Prague Dog Eat Blog

The Story of Prague Castle Exhibition

Aug 17, 17:10 (Filed under: Culture )

Historical Prague Castle If you would like to find out something more about Prague Castle, an easy way to do it is to visit an exhibition called The Story of Prague Castle. The exhibition is situated straight in Prague Castle – in Old Royal Palace, and is accessible from the 3rd Courtyard or from the St. George’s Square.

It presents the history of the castle complex and tells the stories of people connected to it (kings, presidents, architects etc.). Visitors can follow the history of the castle and close surrounded areas from prehistoric times through centuries to present. There are models of Prague Castle showing how it looked in different periods, and many objects somehow connected to castle’s history – from various religious objects through jewels, old swords and other arms, burial gowns of Czech kings to architects´ plans for the castle and many other items. And all that exhibited objects are accompanied by interactive programmes, music and sounds, spatial computer models, video programmes, and visitors can also watch a documentary film about the Prague Castle on a big screen. The movie has length of approximately 40 minutes.

The exhibition is opened daily, from March till October 9 AM – PM, from November till March 9 AM – 4 PM. Entrance fee is 140 CZK full price, 70 CZK discount price (children, students, seniors), family ticket costs 200 CZK (max. 2 adults, and 1-5 children up to 16 years old).

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Kampa Museum Exhibits Warhol’s Disaster Relics

Aug 11, 16:30 (Filed under: Culture )

There is an interesting exhibition running at Kampa Museum by Vltava river presenting Andy Warhol’s works that show his interest in death and personal tragedy, and his obsession with fifteen minutes of fame.

Most of the presented pictures were made in early 1960s and they deal with catastrophes, violence, or social trauma, we could say, pictures, that are less famous, or at least less celebrated. For example, plane crashes or suicides, and under these images, there is also Warhol’s remark about how we become less sensitive to these things when we see them all the time in the news: “But when you see a gruesome picture over and over again, it doesn’t really have any effect.” That was still in the 1960s, very ahead of the time idea. These quotations have been included with 21 prints at this exhibition. This is very helpful to get to know something about Warhol and his life.

Museum Kampa is located in the street U Sovovych Mlynu 2, in the middle of Kampa island. Adults pay 120 CZK, students 60 CZK. There is a free admission to the museum on Mondays, but I think it’s free only for permanent exhibitions. The museum is open daily between 10:00 and 18:00, and these selected prints will be exhibited until September 30th.

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Photographic exhibition in the Golden Ring House

Jul 23, 15:24 (Filed under: Culture )

House At The Golden Ring If you are into photography, I would like to give you a tip for a nice photographic exhibition in the very centre of Prague. The exhibition takes place in the Golden Ring House (Dům u Zlatého prstenu) from 20th of June till 16th of September 2007 and presents about 200 photographs by a Czech born author – Bohumil “Bob“ Krčil. He is not really well known, but his photographs (which are mostly black and white) are worth of seeing.

Bohumil (nicknamed Bob) Krčil (1952 – 1992) had a pretty interesting life. As a youth, in 1969, when he was only 17 years old, he emigrated from unfree communist Czechoslovakia. But the life in emigration was not easy, as he very often had to deal with deficiency of financial wherewithal. First, he came to Sweden, where he even studied at university for some time. And there is presented quite a lot of pictures reflecting his life there, as photographs of his friends or of people who somehow attracted him or those of interesting places. When still living in Sweden, he made some money by working in the underground, and then spent them by making a big trip to Afghanistan. He shot there a huge amount of fascinating documentary photographs, trying to capture a wonderful atmosphere here, before the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

In 1979, he made a trip to Himalayan mountains in India, where he made a beautiful photographic cycle “Cannabis at Home of the Gods“. This cycle is in colour, as the only one at the whole exhibition. In the beginning of 80´s, he moved to New York, where he made a lot of pictures of Manhattan, and also photos for social campaign against drugs – his probably the most known pictures are gathered in the cycle Say No To Drugs. He died prematurely in 1992 in New York, at the age of 40.

Krčil´s photographs are interesting, not only because of their artistic qualities, but you can also observe, that he had a strong ability of social empathy, which is reflected in his pictures. And the fact, that some of them are showing very distant and exotic places is another reason why visit this exhibition.

The Golden Ring House is located in Tynská Street nr. 6 (which is on the left side of Týn Church, when you are coming there from Old Town Square). Entrance fee is 100 Czk full price and 50 Czk reduced price (for students, pensioners or for Prague Passport holders). The price includes admission to the permanent exhibition – Czech Art of the 20th century (paintings, drawings and sculptures). When you are once there, it is worth to also visit the permanent exhibition (at least give it a quick chance, you might like some of works presented here).

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Exhibition of Jindrich Styrsky´s work

Jul 15, 16:24 (Filed under: Culture )

Very interesting exhibition, which is definitely worth seeing, is presented from 30th May to 9th September at the House at Stone Bell (Dům U Kamenného zvonu) at the Old Town Square (Staromestske namesti) in the very centre of Prague.

Jindrich Styrsky was one of the most important personas of the Czech interwar avant-garde. During his short life (he died in 1942, when he was only 43 years old), he occupied himself with many diverse artistic activities. He was a painter, a photographer, a poet, he did wonderful collages, and moreover, he was also into typography and scenography.

The exhibition is therefore presenting the wide range of his artistic activities. We can see there his early works from the beginning of the twenties and follow the development of his style which led to the pure surrealism in the thirties. We can admire his drawings, paintings, photographs, the book covers designed by him… But probably the most interesting part of the exhibition is that one, which is devoted to his erotical collages. They are funny, surprising, and obviously made with a great fantasy.

And by the way, also the building itself where the exhibition takes place is worth to visit. It was built in the second half of the 13th century and in the 14th century was this, at that time town palace, used by the Czech king Jan Lucembursky as his residence. So beside Styrsky´s masterpieces visitors can there also admire wonderful gothic interiors.

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Prague Castle Picture Gallery..

Jun 29, 13:42 (Filed under: Culture ) the oldest existing collection of over hundred paintings in the Lands of Bohemia. These pictures were chosen from around 4000 pieces and they represent the finest available works of art. It all started in 16th century when Rudolf II decided to put together the largest collection of paintings that were present and create one splendid gallery. Not many of these paintings retained, but the idea did, and the gallery was enriched with works of European and later Czech masters. Plus the permanent exhibition is newly extended with temporary exhibition called Rudolfine Beauty.

This new exhibition presents a collection of recently discovered original Rudolf II era paintings. Three new paintings and one sculpture are shown in a public for the first time. The gallery is located at the second courtyard of Prague Castle (the big one) and is open daily from 9 to 6. The admission fee is 150 CZK or 80 CZK reduced or if you purchase and take Prague Castle short route, the fee to the gallery is included in it.

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Summer Shakespeare Festival starts this week

Jun 18, 15:44 (Filed under: Culture, Prague events )

The Summer Shakespeare Festival This unique project, the annual Summer Shakespeare Festival, will open its eleventh year with remarkable play The Tempest, on Thursday, June 21. Shakespeare plays will be performed under the open sky at the courts of Prague Castle and Liechtenstein Palace (at Lesser Town Square). This original theatrical and dramatic project is very popular among both local people and tourists, although the plays are not performed in English. It is so popular probably because Shakespeare plays are very famous, and the castle, its background, and the whole scenery together with acting performances of a high quality create and leave a strong memory and experience.

As mentioned before, it all begins with The Tempest, which is directed by Jakub Korcak and performed by acting talent team Martin Huba and Jan Triska. In another comedy As you like it, which will be premiered on August 3, we will see the leading actors from both Czech Republic and Slovakia, namely Martin Dejdar, Marian Labuda, Miroslav Noga, etc. The remaining plays include Othello, The Merchant of Venice, and the Twelfth Night.

Years ago, it was ex-president Havel, who initiated the festival and took patronage of it. President Klaus continues this tradition and supports the project as well. An accompanying photo exhibition – Maximum Photography, is also being prepared. It will be free of charge, it will be displayed in the gardens of Prague Castle, and it will present 34 famous photo enlargements made by photographer Ivan Pinkava. These pictures are said to have a special goose bump effect, that is that people in these photos look at us at least as intensively as we look at them.

The tickets to the plays can be bought through Ticketpro network, there are three price categories, for 650, 440, or 280 CZK, and the performances start at 20:30. Although, the project lasts during the whole summer until September 14, the tickets continue to sell out very quickly. Shakespeare plays extend to two another towns this year, the selected plays will be also presented at Brno’s castle Spilberk, and Bratislava Castle.

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Prague Museum Night 2007

May 27, 15:15 (Filed under: Prague events, Culture )

National Museum in the Wenceslas Square If you happen to be in Prague during June 16, and 17, you are lucky, because that is the night when the fourth Prague Museum Night occurs. What’s all this about? Prague museum, galleries, cultural monuments and other sites will be opened during the night, strictly speaking, from seven PM to one AM, all these with interesting accompanying program. This museum night is not Prague privileged as it is also going on in other European cities (e.g. Vienna, Warsaw, Berlin, etc.), but the whole idea is impressive as well as the admission, which is free! Well, ok, almost free, there’s always an exception, it is City of Prague Museum where one has to pay symbolic 1 CZK, or at City gallery it is 10 CZK.

This is a very popular and significant event of cultural life in Prague. Last year, during this night, 160.000 people visited museums and galleries in town, generally, every year there has been a rising trend since the beginning in 2004. Take a guess, will the trend continue this year? Another good news, transport between the sites during the Museum Night is also provided, and it is also free. Among accompanying events, one can find theatre performances, movies, public readings, lectures, displays of unique exhibits, etc.

As an example, let’s look at what Vysehrad (that legendary rock above Vltava) offers. There, one can visit the gallery, Gothic cellar (there you can find some of the original statues from Charles Bridge), or exhibition Vysehrad fortress in the history of Prague’s fortifications. All this for 1 CZK and all this accompanied by theatre of historical fencing.

By the way, Prague Museum Night occurs once a year, plus it can save you a lot of money, plus, it might be really interesting to visit some of the sites during the night, so it would be a pity to miss this opportunity.

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National Gallery in Prague

May 9, 14:27 (Filed under: Culture )

Trade Fair Pallace in Prague On Wednesday afternoon, May 2, we visited National Gallery in Prague. The reason was that it was the first Wednesday in month, which is the day of free entrance from 15:00 to 20:00. We took a lift to the fifth floor and on the way down we had a look through permanent exhibitions. And what did we see?

On the fifth floor, at the moment, there is an exhibition China Beyond Graphics which shows contemporary Chinese graphic design, and also designs and drawings for upcoming Olympic games in Beijing. It runs until June 3. Also, there is a nice exhibition of Latvian architecture. We haven’t spent much time there, and went down to the forth floor, a big part of it was the art of the 19th century. I liked works of Manes and Piepenhagen. There were also few paintings by Mucha. The third floor was more interesting, though. At the beginning, there is couple of eye-catching pieces by Kupka, e.g. the Colossus of Rhodes, and statues by Rodin. The most interesting part of this floor was the French collection of art of 19th and 20th century. One can see paintworks of Monet, Renoir, Gauguin, van Gogh, Cezanne, Braque, Picasso, and many others. Then we descended to the second floor. That is Czech art between 1930 and 2000. Avant-garde, surrealism, socialistic realism, and also architecture, photography, glass and ceramics, etc. I didn’t like it much, maybe because I didn’t understand it. To us, that was enough of cultural enrichment for the day, we skipped the first floor and left the gallery. For completion, there is a collection of foreign art on the first floor.

National Gallery in Prague is located in the street Dukelskych hrdinu 47, take tram no. 12, 14, 15, or 17 to stop Veletrzni. If you don’t want to wait for the free Wednesday, be prepared to pay 160 CZK for the tiket (from 16:00 only 100 CZK, or 80 CZK reduced). Normally, it is open from 10:00 to 18:00 except Mondays. There is also a cafe and few computers with internet access. To point out one deficiency, the air in the gallery is very bad and hard, like in churches, might be irritating sometimes.

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Museum of Chocolate paintings in Prague!

May 6, 15:06 (Filed under: Culture )

Yummy!! Yes, you are reading correctly! Museum of Chocolate paintings! There really is such a thing! Isn’t it cool?! I think it is super cool!! And this museum is in Prague! That makes it twice super cool!

Chocolate is not only the best reward for children but for many adults too. There is probably not a single person in the whole world who doesn’t like chocolate! Or do you know anyone? Of course, there are some people who can’t eat chocolate for health reasons. I would not recommend those people to visit this abnormal museum because you may get the appetite for chocolate when walking through the museum!

This museum shows a really unusual exhibition of pictures painted – wait to hear this – painted with the use of chocolate! What a waist of chocolate you may say, and I totally agree. But if you are interested in more than just eating this delicacy, you can visit this extraordinary exhibition.

You will also get an insight into the history and secrets of chocolate making. And that is not all! You can try to paint with chocolate yourself there! Maybe it can be used as a new diet – don’t eat but paint with chocolate! Well, if I think about it, it is not for me!

This museum is located not far from Old Town Square, in Tynska street 10, Prague 1. Open is daily from 10am to 6pm.

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Spring associates many things in Prague (Part Two)

Mar 21, 12:35 (Filed under: Culture )

Prague streets were full of tanks during the invasion Spring time is associated with time of renewal and new life being born (plants and animals), and of the cycle of life once again starting. It can also be used more generally as the start of better times. That is the case of so called Prague Spring.

Prague Spring is a term used for a period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia in the year 1968. At that time, Czechs and Slovaks were already for many years under strong communist rule. But with the new leader of the Communist Party, Alexander Dubcek, reforms started to appear. It was an attempt to create the “Socialism with human face”. Whether this is possible at all, I leave up to you.

Reforms included such freedoms which seem quite natural to us now – just like the abolition of censorship and allowing political organizations. These reforms were extremely popular among the public, pressuring for further liberalization and democratization. This liberalization took place from January to August and is thus called Prague Spring.

Reforms in Czechoslovakia, however, were not popular in the Soviet Union. It irritated the USSR so much that Prague Spring ended by invasion of armies from five Warsaw Pact countries! Soviet tanks ranging in number from 5,000 to 7,000 occupied the streets. What followed has been called “Normalization”, meaning that all previous reforms were called back, some measures were even strengthened. Thousands of people fled the country.

Prague Spring was about hope for better future. This hope, however, had been lost for over 20 years.

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Spring associates many things in Prague (Part One)

Mar 17, 11:57 (Filed under: Culture )

Prague Spring 2007 Spring means above all the beautiful time of year following winter and preceding summer. Spring in Prague, however, has also other connotations – one quite positive and one rather bitter. Let’s talk about the first one now and later about the second.

The term Prague Spring for many means the Prague Spring International Music Festival. It is not surprising because this festival has a long tradition in Prague. It is always held in spring and that is why everyone calls it Prague Spring.

The first festival was arranged in year 1946 when the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra was celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. It presents not only important figures of Czech musical life but it is a showcase for outstanding performing artists, symphony orchestras and chamber music ensembles of the world. To name the best known – Prague Symphony and Vienna Philharmonic take part in the festival.

Prague Spring Festival has grown to be part of Prague culture. Every Czech knows how this festival begins – with the famous work Ma vlast (My country in English) from Bedrich Smetana. The festival closes with the ninth symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven. It attracts music lovers and musicians themselves. It is an honor to take part in it.

This year it will already be 62nd Prague Spring Music Festival. It runs from May 12 to June 6. You can buy tickets at TicketPro. One is for example near the National Theater in Narodni Street 4.

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Silesia - a Pearl in the Bohemian Crown

Mar 6, 08:48 (Filed under: Culture )

That is the name of the exhibition that presents this notable and distinguished cultural region in Central Europe – Silesia, and it focuses on the three periods of blossoming mutual contacts and relationships in history between Czech and Silesia. Silesia, being strategically important as a neighbour to Poland, Hungary, Moravia, and Bohemia, became a crossroad of political and ideological tendencies and influence. This lead into many artistic activities that had impact on the artistic development in the whole Central Europe.

The event takes place in the Wallenstein Riding School in Prague (metro A station Malostranska), and it presents around 400 works of sculptures, paintings, drawings, crafts, relics, etc. These three periods mentioned earlier are a Gothic period called The Golden Age of Luxembourg Rule, the second part is The Glamour of Rudolfine Prague, and the final section is The Baroque Flamboyance of Monasteries and Palaces. An interesting catalogue (it’s quite expensive – 650 CZK for English edition) and a brief guide (60 CZK) is also available at the exhibition.

It is open daily except Monday from 10 am to 6 pm. The admission is 120 CZK (60 CZK reduced for students). Every first Wednesday in a month from 3 pm, the entrance is free. Who is in the mood for some history of the Czech Republic, this might be the right place, the exhibition ends on April 9.

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Valentine’s Day versus May 1

Feb 14, 13:56 (Filed under: Culture )

St Valentine's heart figure Valentine’s Day, which is being celebrated worldwide on February 14, is the traditional day on which lovers express their tender feelings for each other. Around this day you can see all shop windows in Prague being decorated by great deal of red hearts. They are everywhere reminding that you should not leave your loved one without a present.

This celebration of Valentine’s Day, however, doesn’t have a long tradition in the Czech Republic. It appeared shortly after the Velvet Revolution, so it is known here just a bit over 10 years. Valentine’s Day, nevertheless, quickly became popular, especially among teenagers, and is now celebrated in the same manner as in the USA or Great Britain.

However, there is another day in the Czech Republic that is dedicated to lovers. It is, maybe surprisingly, May 1st. May 1st in the Czech Republic is not only a Labor Day, which is celebrated around the world in commemoration of historic achievements of the Labor movement. For Czechs, it is at the same time the true and only Love Day, and not the Valentine’s Day.

How come that May Day is the Love Day for Czechs? May Day has been for many centuries a symbol of spring and love, as it is most famously marked in Czech romantic poem Maj (May in English), written by Karel Hynek Macha (1810-1836). Couples come to the statue of Karel Hynek Macha and kiss under the blooming tree to ensure that their love will be as fresh as the blooming tree for another year.

I prefer to celebrate May 1st as a Love Day since it is not as commercialized.

Statue of Karel Hynek Macha is on Petrin Hill so don’t forget to visit it on May 1st. But if you want to visit Karel Hynek Macha right away, he is buried at the Vysehrad cemetery in Prague.

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Several Tips For Photo Exhibitions in Prague

Feb 9, 09:17 (Filed under: Culture )

So what is currently going on about photos in Prague? There is one eye-catching photo exhibition in Prague running until the end of February. It takes place in the Old Town Hall (yes, it is the building with that astronomical clock), at Old Town Square. The author, Czech photographer and traveller Vaclav Spillar presents a series of large-scale pictures from his adventures around Africa, America, and Australia.

And more precisely, this exhibition with convenient name „Africa – America – Australia“ is being held in the Cross Corridor and the Knight´s Hall (ground floor) of the Old Town Hall in Prague. It is open daily from 9 to 18. The tickets cost 70 CZK for adults, and 40 CZK for students/seniors. As to the presented photos, most of them are about nature and natural wonders.

Another interesting photo exhibition takes place in the Cross Corridor of Karolinum Gallery (the address is Ovocny Trh 3). It’s called the „Touch of the North“, and it presents photographs of Norway and Iceland by Petra Dolezalova. The Pictures are accompanied by music, texts, book presentation, and a trip to Norway contest. Part of the exhibition is dedicated to Sámi people (the nation that is living beyond the arctic circle, in Finnmark – Lapland area), their history and culture. If you want to catch this one, hurry up, it is running only until February 11, and it is open daily from 10 to 18.

Last to mention is permanent photo exhibition in Jan Saudek Gallery (in the street Celetna 9, near the Old Town Square), where the world famous Czech photographer presents over hundred photos from his distinctive and original work, some of them haven’t been published yet. The gallery is open for public daily from 10 to 20 and the admission is 150 CZK for adults or 80 CZK if you are a student.

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