.

Get the feel with a Prague Travel Concierge Kampa Video.

 

Architecture, Prague hidden gems

Moises Sculpture in Prague

Look for the small park in front of Old-New Synagogue, you will find a beautiful sculpture of Moises, work of a Czech symbolist and Art Nouveau sculptor, Frantisek Bilek. The bronze sculpture shows Moises on his knees, writing the name of “Adam”.  The sculpture was placed in the park near the Synagogue in 1937 (although Bilek completed it in 1905). The German Nazzis removed the sculpture and melted it 1940. Fortunately, the widow of Frantisek Bilek kept the plaster model so the bronz cast of Moses was re-done and it was placed in the park again after World War II in 1946.

Architecture, Cafes and Restaurants in Prague

Hidden Baroque Garden Café Prague

24100_06You may not notice this house as you walk by. Nestled in between two higher buildings, a baroque house in the middle of a bustling Vodickova street No. 35. You will find it just few steps from Wenceslas square.  It was built by Kilián Ignác Dientzenhofer approximately in 1720. The man who built such treasures as St. John Nepomuk at Prague Castle, St. Nicholas Church at the Old Town Square or the impressive Brevnov Monastery in Prague to name just a few.

When you enter the house you will find a home décor shop with a café. Nice and cozy but the real hidden gem is the baroque garden at the end of a long passage through the house. Quite unexpected place in the very center of Prague. Even some Praguers  have no idea it exists. By the way, František Maria Černý, the architect who rebuilt the Emauzy Monastery after 1945 bombing of Prague lived in this house as well as Max Urban, the man who designed Barrandov Terrace  Restaurant for Havel family. When leaving café, look at the house next door. It is Langhans, newly reconstructed building, home of a prestigious Prague photo atelier since 1880 (of course except 1948 – 1989 when the communists “were taking care” of the house).

 

 

Architecture, Prague hidden gems

Ungelt in Prague Old Town

obrázek 4 (17) Look for Tynská, Stupartska and Mala Stupartska streets. Look carefully as there is no sign UNGELT. This courtyard is just off the Old Town Square behind the Tyn Church. It is one of the  most important historical sites in Prague, a block of buildings, probably built in the 11th century, was originally a fortified merchants’ yard, where customs duties – ungelt – were collected.  The most important building here is the Granovský Palace with its arcaded loggia, one of Prague’s best preserved Renaissance treasures with beautiful sgraffito. Little street cafes in summer  or mulled wine in winter. There is an interesting collection of modern art in the street, Botanicus shop with organic herbal cosmetics and a beautiful Czech hand made glass design shop MATERIAL, you should stop by it is worth a visit.

 

 

 

 

 

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Material Glass Shop, Prague

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Architecture, Discover Czech Republic

Cubist Passage Adria in Prague

adria venkuThe rondo-cubist palace Adria with art deco passage is a must-see-place if you are an architectural enthusiast or maybe even if you are not. It was built for Italian insurance company, Riunione Adriatica di Sicurta during 1923–1924 at the corner of Národní Avenue and Jungmannova Street. Riunione wanted to create a building evoking North-Italian renaissance palaces.  The internal passage is decorated with number of statues by Czech artists, including Jan Štursa and Bohumil Kafka. Look for 24-hour clock surrounded by bronze statues representing the signs of the zodiac, in the open foyer. Cafe Adria on the first floor is worth a visit in summer when you can enjoy the view on the bustling crossroad of 28. října street (28 November), Národní Avenue and Jungmannovo square from the summer terrace . The menu of the Cafe deserves some improvements. The building was home of Film Club, a popular meeting place of Czech movie stars during First Republic (1918 – 1938).   In 1989 Adria was home of Obcanske forum (Civic forum) and Vaclav Havel in the beginning of the Velvet Revolution in November 1989. By the way, if you need a shoe repair, there is a shop nestled next to the entrance to Cafe Adria – quite a surprising at this location.

 

Architecture

Malostransky Cemetery in Prague


One of the most beautiful cemeteries in Prague, a Malostransky cemetery located at the Plzeňská Avenue at Smichov.  It is kind of a Prague version of  Paris’ Pere lachaise in addition to Slavin cemetery at Vysehrad. Established in 1680 as a plague cemetery and closed in 1884. It is truly an open-air gallery, a magic place full of old funeral sculptures. Among the tombstone authors, there are names of Czech artists of 19th century such as František Xaver Lederer, Vaclav Prachner, Josef Malínský, Jan Ludvík Kranner or Josef and Emanuel Max. In addition, F.X.Dusek and Josefina Dusek, the hosts of W.A. Mozart in Prague (Mozart wrote a concert aria Bella mia fiamma, addio for Josefina Dusek) are buried here as well as Kryštof and Kilian Ignac Dienzenhofer, authors of many Prague barock  churches and buildings. The cemetery is closed for public, but private guided tours can be arranged.