Posts Tagged ‘Prague’

4:23 am

Folklore Festival

There was also a folklore festival going on this past weekend in Prague. I took a handful of pictures while walking through Staroměstské náměstí, and I simply offer them up here without comment:

4:04 am

Flea Markets Come to Prague

There are plenty of second hand stores in Prague, but for some reason, the concept of flea markets or yard sales is unknown. Until now, that is: as of this past Saturday, there is now a flea market in Náměstí míru on the 4th Saturday of the month.

It’s rather slapdash, and it remains to be seen if it will really take off:

2:25 am

Second Visit to Prague Zoo

I visited the Prague Zoo last year, but it was too big to cover the entire thing in one visit, so yesterday I went back.

It really is a lovely zoo, and they give the animals plenty of space. The birds:

The hippos:

The bison:

The monkeys:

The penguins:

It’s not a very Anglo-phone friendly zoo, though (not that it has to be, of course), and so I don’t know what these animals are:

It is, on the other hand, dog-friendly:

It’ll cost you 20Kc to bring your dog in, though:

The zoo is decorated with statuary, mostly animals, but there was also this Aztec-y looking guy:

The zoo is big enough that they have a chair lift (which doesn’t operate in high winds) to help people get from one level to another.

It wasn’t in operation when I was there last year, so I rode it this time, alas remembering too late that I’m afraid of heights. Not fun.

9:15 am

Prague Museum Night

Saturday was Prague Museum Night, an annual event when participating museums, galleries, etc. offer free admission from 7 PM to 1 AM; there is also free transportation provided. Besides their usual exhibits, many museums take advantage of the opportunity to open new shows or offer special accompanying events. Not surprisingly, a lot of people turn out with their families to enjoy the free offerings.

According to the program, 28 cultural institutions and 55 sites were taking part this year, and there were 9 bus lines starting from Náměstí Jana Palacha making great loops to different parts of the city to connect the locations. It made for an interesting variation to the "Traveling Salesman Problem"! I was able to make it to only four museums (mainly because of the crowds).

11:06 am

sv Tomas and The Augustine

My parish here is sv Tomáš.

(The church is tucked into an alley, which makes it difficult to get a good shot.) It was established in the 13th century and there is an Augustinian monastery attached to it. The summer refectory and cloister gardens are used for such gatherings as hospitality after Mass and the annual parish festival:

Father William claims that the cloister garden figures in the carol "Good King Wenceslaus": this is where the poor man was gathering his winter fuel.

The monastery, though, was built for dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of monks, but is now home to only six. This is a common story in Prague: there are dozens of churches and monasteries for which there is little or no need in this era. Rather than demolish them, however, they tend to be repurposed. And so some, such as sv. Mikuláš (both the Jesuit-built one in Malá Strana and the Hussite one near Staroměstské náměstí), are used primarily for concerts, and others, such as Klášter sv. Anežky České (the Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia) or Klášter sv. Jiŕí (St. George Convent) have become museums.

Part of the monastery at sv. Tomáš, though, has now become a hotel. The Augustine is Prague’s newest 5-star hotel. The hotel also bought the recipe to sv. Tomáš’s beer (the monks stopped brewing it in 1952, although some guidebooks still contain references to it), and they’re serving it in their bars and restaurants.

I visited on Saturday, after Mass (about 7 PM). This is not a good time to be opening a 5-star hotel, and the place was largely deserted. When I visited The Brewery, located appropriately enough in the former monastery brewery, there was only one occupied table, and they left shortly after I arrived. I enjoyed a pleasant chat with the bartender, who was understandably lonely, poor girl.

I had a glass of the sv. Tomáš beer, which was tasty: dark, but not bitter. At 55 Kc (approximately $3) for 0.3 liter, though, I don’t see it catching on.

I also wandered upstairs to check out Tom’s Bar which adjoins the restaurant. It’s a beautiful space, but again only one table was occupied. It looked as though there was only one occupied table in the restaurant as well. I don’t know if live music is a nightly feature or only on weekends:

I wonder what Václav II, who established the church and monastery, would think of this.

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