From a long-winded tour at the Brevnov Monastery to Liz Hurley in a schoolgirl outfit

A couple of days ago, Jitka and I went to the Brevnov Monastery in Prague 6. I’m not really into touring religious buildings, chateaux and the like, but we were in need of a small trip, and bumming around somewhere other than Blackbridge or the centre sounded like a great idea.

brevnov monastery Prague

Getting there from Blackbridge was pretty straightforward ⿿ a metro to Palmovka, then a 15 to 20-minute tram ride (nos. 15 or 25) to the monastery. It’s a pretty enough building with nice grounds and a somewhat surly monk at the reception area. They offer tours in English for groups of at least 20. A group of at least 10 people is required for a Czech tour.

If your Czech is adequate, the Czech tour (50 CZK/adult, 30 CZK/student or senior) is a good deal ⿿ if you⿿re into tours. Personally, I find them tedious ⿿ I⿿d rather just take in the sights and read about them later if I⿿m really that interested. Having said that, our tour guide was impressive, spouting facts practically non-stop for almost two hours (the tour is only supposed to be about 45 minutes). I stopped paying attention after about 20 minutes; I think even if our guide had been speaking English I would have done the same. I translate a lot of material about sites of interest, so the vocabulary wasn⿿t that difficult for me to grasp; however, the guide ended up sounding like the teacher from Peanuts once my attention span flew the coop.

The Brevnov Monastery is an impressive enough place as far as religious buildings go. However, what impressed me most about it was how clean it was. Other than that, these places always bring to mind a passage from the tenth chapter of The Sun Also Rises, in which Jake Barnes goes to church and tries to pray and ends up thinking more about how he can make money:

“I was a little ashamed, and regretted that I was such a rotten Catholic, but realized there was nothing I could do about it, at least for a while, and maybe never, but that anyway it was a grand religion, and I only wished I felt religious and maybe I would the next time….”

Churches also get me to thinking about when Sinead O⿿Connor ripped up a picture of Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live at the end of an a cappella rendition of Bob Marley⿿s ⿜War⿝ (I can⿿t seem to find a link to a clip of that ⿿ anyone care to guide me to one?).

After the church, our guide took us down to the monastery⿿s crypts. Old stones and broken bones. Then we went upstairs to a network of parlours with paintings of fat women in fat dresses and poncey men in tights. Then we were free to leave.

The Brevnov Monastery also has a very attractive restaurant with a fireplace, a slightly pricey (not vegetarian-friendly) menu, and very pleasant Hare Krishna-type service (all monks, presumably, though they⿿re dressed more like they should be working in an American-style steakhouse). Jitka and I ate ⿜linner⿝ (or is it ⿜dunch⿝ ⿿ you know, a meal between lunch and dinner) at a decent typical Czech pub across the road from the monastery (well, it was rather clean for a ⿜typical Czech⿝ pub).

Having had enough of long-winded tour guides and the Antarctic weather, Jitka and I headed home for a double feature of Chinatown and Ocean⿿s Eleven, which more than made up for Saturday⿿s rubbish double feature of Bedazzled and Anger Management (although I could watch that scene in Bedazzled that features Liz Hurley in her schoolgirl⿿s outfit on a loop for at least an hour⿿ mmm, saucy British women⿿). I let Josh at Movie Star talk me into the former (ok, the case swayed me as well), while the latter was my own bad idea. But, as they say on the Riverbank, that’s another story.

Jan 17, 07:00 (Filed under: Prague sightseeing, Personal )

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