Prague, Czech Republic
Prague, Czech Republic (Photo editing by Alicia Hall)
Saturday, December 04, 2010
Streets off the Charles Bridge
Prague was on the itinerary as the lone remaining city of heavy Russian cultural and Soviet-era political influence other than St. Petersburg, which dropped off some time ago. The intent here was to observe how and whether traditional Russian-influenced architecture, Russian constructivism, Soviet-era styles, and contemporary architecture of our time has or has not contributed to the idea of timelessness in architecture. In particular, the goal was to observe Prague’s modern architectural contributions, including Frank Gehry’s ‘Dancing House’and the Prague Telecommunications Tower.
Dancing House by Architect Frank Gehry
Zizkov Television Tower
A strategic jewel in the former Soviet bloc collection of states until the USSR’s collapse in 1987, this city of 1.3M/1.9M metro (known locally as Praha), sprung to life as one of Europe’s hot new party capitals after the fall of the Berlin wall, welcoming in all the top fashion retailers and opening up it’s capitalist doors to all citizens. Wenceslas Square, the dividing point between old and new Prague (actually a long boulevard with a wide public space down the center) is ground zero for everything from public exhibitions and shops/restaurants to hotels and seedy cabarets, and is terminated at one end by the Czech National Museum. Unlike the politically-driven family values police in the U.S., Prague, like many large European cities, seems to have no issue with the proliferate ‘dens of iniquity’ shadowing its historic landmarks.
Danube River with the Citadel on left and Chain Bridge ahead
Modern commercial office building on the Buda Hills side of the city
New vs Old Construction, Budapest City Center