Castles and Chateaux

In early December we saw the ad for this Prague Castle exhibition:  “This spectacular exhibition is the first time that the most valuable treasures from the Czech castles and country houses have been gathered in one place and at one time.”  We were sold, yet with one thing and another we did not make it there until this week.

Don’t you procrastinate!  This exhibit ends 15 March; it would be a shame to miss it. However the Prague Castle Riding School, a magnificent building in its own right, does have regular, high quality shows.  So if you are coming to Prague later check out both the Prague Castle site and the National Heritage Institute site.  Actually you need to be on constant watch for posters because there is no one place for all cultural events.

Since this exhibition was drawn from all regions of the Czech Republic it had more than the usual amount of variety.  Below is small sample of items that were of particular interest to me.  All photos by Karin–click to enlarge.

model of castle at Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov

Well cover from Jindrichuv Hradec

Well cover from Jindrichuv Hradec

armoured knight and horse

Czech Crown Replica

Czech Crown Replica

Wenceslas Reliquary Bust

Wenceslas Reliquary Bust

Czech Renaissance Dining

Renaissance Dining

Inlaid cabinet

Inlaid cabinet

Inlaid Detail

Inlaid Detail

Westphalia Peace Pen

Westphalia Pen

Westphalia Peace

Five In One Day

Yesterday we felt like tourists with limited time to see so many sites before moving on again.  Over the past few weeks we have been frustrated because there have been several events and concerts we missed due to not knowing about them in time to get tickets.  So we have been busy researching upcoming possibilities.  Suddenly an available concert popped up on a day we already had other plans so . . .

We set out for a light lunch at Galerie Le Court.  Karin had gone here last week with a friend and wanted to show it to me.  Very cosy atmosphere in both courtyard and inner room; very interesting art on display–erotic nature perhaps more suitable for evening then noon; good food and deserts; but poor service due to only one person doing everything for too many customers.courtyard cafe pragueGalerie Le Court, Prague



Then on to exhibition due to end this month called Faces of Courageous.  It is first time display of newly discovered photographs of WW II parachutists who assassinated Nazi leader, Reinhard Heydrich, and other sabotage behind enemy lines. This was a major local event in WWII which we have followed.  I assume some of these photos will go on permanent display at their museum on the subject in the crypt of Ss. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral (which is Orthodox by the way).

This exhibition was in a wing of the Prague Castle that we had never been in before and the entrance was off a part of the gardens we had not seen before.

Rampart Gardens at Prague Castle

We got back home about 5 P.M. for a rest and early dinner before walking to the Baptist Church on Vinohradska that we had walked by a gazillion times but never been in before. The facade looks like an apartment house with a decorated door; which it is. The actual church is situated in the interior courtyard of the block.  A pleasant setting for a wonderful string orchestra concert that cost only $5 admission for the two of us. The music and the price must have appealed to pensioners; there was nearly a full house of several hundred people and, not counting the orchestra, maybe 10 people under 60 years old.

Beer Geek, PragueFor the fifth event of the day we stopped nearby for a drink at the newly opened Beer Geek pub.  We and maybe two others were the only patrons over 30 in the mostly full, modern space with flat screen menu of 30 beers on tap.  I had one that I thought tasted like barbecue and heard described as bacon tasting.  Karin had an Indian Pale Ale and decided she should stick to lagers.  I look forward to trying their array of stouts.  This too was in a spot we had never been in.  When we lived in the same block the space was occupied by an all night bar.  At the time I was amazed that we shared the same courtyard but never heard any late night noise.

So the moral of this story is whether you come to Prague for a day or for a year, it is easy to keep busy.

Photos by Karin except for last from Beer Geek Facebook

Karlstejn Castle: Medieval Protection

Prague owes so much to the strength and wealth of Charles IV, King of Bohemia, that we forget he ruled through-out central Europe for many years as Holy Roman Emperor.  He built Karlstejn (Karlstein) to protect both the crown jewels of the empire and his collection of holy relics.  This castle, only 30 km from Prague, managed to survive the many wars since and has had three major reconstructions.  So it is in remarkable good shape and well tells the story of Charles the Fourth.

No one tells the story of our visit better than star photo-journalist, Karin.  Click below to see her Picasa Album.

Karlstejn Castle

Living on a Golf Course

Golf Swing technique mini-golf

Note the swing technique and leery bystanders.

Whew, I’m tired.  I just finished an 18 hole round of golf.  Being mini-golf it did not involve much walking but it did take me a lot of strokes.  The course rules are only in Czech so Karin and I made up our own as we went along.  We each maxed out one hole at 12 strokes yet we also had a few pars at 2 strokes.  We did not score the 18th hole because the players behind us were waiting.

Golf Grip choke

A choke grip for finesse’

Karin is very familiar with the last hole because every missed shot makes a distinctive thonk! sound.  Her desk sits in front of a window that she usually keeps open so her afternoon is frequently punctuated with thonks!  So there are pros and cons to living in an apartment over-looking a mini-golf course.

18th Hole Prague

Infamous 18th Hole

When construction was first started last autumn we worried about noise but that proved groundless.  Other denizens of the park make far more noise through the night and early morning.  We did enjoy watching the step by step progress as the course took shape through the winter.  It was completed while we were away this summer.

Karin at the golf course Prague

Our apt. building in the background matches the course color scheme.

The green fees are 140 Kc ($7) for adults and reduced fees for seniors, children and families.  Each hole has a shelf for resting your sustaining refreshment as you battle your way through the many tricky shots.

As a footnote for real golfers:  Prague and the Czech Republic have many fine golf courses with relatively low-cost green fees and un-crowded conditions.

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