This and That

Random bits of my life

Archive for December 11th, 2013

St. George’s Basilica, Prague Castle

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 11, 2013

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St. George’s Basilica is the oldest church in the Prague castle complex. Although it was founded in 920, most of the present building was constructed in 1142 after a major fire. The 17th century facade of the basilica is early Baroque, so I expected a dark interior with twisted columns, lots of little chapels. I certainly wasn’t expecting a Romanesque interior.

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The nave is often described as austere and monumental. The tomb with the rose belongs to a member of the Přemyslovci (Premyslid) family. The Přemyslovci were the first royal Czech dynasty, ruling the Czech principality and parts of Poland and Hungary until the early 1300s.

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The Gothic chapel of St. Ludmila of Bohemia (first Czech martyr and the grandmother of Wenceslas) is not accessible to the public but I managed to get a shot of the entrance and grillwork from the main nave.

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The crypt is 12th century, with a black statue of Brigitte. She is portrayed with a decaying girl’s body, representing human frailty and mortality. The Přemyslovci rulers were buried in this crypt, before St. Vitus cathedral was built.

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Old Royal Palace, Prague

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 11, 2013

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The main building of the Old Royal Palace dates back to the 12th century. The 16th century Vladislav Hall was used for coronations, banquets, markets, and even tournaments (!). On the left side of the hall is a rider’s staircase, which enabled horses to enter the hall. The magnificent ceiling vaults form roses or stars.

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View of the Diet room where the king sat under a canopy, with the archbishop at his side. Various legates occupied the benches; representatives of the royal towns had to stand by the windows. The Diet was rebuilt after a fire in 1541.

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Stunning lace ceiling vaults with stars at the main junctions.

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The ceiling of the Land Rolls room is painted with the coats of arms of prominent Bohemian families.

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Records of Diet debates are bound and stored in these cupboards. The covers are delightful! The painted spines depict colourful flowers and fruit, an anthropomorphic sun, even a rainbow.

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Scale model of the Prague castle complex, which the Guinness Book of Records says is the largest ancient castle in the world.

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There are lots of old ceramic tile stoves in the palace but it must have been bitterly cold in winter.

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