Posts Tagged ‘Praga’

Church of the Infant Jesus

April 14, 2016
font

font in the Church of the Infant Jesus

cloak worn by the Infant Jesus

cloak worn by the Infant Jesus

Strictly speaking  Carmelite Church of Our Lady Victorious in Malá Strana but commonly known as Church of the Infant Jesus for the little infant Jesus wearing a cloak.

The infant Jesus is 16th century. Legend has it that the statue once belonged to Saint Teresa of Avila.

Up a spiral stone staircase, a museum of various cloaks.

When I visited, I was struck by a girl in her twenties, her face was lit up with joy as she looked at the statue.

I caught up with her as she left. She told me she was a student in Prague.

When Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho was unknown, he had yet to write, he travelled Europe. He asked the Infant Jesus to help make his dream come true to become a writer. He noticed the Infant Jesus was wearing a shabby cloak. He promised, that if he became a writer, he would return with a cloak.

Paulo Coelho marks St Joseph’s day with his friends. This year it was at Lobkowicz Palace in Prague  Castle. During the morning he visited the church and presented the Infant Jesus with a  new cloak.

The Infant Jesus is credited with miracles. Hence the pilgrims.

I was appalled at the disrespect shown by the hordes of visitors to the church.  Two women having a very noisy conversation on the stairs leading up to the museum, the noise echoing up and down the staircase. Two women walking down the aisle having a loud conversation. Then bang, crash, a tourist group erupted through the doors, their tour guide, Italian, laughing and shouting. I wish I gone after her and took a picture of her as she left, as she was unfit to be a tour guide. Then it got worse and worse.

I walked out in disgust.

Why do they not bar tour groups?

A shop near the church entrance, but closed when I left.

Across the road, shops selling tourist tat, images, replicas of the Infant Jesus.

Old Clocks

April 13, 2016
Old Clocks

Old Clocks

Sunday, three weeks and three days ago, I walked a different way to Old Town Square.

The route I took, lacked the shops selling tourist tat and lacked the tourists.

An interesting shop, Old Clocks, and as the name implies, sold old clocks, plus watches, jewellery and musical instruments.

A helpful man, though not the owner.

Cafe-Cafe

April 12, 2016
Cafe-Cafe

Cafe-Cafe

If you wish to see pretentious fools and their money easily parted, then Cafe-Cafe is the place to be.

Stopped as you walk in, then escorted to a table.

Smoking or No Smoking?

Does smoke observe this distinction?  Of course not.

Disgusting that smoking is even permitted.

This is where you go to be seen. One of the most expensive coffee bars in Prague.

And the coffee?

Top quality coffee beans,  sourced from local coffee roasters who source direct from the coffee estates, top of the range espresso machine, skilled baristas?

No.

Coffee in capsules, a Nespresso machine.

They have got to be joking!

I walked out.

If you want a decent coffee, delicious cakes too, then cross the road to Mama’s Baking.

Of if you wish to take a walk, then head through the Old Town Square,  cross Charles Bridge, wend your way to the Kafka Museum, where you will happen upon Bakeshop little bakery.

Obecní dům

April 11, 2016
Municipal House

Municipal House

Municipal House or Obecní dům is a stunning Art Nouveau concert venue.

Construction started in 1905. It opened in 1912.  It was  constructed on the site of the former Royal Court Palace.

As you walk in through the double doors, there is a restaurant or cafe to either side.

Stairs lead downstairs, where can be found a bar and a restaurant which appears to run the length of the building.

Municipal House houses the Smetana Concert Hall. which is home to ….

When I looked in three weeks ago on Sunday, was giving a concert that evening wirth half a dozen outside broadcast TV trucks outside.

Also within the building is a museum of glass.

Municipal House stands next to Powder Gate, one of the original entrances to Prague Old Town.

Try the virtual tour.

Fête de Saint Joseph de Paulo Coelho du 19 mars 2016 à Prague ( @paulocoelho )

April 3, 2016

Concert in St Martin in the Wall

April 2, 2016
Old Prague Music Ensemble string quartet in St Martin in the Wall

Old Prague Music Ensemble string quartet in St Martin in the Wall

St Martin in the Wall is a church that is usually closed. The concert one of the rare occasions when open.

Charles Bridge Museum Café

April 2, 2016
Charles Bridge Museum Café

Charles Bridge Museum Café

cappuccino

cappuccino

cake

cake

A lovely little coffee shop within the museum on the Prague Old Town side of Charles Bridge.

Cappuccino was passable, but served in a cold mug. Cake was fine. Ambience fine.

But 20 crown to use the toilet. That is around a euro. A blatant rip-off.

I bent the ear of the guy serving the coffee, as did several girls who also wished to use the toilet.

He said it was not his fault, which is fair comment, and to his credit, he knocked 20 crown off my bill.

On my way out, I thought I would inquire how much to visit the museum. After about five minutes wait, I gave up.

I saw one of the sailors touting boat trips and asked him.

He said inquire. I said I tried, and there was no information anywhere. He said he thought 175 crowns, but recommended go on a boat trip for I think he said 275 crowns and the museum was free.

Sadly the charge to use the toilet, being ignored when inquiring of entrance fee to the museum, is all too typical of poor service and rip-off tourist mentality that is all too prevalent in Prague.

Technoshock

April 1, 2016
Technoshock

Technoshock

I found Technoshock, a string quartet, playing on Charles Bridge in Prague.

They were good, but let down by a poor choice of repertoire.

We had a chat and I suggested they placed their music on bandcamp.

Technoshock albums

Technoshock albums

I picked up all three of their CDs.

Buying CDs off the street is always something of a risk. Sadly I found their CDs to be something of a disappointment.

Charles Bridge

March 30, 2016
Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Construction of Charles Bridge (Karlův most) started in 1357, so named because built in the reign of Charles IV, connects Prague Old Town to Prague Castle. It was completed in 1402.

Either side of the bridge is lined by saints.

Either end of the bridge are Bridge Towers.

On the bridge people touting their wares, musicians.

Bridge Band and Electroshock are very good.  Their CDs a must to buy. Or so I thought. Buying CDs off the street always a risk. On later listening, I sadly found something of a disappointment.

Bridge Band were selling CDs like hot cakes. But then they were good.

Electroshock need to improve their repertoire.

Charles Bridge early hours of the morning

Charles Bridge early hours of the morning

During the day, the bridge is very crowded.  Early hours of the morning the bridge is deserted.

The bridge is pedestrianised.

Old photos of Charles Bridge show trams running across the bridge.

One of the best views of the bridge is at night from the downstream bridge, with stunning views of Charles Bridge and Prague Castle.

St Nicholas Church

March 28, 2016
St Nicholas Church

St Nicholas Church

A fine example of a Baroque church that dominates one corner of the Old Town Square in Old Prague.

St Nicholas Church was completed in 1735, and replaced a parish church mentioned in records dating back to 1273. Its construction was by the Jesuits, designed by Giovanni Domenico Orsi.

A Gothic parish church consecrated by Prague Bishop Tobiáš in 1283 stood at the site until 1743.  Construction lasted approximately one hundred years, and three generations of Baroque architects – father, son and son-in-law – worked on the church: Kryštof Dientzenhofer, Kilián Ignác Dientzenhofer and Anselmo Lurago.

The Baroque organ has over 4,000 pipes up to six metres in length and was played by Mozart in 1787. His Mass in C was first performed in the Church of Saint Nicholas shortly after his visit. Jesuit Thomas Schwarz built the small and main organs as well as many others in Bohemia. Built in 1745-47, the main organ has over 4,000 pipes up to six metres in length.

St Nicholas Church hosts many excellent concerts.  I regrettably attended not one.

This would be an excellent venue for The Sixteen, performing music of the period, especially if using the original manuscripts held in The Lobkowicz Collection in The Lobkowicz Palace.