In my first post of 2011, in which I wrote about ‘Why I like living in Prague’, I explained that one reason was the amazing architecture and buildings to be seen whenever walking around the city centre or inner suburbs of the city. I also promised to write a future blogpost to illustrate my point, so what follows is in part, to keep me true to my word. This subject is also inevitably better illustrated than written about. So, as many people who leave comments or write private emails to me say how much they like my photographs, this post will be more pictures than words.
The photograph on the left is of artwork on the exterior of Obecní Dum / Prague’s Municipal House. The building is national cultural landmark and ranks as one of the most significant Art Nouveau buildings in Prague.
But it isn’t just on a few famous or significant buildings that such wonderful decoration can be seen. The two pictures below are of two buildings virtually next door to each other in the Prague suburb of Bubenec – well off the tourist trail.
Whilst this one below is in Senovázné námestí, within the city centre but again, in an area not overly frequented by tourists.
The two hotels pictured below are located in a more well-known part of Prague. They are situated side-by-side on Václavské námestí / Wenceslas Square and were both built in the late nineteenth / early twentieth century. As with so many other amazing buildings in Prague, since the fall of communism in 1989, they have been returned to their rightful owners and restored to their former glory. They also still function as the ‘Grand Hotel Europa’ and the ‘Meran Hotel’. I particularly like the intricate metalwork on the balconies of both buildings.
The other very noticeable feature of Prague architecture, is how many balconies and bay windows are held up and supported by carved figures, predominantly female ones. The photograph on the left, illustrates what I mean. However, it must be said that this example is relatively unusual. Why you may ask? Because both figures are fully clothed!
As you will observe when you scroll down, other female figures leave relatively little, if anything, to the imagination!
There are two further examples below which have suffered somewhat from the attention of the local pigeon population. If you look closely at the second picture below, you will see two pigeons sitting on the figure on the left.
Sometimes the figures are purely to beautify the building such as these two examples in contrasting artistic styles. But wherever you walk in the centre of Prague, there is always something of interest and beauty to see.