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Adventures in Writing, Reading & Book Culture

Prazska Musejm Noc

Each year for one night, Prague’s 20+ museums open the gates free of charge, and shuttle people in buses to the myriad sites for a night of “museum hopping” from 7pm – 1am.

Art museums, history, architecture, crafts, sciences, music, the great theaters and opera houses, even the Museum of City Police. We missed the last one on that list.

We began at Sternberg Palace, on Hradcany Namesti (just outside the Prague Castle gates). Three floors hold works by Goya, Rubens, Rembrandt, Durer, and many others. Lots of religious themes, but then that was how the Classical through Baroque Eras were.

One piece of sculpture (design?) was outstanding: an inkwell of a¬†bronze frog with gaping mouth and pen holder. Other prizes we found were the many still lifes from the 16th century that look more real than photographs; a “tree of life” carved from wood (of course), complete with carved leaves; a huge central chamber on the 3rd floor that we all agreed would make a perfect bedroom: 45-ft ceiling, 80-ft diameter oval room, dramatic windows beside which can be installed a rock climbing wall (to clean the windows, naturally).

We (Cal, Anne, Radka, Sophie, and Alex) stayed more than 2 hrs at this palace. When we finally got back onto the square, we’d decided that this one museum had been enough. Next stop? Pivovarske “U Hradku” at the base of the castle.

The women peetered out by time we walked down the hill, so me and Cal squeezed ourselves into the crowd and found a pair of chairs amongst a big table of mellow Czech souls enjoying (from a quick look at their bill ticks) their 10th round of Pilsner Urquel.

Cal and I enjoyed two beers before “last call” was announced by the burly bartender. This is a nice pub that’s off the tourist path, where Czech can be heard and our English (and some meager but passable Czech) is understood.

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