Jewish Quarter and Mucha
We started today off with seeing Charle’s Bridge. It was pretty neat with all of the statues and the really old tower in front. Unfortunately we didn’t walk all the way across, but I think we got the point. We then went to the Jewish Quarter and visited many synagogues; some more interesting than others. In the Pinkas Synagogue, there was a display of names of all those killed in the Holocaust that were from Czechoslovakia. It reminded me of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington DC in some ways. Aside from that though, the architecture (vaults and stained glass windows) was really amazing. Outside of this synagogue, there was a cemetery from the 1400s. It was very eery because of the way that they had stacked graves and the way that the earth had settled the tombstones were jagged and rough, giving the site a unmistakably memorable look and feel. There were also little notes with prayers written on them and coins and little rocks on top of the tombs to symbolize luck or something (I can’t remember a lot of things…sorry). After this we visited the other synagogues, among which the Spanish Synagogue was my favorite because of its Eastern influences.
We then made our way to the Old Town Square and waited to watch the astronomical clock strike at the hour. I took a video, but upon uploading it, I forgot it was on my memory card and since it didn’t upload with the rest of my photos, I accidentally deleted it. So mad. But on our way through the town we saw the Tyn Church, the Powder Tower, and the Municipal house by Mucha (which they happened to be doing construction on over the coolest part!). We also went to the Mucha Museum. Until this trip, I didn’t really know who he was, but he is by far one of my favorite artists. I love his graphic representation and his use of color and bold gestures. It was so amazing to see these enormous drawings in person. Unfortunately we also didn’t get to see his famous “Slav Epic” because it was in a different museum that we didn’t have time to see. We wanted to see the UniCredit Bank in town, but unfortunately it was closed – completely shut down. This bank was supposed to be one of the first places that Art Nouveau began and was supposed to be a beautiful example of the style. Luckily, the entire city of Prague oozed with Art Nouveau, almost every building had some form of decorative touch.
We began the conclusion of our trip by having lunch/dinner at the “Rope-maker’s Wife” which was a Czech pub. I had a roast pig with mustard and horse-radish sauce, a Czech pancake thing, potato soup, and a HUGE Pilsner beer (which I wasn’t even close to finishing). I was so full I didn’t eat for the rest of the day. We then made our way up Wenceslas Square while the sun set, casting beautiful colors all over the city. It was breathtaking. And like I was saying how the city oozed Art Nouveau, even the train station was beautifully designed. And after picking up our luggage, we strolled around looking for Mucha postcards and gloves. I pretty much raided the Mucha postcard section and probably spent way too much money on postcards, but I just couldn’t help myself! I had this new obsession with Mucha and I figured that I could frame them and use them someday as awesome artwork!
PLP Break Day 4 – Prague, a set on Flickr.