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Obecní dům

Posted by
MadScientist (Düsseldorf, Germany) on 17 September 2010 in Cityscape & Urban.

Prague kills me. With all its accents, virgules, and gizmos, Czech consists of 84 letters. Says my tourist guide. Listening to Czech makes you understand the difference between voiced and breathed consonants, they even know of a whizzed r. Those Americans living there, who try to learn this language, must be heros.

Note to myself: learn Czech, at least 1000 words.

Czech money is far more beautiful than the Euro. Lions, eagles, coat of arms, portraits of important people - Euro designers clearly sucked. Applies to Czech coins, too.

Note to myself: support pressure groups for changing the Euro's design.

Prague is medieval. Prague is baroque. Prague is historistic. Prague is art nouveau. Prague is a modern city. 1000 years of city history are still present; no war damages that are younger than 200 years as it seems. Each building has its own history. Almost everything is in a good shape and structurally sound, at least in the areas we were visiting. Colourful buildings like the ones at home, but more beautiful. Much more beautiful. Heck, these people knew how to build a beautiful city.

Note to myself: sue some architects, just for fun.

Streets like symphonies. Big drama followed by great ease. Many tourists, but not crowded. Squares bigger than those at home. A lot of power is noticeable in these buildings and streets, but also poetry. It wants to impress you and you fall in love instead. Prague kills me. You're leaving desperate, unsatisfied, and exhausted, knowing that you've just seen 2 percent of this place. At most.

Note to myself: book a hotel for a second visit.

Image: Obecní dům, Prague's Municipal House.

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

Yes, you make those feelings come to life with the one photograph here . . cities do each have a distinctive character - and some I can think of get by rather well on a total absence of character, too !

17 Sep 2010 7:53am

@Ronnie 2¢: I do know a lot of these - Germany is full with both types of them.

Christine Walsh from Astoria, NY, United States

Prague also has blue skies...
I love art nouveau, hope you show some of that! Very nice down the street shot. Although I am in seeing more detail of the building - I really love the street lamps! Was prague expensive?

17 Sep 2010 11:22am

@Christine Walsh: Depends. Usually Prague has reached international levels, but if you avoid having your coffee in the centre of attraction (where most of the tourists are) and have it somewhere else instead, it's rather inexpensive. Our hotel was very good and had an acceptable price (but we were arriving after the high season). Books are as expensive as they are at home, and you have a good selection (photo books are usually multilingual). You will have to pay a fee for many sites, these prices are sometimes pretty high. But even if you decide to avoid a few places then there's still left enough for watching.

PHIL MORRIS from Canada

Love your notes, Prague seems to be crawling under your skin,
you have a real passion for this place and no doubt will return.
Superb photo.

17 Sep 2010 12:41pm

@PHIL MORRIS: Thank you very much, Phil!

Ted from South Wales, United Kingdom

"Streets like symphonies. Big drama followed by great ease...A lot of power is noticeable in these buildings and streets, but also poetry."

The image is good...but how do you follow that!!!

17 Sep 2010 2:30pm

@Ted: If it gets too convoluted, just tell me. ;-)

Laurent from Lyon, France

I really like your comment, it is almost what I think of the city too, but much better said than I could.
You just summarize so well this town.
Regarding the language, I remember a tourist book writing "don't even try to learn Czech, if you achieve to learn two words it will be two errors as Czech is not just about incredible syntax with all those accents but also a very disturbing way to put words together to make a sentence"

18 Sep 2010 4:05am

@Laurent: I think Mark Twain has written something very similar on the German language as well... :-D

Japanalia from Yokohama, Japan

A very beautiful piece of architecture that looks so clean and so new! I don't know how they manage it...but they do! I see you've been definitely IMPRESSED...I assume by the Old City....You did not go, by chance, in the suburbs where there are <quarters built during communism> , the new districts meant for the new man. I saw them in 1979 and they were so much alike to same districts in Budapest, Bucharest, Moscow....
And the language...in spite of the difficulties, is rather melodic....at least it was, to my ears. Polish is by far much more challenging!

18 Sep 2010 2:30pm

@Japanalia: We could see these districts in the far distance when visiting the castle. No doubt that the common inhabitant will have to live there, as I think that only very few people will have enough money for living in the palace-like residences of the inner city. Inevitable, as it seems, and part of a big gentrification process. Eventually you'll have nothing but companies, physicians, and lawyers in the old buildings.

MARIANA from Waterloo, Canada

great architecture on the left , but what happened to this little top !

19 Sep 2010 2:02pm

@MARIANA: Unfortunately something got a little distorted! :-)

Twelvebit from Victoria, United States

Seems to me the Euro is a screw job for Germans and a gift to the Portuguese and Italians. I don't see how a unified currency can work in the long run when it can be so effectively exploited to transfer wealth from lenders to debtors.

19 Sep 2010 6:56pm

@Twelvebit: The conversion rate of Euro and Deutsche Mark is approx 1:2. Seems that food prices stayed the same, just exchanging the currency. And we didn't talk about inflation yet.

akarui from Kagoshima, Japan

Beautiful buildings and perspective. I like the sky too.

20 Sep 2010 12:18am

@akarui: Cheers, Olivier!