The Little Quarter

(Malá Strana)

If you like Baroque art and architecture, the Little Quarter is the place to go. Just walk across the Charles Bridge and you're there. The Church of St. Nicholas and the Wallenstein Palace were the places we chose to visit, having also been to the Museum of Musical Instruments.

I don't know what it is about Baroque buildings that affects me so, but I really find them to be repulsive. And the Church of St. Nicholas was no exception. The excess was excessive. See what you think.

This isn't in the Little Quarter, but on the way. It's called the Melantrichova Passage.

Lots of gold in this church, and I don't think it's fake.

I'm not sure about this one---is he holding gold handcuffs?

A gold pulpit. I wonder if economic justice gets preached from it.

Details from base of pulpit. Dragons perhaps?

The baroque organ which Mozart was said to have played in 1787.


Wallenstein Palace

Albrecht von Wallenstein was a very successful Czech military commander during the 30 Years' War. So successful, in fact, that he believe he deserved to be king of Bohemia. He started conniving with enemies of the Emperor and the Emperor decided he'd had enough. Wallenstein was killed by mercenaries. But before that happened, he had a magnificent palace built, trying to surpass the Prague Palace on the hill above. In order to build, he had to purchase 23 houses, three gardens, and a municipal brick kiln. The garden is both strange and awesome---a wall that appears to be an abstract creation of concrete foam, simulating stalagmites and stalactites. It dates from the building of the palace, 1624 - 1630. Greek statuary by Adriaen de Vries highlight Wallenstein's fixation with Greek heroes, which he identified with. It's an interesting place to visit.

The dominant feature of Wallenstein Palace is the garden pavilion.

It looks out over the garden with its bronze statues, which are copies of the ones stolen by the Swedes in 1648.

On the ceiling are paintings of Greek gods. Wallenstein liked to think of himself as Mars, god of war.

Hard to believe that this wall was made in the 17th century, with it's depictions of stalagmites and stalactities.

An up close view.

The whole thing is a bit fanciful---more so when you see this face that Ann spotted in a corner of the wall.

I'm not going to expose my ignorance of things Greek by commenting on these sculptures. Any help would be welcomed.

It would appear that St. George wasn't the only mythical dragon killer.

In contrast to the bronze figures, this very live peacock also occupied the garden.

Ann did her best Dr. Dolittle immitation and had an intimate conversation with the peacock.