Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Elegant Elbe: Prague 3c Old Jewish Cemetery (5/22/2018)

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 (continued)
Finally we entered the Old Jewish Cemetery/Starý židovský hřbitov, and were put on a path through about the middle third of the area. Thus I was thwarted from finding all the significant gravestones, never mind having to follow the itinerary backwards! Founded in 1478, this was once the only burial ground permitted to Prague Jews. They were buried up to 12 layers deep and so the ground is mounded. There are over 12,000 gravestones, and nature is taking over.
Remains of an alms box and gravestone in the wall
This is a replica of the oldest grave marker in the
Old Jewish Cemetery, of Rabbi Avigdor Kara,
a Kabbalist who died in 1439
Old Jewish Cemetery (KSS)
The last to be buried in the Old Jewish Cemetery
was Moses Lipman Beck in 1787
Gothic gravestones in a wall (KSS)
Gothic gravestone fragments from the mid-14C
brought from an older cemetery (KSS)
Many gravestones had pictorial depictions of
family names or occupations; a rooster? (KSS)
The oldest tumba/tent grave marker belongs to Mordecai Maisel (KSS)
The area of the grape cluster family
The tumba of Rabbi Judah Löw ben Bezalel,
the most famous and the most covered with pebbles
Another tumba of Solomon Ephraim Luntschitz, appointed
Rabbi of Prague in 1604
Old Jewish Cemetery
The rest of the cemetery!
Peter & Beth wanted to head to the river, so I was willing to let them go on ahead while I took photos of the Rudolfinum and nearby statues. But then they decided to head back to the hotel, and hopefully they would get to the Charles Bridge sometime today.
Rudolfinum (1876-1884, designed by Josef Zítek and Josef Schulz),
an example of Czech Neo-Renaissance style; was named
  in honor of Crown Prince Rudolph of Habsburg
Briefly after WWII the Rudolfinum was the seat of the Czechslovak parliament, now it is home to the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, with several concert halls and the sumptuous Dvořák Hall.
We could not get into Dvořák Hall,
and had to settle for the lobby
Statue of Antonín Dvořák (2000) stands in front
of the Rudofinum where in 1896 he conducted the
first concert of the Czech Philharmonic
Antonín Dvořák, perhaps the best known Czech composer, spent part of his career in the United States, as the director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York City from 1892-1895. As he had incorporated Moravian and Bohemian folk music rhythms in his own works, he believed that through African-American and Native American music, Americans could develop their own national style of music.
Statue of Czech painter Josef Mánes (1930,
by Bohumil Kafka) (KSS)
View of the Prague Castle and the Mánes Bridge (1914-1916)
Jan Palach Memorial: The House of the Suicide
 and the House of the Mother of the Suicide/Památník
Jana Palacha: Sousoší Dům syna a Dům matky
(1990, by American John Hejduk)
Remember that Jan Palach burned himself in protest of the Warsaw Pact armies invasion in 1968 that ended the Prague Spring reforms.
Prague City Hall/Magistrát hlavního města Prah
(1911-1912) with Art Nouveau sculptures on the balcony
In the north corner of Prague City Hall is the sculpture
of the Iron Knight ghost condemned to wandering
the Old Town after murdering his fiancée (KSS)
The sculpture by Ladislav Šaloun illustrates the tale of  Jáchym Berka, who served King John of Luxembourg. After being gone to fight some battle, he returned to hear rumors of his betrothed being unfaithful. Letting his jealous rage get the best of him, he stabbed his fiancée to death on a Good Friday. With her last breath, she cursed the knight and he turned to stone. He can be freed from the curse, but only once every hundred years if a virgin pure of heart takes pity on him and gives him a kiss.
It is said that in 1909, "the knight appeared as a ghost to a young woman and told her his sad tale. He said that if she showed up the next day of her own free will, he would take her to the stone figure so she could break the curse. She agreed, but somehow her mother found out. The mother had planned that she would marry a tram driver from a good family, and thought her involvement with a ghost, no matter how well-intentioned, would jeopardize the marriage. The young woman was locked in her room, and the mother showed up instead. As she was not a virgin of pure heart, the curse remained unbroken."
On the south corner is a sculpture of Rabbi Löw
finally being caught by the Angel of Death
(also by by Ladislav Šaloun)
When the Germans ordered an architect to remove the statue of Rabbi Löw, he  hid it in his storehouse. After liberation, he turned it back to the Prague authorities to be restored in its place.
Stained glass in the lobby of City Hall (KSS)
We came to see the paternoster elevator (early 20C,
designed by John Prokopec), this one with
13 compartments that loop continuously
A couple of women ready to hop in (KSS)
They are going up (KSS)
View from inside the compartment as we pass a floor
A niche in the Clam-Gallas Palace garden wall
has a statue of Vltava River as a nymph pouring
a jug of water; fountains attract the homeless
The monumental entrance of the Clam-Gallas Palace
/Clam-Gallasův Palác (1713-1730, designed by
Viennese Johannn Bernhard Fischer von Erlach,
in Viennese Baroque style)
The Prague Toy Museum was supposed to be temporarily housed in the Clam-Gallas Palace, but all the doors were locked, and there were no signs.
Walked along Karlova, the Royal Route followed for coronations, with original Gothic and Renaissance buildings.
#3/At the Golden Well with a Baroque façade and
stucco reliefs of saints including Sts Roch and Sebastian
#18/House at the Golden Snake (café est 1714 by
Armenian Deodatus Damajan who handed out
 slanderous pamphlets here)
This is where we stopped for lunch.
A giant glass of Pilsener Urquell
The "lite menu" item of steak, Spätzle, and tomatoes
How many times have we had this dish, each time with different dumplings?
(These are potato dumplings)
Next: Prague 3d.

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