This and That

Random bits of my life

Posts Tagged ‘Strahov Monastery’

Strahov Brewery

Posted by Avital Pinnick on January 1, 2014

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St. Norbert Antidepressant Autumn Dark Ale sounds like a great way to get through the dark cold winter! Strahov Monastery has had its own brewery as far back as the 13th century.

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The current brewery buildings date from the 19th century. The brewery was closed in 1901 and used for farm equipment. It was re-opened in 2000 and serves food and many different kinds of beer.

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The tall guy standing in front of the bar is Ivan Navratil, a Czech photo guide (he’s holding a tiny Sony mirror-less camera). If you’re an avid photographer, I highly recommend Prague Photo Tours. Ivan is a retired photographer who works with Randy Harris, who organizes photo tours in seven cities around the world. I was the only one on this tour, so we spent 5 hours roaming Prague, photographing a variety of sites, from the regular tourist sites to houses, gates, flowers, architectural details. Ivan is friendly, gregarious, and knowledgeable (see his Tripadvisor reviews). If you’re doing a night tour, you can arrange to borrow a tripod, instead of shlepping one in your luggage. There are advantages to booking a local photographer. If you want to get a particular shot (like the famous image of all the bridges aligned), he can tell you how to do it. You have someone keeping an eye on things while you’re busy with your camera equipment. It’s a good idea to think in advance about the kind of shots you want, because otherwise you run the risk of going through a shopping list of shots that everyone else has done.

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Strahov Monastery Theological Hall

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 31, 2013

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The Theological Hall was built in the late 1600s by an architect of Italian origin, which explains the Italian Baroque stucco cartouches in the ceiling. The ceiling frescoes were added in 1727. The library contains some 18,000 volumes, mainly theological works.

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Painted statue of St. John the Evangelist (patron of toothaches?):

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The connecting hall outside the libraries houses a Cabinet of Curiosities and illuminated manuscripts.

Strahov Evangeliary (9th century), from Trier. The cover and binding date from the 15th century. You can buy a facsimile for €14,000 (listed on Amazon for $18,000, which does not include shipping).

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Albert of Sternberk’s Pontifical (1376). As a jigsaw puzzle it is priced very reasonably at $24.99.

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Strahov Monastery Philosophical Hall

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 31, 2013

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Strahov Monastery’s Philosophical Hall (interior constructed 1794-1797) is probably Prague’s most famous library. If you don’t book a special guided tour, you can only photograph it from the doorway, as I did. A “photo license” costs 30 crowns. You wear a sticker to show that you paid for the privilege. Then you lie on the floor, with tourists walking over you, to try to get a shot of the ceiling. 🙂 I was lucky that it wasn’t too crowded on a Sunday morning.

Detail of the ceiling fresco, painted by Viennese painter Anton Maulbertsch (1794), at the far end of the library and the upper gallery. (Other sites provide a 360-degree panorama of the library and a detailed description of the fresco.)

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Strahov Monastery

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 31, 2013

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The Strahov Monastery, founded in 1149, is a magnificent Premonstatensian abbey located a short walk from the Prague castle complex. If I had done more research on this site, I would have booked a tour that allows one full access to its famous libraries. I did get a few photos from the doorway (in another posting). I visited it twice, once very quickly with Ivan, a photo guide, and another time with my husband. These photos were taken on two different days. The view above was taken from the path leading down to the castle.

Facade of the Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady (Baroque reconstruction from 1742). It was open the first day but I didn’t have time to go in.

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It was closed the second day, so this photo of the basilica was taken through the window of the locked door.

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Gilded iron fence surrounding the basilica:

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Facade of the library building.

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Vineyards behind the moanstery, looking towards St. Vitus Cathedral.

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St. Vitus Cathedral on the left, Vitava River on the right:

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