Sunday, January 29, 2012

Prague, An Introduction.

Prague, An Introduction.

Charles Bridge (Karlův most) and the Prague Castle (Pražký hrad)

Prague: The Mother of Cities, The City of A Thousand Spires, The Golden City.  For over a thousand years, this city on the Vltava has been home to royalty and artists, to the famous and the infamous, to prosperity and peril.  The city is full of monuments to Europe's great and often troubled history.  This city has long been the stomping ground of expatriates and artists who find inspiration in the people and places around them.  In our time here, we have found many things to love. 

Petrin Lookout Tower (Petřínská rozhledna)
  The Petrin Lookout Tower is one of the most famous sites in Prague.  The tower is certainly reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.  This tower sits atop Petrin Hill, a large city park.  While the metal structure of the tower itself is shorter than the Eiffel tower, its placement on the hill means that the top of the tower is actually at a higher altitude than the top of Eiffel tower in Paris.  It is often said that the Czechs wanted to make their own Eiffel tower but did not have the funds to build a taller structure which is why they placed it on the hill.  To be fair, this story certainly cannot be corroborated with any legitimate facts other than the height and location.  While one may take a lift to the top, the cheaper and more exciting journey is 299 stairs to the top.  However, if you are not a thrill-seeker, you might want to avoid going on a windy day.    

Žižkov TV Tower
   While places like the Lookout Tower are beautiful and timeless, we sometimes prefer things a bit more offbeat.  Welcome to our view of Prague.  One of our favorite places is the TV tower in the wonderful neighborhood of Žižkov.  Construction began in 1985, in a style popular in the Soviet bloc at the time.  In 2000, the sculptures of Czech artist David Černý were added to the tower.  His juxtaposition of art and socialist structures is something that we particularly enjoy about this city.  Wonder what those things on the tower are, exactly?

Baby Statue, Kampa Island
  That's right.  They are babies.  Giant babies.  Giant babies without a faces.  And we love them.  There are three of these sculptures on Kampa Island.  As you can see from the bronzing from the hands, legs, and back, these babies are really popular to climb on.  

Statue in the courtyard of the Kafka Museum by David Černý
  Nearby, at the Kafka Museum, there is another popular statue by David Černý,  This statue is of, well, two men urinating into a pool in the shape of the Czech Republic.  Because... why not?  As their members move along with their upper-bodies, these men write out, in water, quotations from famous Czech authors.  

  We hope to spend the rest of our time here blogging about these things we love.  And other things we love.    Expect knitting, crafting, thrifting, self-researched tours, cooking, and all of the other lovely things we find along the way.  

-Amy & Colleen