Sunday, September 15, 2013

Prague in mid-September

Here are some interesting buildings in the area we live. This one is the (Jan) Hus House, home of the Czech Brothers' Evangelical Church (or so the front says -- I'm not sure if it's still the case or not). There's a statue of reformer Jan Hus, to the left a bible, and to the right a lamb.

This extruded artwork I found interesting:

Around the corner from us on a building is a plaque noting the birthplace of Jaroslav Hašek, author of the famous novel The Good Soldier Švejk.

A classic example of standalone panelák apartment building:

The metro bridge leading to Vyšehrad:

A fun fountain in the middle of an intersection:

The relatively new, brick Church of St. Ludmila (Kostel svaté Ludmily) which dominates Náměstí Míru, which means "peace square", but which we also like for its play to our ears on Mira's name:

An outdoor piano for anyone to play! I think we saw one of these before somewhere else in Prague when we were here in the spring.

The kids in "Mira's" metro station:

The kids and I were on a trip to go see the Prague TV tower up close. At the square of Jiřího z Poděbrad is this interesting concrete fountain and a dog enjoying the water:

And there is also the even more interesting Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord (Kostel Nejsvětějšího Srdce Páně) which to me looks vaguely like a ship. To the left in the background is the TV tower that we walked to.

Note the babies climbing up it, which are easier to see in closer photos below:

A strange statue near the base of the tower:

The cornerstone of the tower:

And now the babies at closer range. They were first added as a temporary installation in 2000, then after being removed, people missed them and they were added permanently in 2001:

Right next door is one of Prague's Jewish cemeteries (not the huge one in the Jewish quarter):

We made our way to the Prague Castle across the river, and it was a beautiful clear day to look out over the city and see the TV tower from far away:

Lots of tourists were at the castle and walking around the gardens:

We got to see the changing of the guard again:

And we took another quick tour through the Saint Wenceslas Cathedral (Katedrála svatého Václava) which had some nice color inside with the bright sunlight shining through the stained glass.

Finally, last night Erin and I got to attend an orchestra concert at the Rudolfinum, which opened in 1896 with Antonín Dvořák conducting the orchestra! Our LDS Church branch president, Martin Pilka, had two extra tickets at work and gave them to us! These are photos before the concert started, as photography wasn't allowed during the concert:

We heard the Beijing Syphony Orchestra under conductor Tan Lihua. They performed a symphonic overture "Reba Dance" by contemporary composer Fang Kejie, then Antonín Dvořák's Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Op. 10 and Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 13. Part of the program is online, and I found a recording of the Reba Dance on SoundCloud. Afterward the audience was very enthusiastic and lured them back for an excessive five encores! The auditorium, seating, and acoustics were excellent, and the orchestra was very good. It's such a nice treat to be able to walk less than half an hour from our apartment to a concert at the Rudolfinum.

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