Author: Alex

Vozová 1567/8: U Severní Točny

To reach the North Pole became a worldwide obsession in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The American Robert Peary’s arrival there on 6 April 1909 made international headlines, and could well be the explanation for the...

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Náměstí Míru: Church of Saint Ludmila

Saint Ludmila, to whom the basilica in Náměstí Míru is dedicated, was the grandmother of ‘Good King’ Wenceslas I. She it was who brought up the future ruler, instructing him in language and literature and of course the...

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Náměstí Svatopluka Čecha: Church of Saint Wenceslas

In 1929, to commemorate the millennial of the martyrdom of St Wenceslas, three major commissions were undertaken for the Catholic Church in Prague. The cathedral of St Vitus – begun in the 14th century – was completed, along...

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Průhledová 1804/6

In the early 1930s, a group of Prague architects, inspired by the Bauhaus movement (and particularly by the Stuttgart Weissenhofsiedlung of 1927), decided to set up a similar model housing estate in the neighbourhood of Baba, a high...

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Koulova 1501/15: Hotel International

If the imposing Hotel International in the northern quarter of Dejvice momentarily calls to mind the buildings of downtown New York, that’s deliberate: Stalin’s personal approval of this architectural style was based on his desire to see the...

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Václavské náměstí 792/34: Wiehlův Dům

The historic house known as ‘Wiehlův Dům’ in Wenceslas Square was built in 1896 by and for the architect Antonín Wiehl (1846-1910), a leading figure of the Czech neo-Renaissance. The facade, by Josef Fanta with murals designed by...

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Strahovské nádvoří 132/1: Strahov Library

The Strahov monastery has been home to the order of Premonstratensians (White Canons) since 1143, and to the relics of Saint Norbert – the order’s founder – since 1627. The complex of buildings is remarkable for its painted...

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Nerudova 233/47: U dvou slunců

Devotees of Pablo Neruda, the Chilean Nobel Prize winner, will be aware that he adopted his pen-name in homage to the earlier Czech poet Jan Neruda, who spent his formative years at the baroque House of the Two...

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Úvoz 169/6: U tři seker

‘U tři seker’ (The Three Axes) is one of several houses on this street in Prague’s Castle District to retain their original house signs. This one refers to the story that a carpenter once lived here, although the...

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Úvoz 161/22: U zrcadla

Madonna and Child with the attributes of Justice: stucco decoration on the facade of the house ‘U zrcadla’ (The Mirror), dating from 1729. Enthroned beneath a gilded baldachin, the Queen of Heaven cradles the Christ child. He holds...