Thursday, May 24, 2018

Elegant Elbe: Prague 5b (5/24/2018)

Thursday, May 24, 2018 (continued)
After drinks, we headed back down Jilská, merged with Na Perštýně and crossed Národní to continue on Spálená.
A Golden Anchor
It took me quite a while to find Kafka's Head "above the Národní třída station." I was looking up while circumnavigating a whole block. Sometimes I do not research enough clues to find landmarks. Kafka's Head was in a plaza above the underground station...
Frank Kafka Head/Hlava Franze Kafky
(2014, by David Černý)
A kinetic sculpture, the 42 layers spin at
different speeds before coming together as a head

Back on Národní.
Palace Narodni/Palác Národní (2012-2017) replaced a parking lot
Art Nouveau Topic Building (1906, by Osvald Polivka)
Art Nouveau Praha House (1901 or 1903,
by Osvald Polivka)
National Theatre lamp post
Legions Bridge/Most Legií (1899-1901, by Antonín Balšánek)
Tatra T3SU generation tram
North façade of the National Theatre/Národní divadlo
Prague's National Theatre (1868-1881, then 1883, designed by Josef Zitek) was built on a grand scale to foster Czech nationalism, and it was to advance development of the Czech language. After opening with the world premiere of the opera Libuše by Bedřich Smetana, the building was closed to make the final touches for completion. A fire broke out and was seen as a national tragedy. Within 47 days, enough money was collected for rebuilding, which was completed in 1883.
West façade of the National Theatre/Národní divadlo
with allegorical statues representing the Arts
Another cobblestone sidewalk pattern;
these cobbles are about 2" squares
For the tourists: Euphoria Cannabis Absinthe,
combining "forbidden" elements!
It seems that the cannabis we see in food and drink products in Prague are from the hemp plant, and not the marijuana plant, both of which are cannabis plants.
Water pump fountain
U Fleků: Prague's oldest and most famous beer hall;
beer brewed as early as 1459 or 1499
In my research, I had read all the warnings in capital letters or red ink, about tourist trap-type places serving you welcome-drinks or snacks that may be assumed as complimentary, but for which you end up paying. I was late coming to the table at U Fleků, so I became a bit hysterical when a server came up with four glasses of beer. I do not drink beer, so certainly did not want to pay for it. What I did not know, was that U Fleků serves only one type of beer, and they assume you have come for that! Okay, only three beers for our party of four. In fact, U Fleků does not export or even bottle their beer. The special dark lager just comes in a beer mug.
Long communal tables in the beer garden
Another guest show off her mini marionette
Lunch of traditional Vepřo-knedlo-zelo/roast pork
served with sweet-sour cabbage and dumplings,
this time potato and bread dumplings
Sausage plate with horseradish, mustard and ketchup,
bread, plus some pickled hot peppers and cocktail onions
I have to say, despite all the warnings, we did not run into a single instance of having unwanted drinks or foods foisted upon us anywhere in Prague.
Mosaic House (1930s with major update 2010, designed by Tereza Kouzká
 and Olga Novotná ) is a backpacker hostel
Mosaic House is the first hotel in the Czech Republic to use 100% electricity from renewable sources, 100% biogas, and greywater recycling system with heat recuperation technology. Plus look at all the fun art installations, from bugs crawling up the wall, mushrooms sprouting on the roof, to their own man hanging out.
On to Charles Square/Karlovo náměstí.
Vítězslav Hálek Memorial/Pomník Vítězslava Hálka (1882, by
Bohuslav Schnirch) to a journalist, writer, and poet,
who was a contemporary of Jan Neruda
Statue (1960) of Hussite preacher Jan Želivský,
commemorating the 1419 Defenestrations when he led
demonstrators to the New Town Hall to demand release of
some prisoners. When refused, they stormed the building
and threw the Catholic councilors out the windows
New Town Hall/Novoměstská radnice (14-18C);
after the four towns combined as one in 1784,
it became the courthouse and prison,
now used as a cultural and social venue
Memorial at the Cathedral of Sts Cyril and Methodius/
Chrám svatých Cyrila a Metoděje (1730-1736,
by Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer) to
resistance fighters Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš
(note the bullet holes around the window)
Cathedral of Sts Cyril and Methodius was originally
the church for a community of retired priests,
both closed in 1783; in the 1930s the church was
given to the Czechslovak Orthodox Church
A lectern stands over the sealed opening
of the stairs to the crypt
The crypt is now the National Memorial
to the Heroes of the Heydrich Terror
Steps from the church
The Czechoslovak government in exile planned Operation Anthropoid to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich, who at the time was the top official overseeing Bohemia and Moravia, terrorizing the population with martial law, arrests and executions. Heydrich was also Hitler's Chief of Security, and chaired the infamous Wannsee Conference to formalize the Final Solution to the Jewish Question. Two paratroopers, Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš, with the help of members from the Czech Resistance, ambushed Heydrich and critically wounded him. He died a week later from his injuries.
Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš and fellow paratroopers stayed at safe houses before refuge was provided by the Orthodox priest Vladimír Petřek in the crypt underneath the Church of Sts Cyril and Methodius. After 12 days they were betrayed by another paratrooper, and the church was surrounded by 800 SS and Gestapo troops. A six-hour gun battle ensued, until the paratroopers committed suicide rather than surrender; their last words are said to be: "We will not surrender. Never. We are Czech."
Jan Kubiš was already mortally injured and died in the hospital later.
In reprisal, the Orthodox church staff, living members of the Gabčík and Kubiš families, and known resistance members were killed by the Nazis. The Nazis also falsely linked the assassins to the villages of Lidice and Ležáky, both of which were razed. Men and boys over the age of 16, and many women, were shot, and all but a handful of the women and children were deported and killed in Nazi concentration camps.
Okay, now we are back outside.
School boys
Peter & Beth decided to head back to the hotel, as we returned to Charles Square/Karlovo náměstí.
Statue (1910, by Gustav Zoula) of Karolina Světlá,
a Czech writer, also a contemporary (and
rumored lover) of Jan Neruda
Church of St Ignatius/Kostel svatého Ignáce
(1665, by Carlos Lurago and Paul Ignaz Bayer)
High altar painting of The Glory of St Ignatius
 (Ignatius Loyola the founder of the Jesuits)
by Jan Jiří Heinsch
Statue (1961, by Oskar Kozák and Vladimír Štrunc)
of Jan Purkyně, a Czech anatomist and physiologist
who was a pioneer of cell theory,
coining the word "protoplasm"
The Jesuit College borders this side of Charles Square.
Statue (1898, by Čeňek Vosmík and Gustav Zoula)
of Benedikt Roezl, a botanist and collector
of orchids who traveled extensively in the
Americas, thus the "native" woman behind him
Faust House/Faustův dům (14C), so named because its owners/
occupants were involved in alchemy: Prince Václav of Opava,
an alchemist and natural historian, alchemist Edward Kelley, then
Count Ferdinand Mladota of Solopsky whose chemical experiments
led to explosions creating Faustian holes in the ceiling
Remembrance of victims of airborne
bombarding of Prague in the years 1944 & 1945
Dvořák Museum/Muzeum Antonína Dvořáka
in building (1720) by Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer
The museum was closed by the time we arrived.
Chalice Restaurant/Hostinec U Kalicha,
the Pilsener Urquell beer hall owes its fame to novel
The Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek
as it was Švejk's favorite drinking place
Tamiko with the good soldier Švejk (KSS)
Chalice Restaurant walls are covered with excerpts and sketches
from the book The Good Soldier Švejk
A very large glass mug of beer, with a relief
of a horse embracing a mug of beer
The local Zon Cola
Cannabis Flagship Store, selling quality non-THC products (KSS)
Church of St Stephen/Kostel Svatý Štěpán (1401)
Chapel Branberger (1736) of St Stephen's
Curious relief on the north wall of St Stephen's
Modern atlants?
Many things in Prague were described as "nonstop"
Back at the hotel, we met up with Peter & Beth who had found a place for dinner, El Barrio de Angel.
My grapefruit lemonade was in a pitcher the same
size as the sangria pitcher for Peter & Beth
We tried the Fideuá, which is like paella, except with pasta instead of rice
Today's high temperature was 73 degrees F.
Next: Prague 6a.

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