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O1 Prague Arrival, Recon

Pepsi, Tram

EAGER TO GET TO ITRECON

I hadn’t been checked in at the hotel for more than 30 minutes when I decided it was time to get out and into Prague and see what was around. A quick recon with one camera and a 35mm lens would be enough. It was raining lightly. It was Monday

Hotel 987 is only a five minute walk to Old Town Square. So, the adventure begins.

The electric crackle of the trams reminded me a lot of Milan, especially given that it is gray and rainy, the naked trees and lack of warmth impress a dreary post-apocalyptic tone to the outing. Modern structure in Winter gives me this feeling. It was Winter in Milan.

A chair on some scaffolding makes a nice silhouette against a gray blanket sky, and frames a walking woman carrying a folded umbrella.

Powder Blue Pepsi Lady, so European, adorns a building wall. I adore you as my landmark, seeing you, I know I am close to home. You are a fine backdrop to a red tram full of people this saturated day (are they dreaming of Pepsi too?).

Wet cobblestone spotted with Umbrella People makes for interesting shots. Red Umbrella, what are you thinking? Walk away, I am following you with my camera. click, click.

A lady runs in the rain, in a hurry for something, she is in black but framed by the pink St. Nicholas. A town square bristles with walkers and lookers, I am not the only one with a camera

Old Town Square, the rain, umbrellas, colorful architecture, all make for poetic studies.

Here are a few shots in the first Out & about gallery:

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Many churches I find are closed, it is Monday. I hope that is the reason. Only one is open. St. Nicholas of Old Town Square (there is another St. Nicholas in the Little Quarter), open for entrance, though it is roped off inside offering limited access. Baroque style brings to mind an ornate wedding cake. It is currently open only for services and is famous for its public music performances (sadly for me, they begin in April).

Both this (1730’s) and the Little Quarter St Nicholas (1702) are the Baroque creations of architect Kryštof Dientzenhofer. Information abounds on the web.

Here are some shots of St. Nicholas II

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With the St Charles Bridge under repair, another photo op denied me, I opt to meander toward the Jewish Quarter for a visit to the renowned Jewish Cemetery. Definitely a consecrated space, set aside for the rest of the dead and memory of the living.

12,000 tomb stones undulate poetically above an estimated 100,000 buried. Small pebbles rest atop the markers as wishes and prayers, offering respect to lives once lived.

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New Town Wednesday…

Previously in France

vezerlay1.jpg

In 2003, I was a painter.
It started innocently enough armed only with a Sony 717 camera and curiosity.

The trip was planned for Paris to see the Louvre and to see  several of the “Seven Great Gothic Cathedrals”.

It turned a previous calling in painting a new direction; the study and proclamation of the consecrated and sacred.

France, where the Gothic style began with Abbot Suger and the mystical infusion of symbol where the structure itself became representative of the Holy Jerusalem, and also of the human body (New Testament folk should love the Metaphore here of the temple/ the body/ and an architectural form) all as a theological remembrance for a fallen world. A service from and to the Divine.

An idea of the spirit of this can be read here about the doors excerpted from Abbot Suger’s writings:

“Whoever thou art, if thou seekest to extol the glory of these doors,
Marvel not at the gold and the expense but at the craftsmanship of the work.
Bright is the noble work; but, being nobly bright, the work
Should brighten the minds, so that they may travel, through the true lights,
To the True Light where Christ is the true door.
In what manner it be inherent in this world the golden door defines:
The dull mind rises in truth through that which is material
And, in seeing this light, is resurrected from its former submersion.”

More insight to Abbot Suger’s thoughts.

Oddly, the one church I missed was the Abby Church of St. Denis – ground zero of the Gothic shift.

That month in France I photographed 30 churches in Paris, and about in the cities of Rouen, Chartres, Amien, Beauvais.

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