Fotoeins Fotografie

questions of place & home

Posts tagged ‘Prag’

Zizkov Television Tower, Church of the Most Sacred Heart of our Lord, George of Poděbrady Square, Vinohrady, Praha, Prague, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Praha’s Jiřího z Poděbrad (George of Poděbrady)

Above/featured, seen from George of Poděbrady Square (Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad): left, Žižkov television tower (Žižkovská televizní věž); right, Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord (Kostel Nejsvětějšího Srdce Páně). Photo by HL.

Most visitors to Prague stick to the “royal mile”, the magical stretch of “open-air museum” from Wenceslas Square, over Charles Bridge, to Prague Castle. Many sights in Prague are easy to reach with public transport.

Metro station Jiřího z Poděbrad (George of Poděbrady) on the green- or A-line takes people east to the Vinohrady neighbourhood. At street level is the square bearing the same name: Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad (George of Poděbrady Square). Visible from the square are the Žižkov television tower (Žižkovská televizní věž), and the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord (Kostel Nejsvětějšího Srdce Páně) whose 7.5-metre diameter clock is the largest in the Czech Republic.

Born 23 April 1420, George of Poděbrady was crowned King of Bohemia in 1458, and had ideas of a pan-European parliament to counter Ottoman expansion in the east. His extraordinary but unsuccessful attempt in 1464 at a peace treaty among similarly-minded Christian kingdoms and territories (“Tractatus pacis toti Christianitati fiendae“) may be seen as medieval predecessor to a “European union of nations”. Following Jan Hus, George was also a leader of Utraquists, a moderate group of Hussites who supported both forms of Communion in “bread and wine” to all people and not just to clergy.

“George” has the corresponding Prague metro station Jiřího z Poděbrad, which is identified in the Radiohead song “A Reminder”. At about the 7-second mark into the song, a recorded voice issues the following public address message:

Ukončete výstup a nástup, dveře se zavírají. Příští stanice: Jiřího z Poděbrad.
(Do not enter or exit, doors closing. Next station: George of Poděbrady.)

Jiřího z Poděbrad, DPP Metro, Prague, Praha, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Praha DPP metro line A (green) station, Jiřího z Poděbrad station. Photo by HL.


I made both photos labelled “HL” on 4 August 2013 with a Canon EOS450D, 18-55 IS II glass, and the following settings: 1/250-sec, f/8, ISO100, 18mm (29mm full-frame) for the 1st photo; 1/10-sec, f/3.5, ISO800, 18mm (29mm full-frame) for the second photo. Both images have been corrected for geometric distortion. The camera’s shutter assembly died shortly after I made these photos. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-6By.

My Praha: the night watch

With visits to the city numbering well into the double digits, Prague started me on a different path, and eventually, to a change in my life.

According to legend, the city’s name, Praha, is derived from the Czech word, “práh” for “threshold” or “steps”. With the city’s geographic location within the European continent, it’s hard to recount the chronicles of Central Europe without mentioning Praha. History and significance permeates the city in the cobbled stonework, centuries of architecture, and stories of struggle and change.

I believe the city is one step of many on my journey and transition from my past as research scientist to a future that remains under continuous construction. Prague has been and continues to be an important part of this process. I’ve fallen in love with Praha – she means a lot to me.

As day passes to night, many parts of the city become quiet and empty, with only the yellow glow of the street lamps for company. Many are taught not to go into areas unknown, poorly lit, or vacant.

But I know Praha enough to see her differently.

I’ve done the legwork by day, scouting out and noting various locations around the city, and imagining their appearance in the dark. With a newly crafted road map in my head, I stand in the hotel lobby. I close my eyes in a mental walkthrough of my map, breathing deeply, slowly. I open my eyes again and step out into the night, guided by the lights of Staré Město, and across the Vltava over to Mal´ Strana.

I’m on the “night watch” with Rembrandt’s painting high in mind. The city and its streets don’t care who we are or from where we come. They lie still, in wait around the next corner.

In this place I’m always on the verge of something new; it’s a set of new ideas, much of them extraordinary, romantic, and meaningful. The meanings signify truth on a personal level for those willing to listen and heed the signs.

Prague never lets go of you … this little mother has claws.
— Franz Kafka (1883-1924).

More on Prague:

•   “Praha, miluju tě | I love you, Prague”
•   5 of the Best Spots to View Prague at Night
•   “Love story number 1” – Karlův most
•   Na hrad! To the Prague castle! – Malá Strana, Pražský hrad
•   “The colours of fall in Prague” – Malá Strana, Pražský hrad

I made the photos above in October 2008, October 2009, and July 2013, with a Canon EOS450D (XSi). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-3uO.

Pomník svatého Václava, Václavské náměstí, St. Wenceslas memorial, Wenceslas Square, Prague, Praha, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Prague’s Duke Wenceslas of Bohemia

Built by Josef Václav Myslbek and unveiled in 1913, the Saint Wenceslas Memorial (Pomník svatého Václava) is located at the southeastern or upper end of the square which also bears his name: Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí). Although many know him by name as a good king in the Christmas song, Wenceslas was a Bohemian Duke in 10th-century AD, and is known today as a national patron saint.

I made the photo above on 10 October 2009 with the Canon EOS450D, 18-55 IS kit-lens, and the following settings: 1/4s, f/4.5, ISO800, 29mm focal length (46mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-5BI.

David Cerny, Quo Vadis?, sculpture, German Embassy, Prague, Praha, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

My Praha: historic balcony for GDR refugees

That’s one very famous balcony.

The balcony on the second floor facing the back gardens doesn’t look particularly special. But here in the Czech capital city of Prague there’s an important connection between that building’s balcony and events leading to the fall of the Wall. This building is also the German Embassy, and it’s where Hans-Dietrich Genscher looked over the crowds from the balcony and made a famous speech in 1989.

( Click here for images and more )

"Quo Vadis?", David Cerny. German Embassy, Praha, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: “Quo Vadis?” (Where are you going?)

For weeks in late-summer 1989, refugees from East Germany seeking a way out to the West streamed into Prague, and thousands occupied the modest garden at the back of the Palais Lobkowitz, home of the then West German Embassy. A dramatic episode in European history culminated on 30 September 1989, as West German Foreign Minister Genscher addressed the crowds, granting them passage and asylum in West Germany. People left behind countless numbers of Trabant cars, a symbol of industry and productivity in East Germany.

Czech artist David Černý created a sculpture of a Trabant standing on four giant legs, in tribute to those who left their lives to escape East Germany. Called “Quo Vadis?” (Where are you going?), the sculpture resides in the very same garden of the Palais Lobkowitz, now home of the Embassy of the (reunited) Federal Republic of Germany. (2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Wall.)

The sculpture is listed on this Czech website listing places commemorating Communist rule.

Directions

Walk uphill on Vlašská street in Prague’s Malá Strana. When a hospital (Nemocnice Milosrdných Sester sv. Karla Boromejského v Praze) appears on the right and an open portal to a children’s park is on the left, make a left turn from Vlašská onto the path to walk past the park. At the end of the path, turn left again. The high metal fence of the German Embassy will be on your left, and the foot of Petřín hill is on the right. After walking halfway along the fence, you’ll see the sculpture “parked” in the back garden with accompanying signage in Czech and German. The original sculpture now resides in the collection of the Zeitgeschichtliches Forum (Forum of Contemporary History) in Leipzig, Germany.

I made the photo above on 17 March 2010 at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Prague (Velvyslanectví Spolkové Republiky Německo). I used a Canon 450D and 70-300 zoom-lens with the following settings: 1/30s, f/8, ISO400, 275mm focal length (440mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-5b3.

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