Sunday, 21 November 2010

Vysehrad



It's perhaps a sad truth, but most of us are creatures of habit (well, perhaps not everyone is, but I think most of us are)...I am no exception to this rule. For example, in general, I tend to gravitate towards the centre of Prague within a certain radius of the Charles Bridge, but now that we have a dog, I have found myself trying to find new places (new to me, that is!) where there are also large green spaces as well. On one such occasion, my husband (a native Pragois) decided to take a walk in Vysehrad. Well, if any of you know Prague (and many of you certainly do!), Vysehrad is not just an area, but to be precise, it is the second castle in Prague. Until now (and even still) I have only made short visits to Vysehrad and all that is encompassed in castle's walls...which is A LOT! Vysehrad isn't far from Prague...it is right inside of it!! I have always thought of Vysehrad as the lesser sister of the two castles in this city since it doesn't receive the same recognition that the Prague Castle does (I guess having the president and the government there makes a difference), but that doesn't mean it is less interesting. It is very interesting, but in an entirely different way. I won't go into detail on that, but I will show you some photos of a small chapel that is in the castle grounds. The chapel/rotunda is interesting in itself, but it is, OF COURSE, the door that I was most interested in when the path I had taken lead me to it. A round building, a rounded door frame, round columns, lots of rounded shapes on and around the door...and look at that fabulous curvy wrought-iron work on the door...what spectacular hinges those are!! Wow, Wow and WOW!! One could say that all those loopty-loos and curly-cues might just be for decoration, but one could also think that maybe they were designed to help offer additional support for the door and even a bit of extra surface protection. Sure, the door is of wood, but with those hinges it might withstand a beating before giving in. Give into what? Well, churches have notoriously been sanctuaries for those seeking shelter...of all kinds. Maybe not so much today, but perhaps back when this building was initially constructed*.

*This chapel / rotunda is called Saint Martin and is the oldest of Prague's 3 surviving rotundas. It was probably built some time during the second half of the 11th century under the reign of the first king of Bohemia (yes, Prague is in Bohemia), King Vratislav.

5 comments:

Pat Tillett said...

Wow! That metal work is impressive!
You now have a dog? What do the cats think about that? LOL...

Malyss said...

All those curves make me think of the Island of Malta!the same kind of architecture.. The door is impressive for such a small building, and all the monument is quite unusual. Very interesting!!

morememes said...

You have so much beauty on your doorstep. I confess to being a little envious. It seems that every door and building you show us, is exceptional.
You will have a very educated dog :-)

Please CAT, come and take a look at my latest craze: a little less organized than your fab doors, but so colourful. I have been on a high all weekend.
joco

Madi and Mom said...

Gorgeous door!!! Thank you for the beautiful pictures and commentary!!
Hugs Madi and MOm

Lola Lynn said...

I visited the Vysehrad about 15 years ago. I remember the church of St. Peter and St. Paul and Antonin Dvorak's tomb but not this beautiful chapel. Thanks for sharing pictures of St. Martins. My husband's 4 g'parents came from Bohemia and always referred to themselves as Bohemians. I think the use of "Czech" is used more now.