Friday, February 19, 2010

A Bit Bummed

I seem to have lost 5/7 of my photos from the Czech Republic.  My camera will take about 240 photos on a single set of batteries.  While I wandered around each day I'd take photos of what ever was interesting.  When the batteries were nearly dead I would download the photos (nearly a weeks worth) onto a flash drive.  When I tried to download the drive to my computer the photos weren't there.  I have no idea what happened to them.  My husband has a few somewhere so I may supplement mine with his as time goes by.  We'll see.

For today we will have a look at some of the interesting architechtural features of the region.  Some of these photos were taken in the Chumotov and some were taken in Prague.  I honestly don't know which city most are from. 

This is the door to the building that is across the square from the hotel we stayed at.  The building was constructed in 1669 (see the stone above the door) and at one time was a church. I believe it is an apartment building now.  I've not seen anyone use this door, and at different times during the week concert posters are placed here.

This is the building that belongs to the door in the first photo.  In real life it doesn't lean the way it does in my photo.  :)  I love these half round windows.

This is another view in the courtyard.  The building in the photo above is to the right.  The arched windows look into a retail area that was never open when I was around it.  I believe that the stage is where the concerts are held and the benches are where the patrons sit.

This is the third building in that same courtyard. Aren't the different textures and shapes interesting? I love these arches and columns. I also love the shrubbery but I don't think I took any photos of just that.  See the wires on the roof?  I was told that those are ground wires for the lightning rods that aren't in the photo.  This cluster of buildings had about a dozen lightning rods, and it was nowhere near the tallest building in the area.  Also note the wheelchair ramp behind the wrought iron fence.  This was one of only two wheelchair ramps I saw during my entire three week visit.


This is the arch that you walk through to get into the court yard.  Note the rosettes carved into the stone.  There were so many examples of this type of thing that it would be impossible for one person to catalog it all.


This is a random building somewhere in Chomutov.  Most of the buildings in the area are business on the bottom and apartments on the upper floors.  There are many exceptions to this though.  One of the places that we most enjoyed eating was upstairs and quite a few of the retail stores are located above other establishments.  In the upper corners of the building the figures are the heads of lions.

This is a detail of the face in the photo above.  I was amazed at how many buildings have this kind of adornment.  I'd love to know if it is original to the buildings or if it was added at a later date.  Most of it is in really good shape too.

This building is starting to crumble but it is still visually interesting and very detailed. 
This is the detail from above the window.  Usually these adornmants are figural.  This display of fruit is one of the few exceptions that I noted.

Another figural adornment.  The building where she lives must be pretty nondescript because I didn't take a photo of it.

He reminds me of Dionysus.  I'd love to hear your opinion in the comment section.

This Is a slightly slanty photo of the building that the two heads above live on.  I guess I did take a photo of it after all.  The sprire you see is on top of this building. 

The brown brick building you see in the background houses a Herna.  I couldn't get a solid translation for that, but everywhere that word was, there was a small casino inside.  It is open 24 hours a day and even says "non-stop" in English outside of the building.  You can play roulette and video poker there all the time.  Other table games open on the weekend when there are more patrons.  It is my understanding that you can also place wagers on televised sports in these buildings, but there aren't any televisions inside to watch the events so you'd have to come back at a later time to collect any winnings.  They also wager on "football" which is played on a table similar to a foosball table.  There are many of these Hernas in Chomutov.  I can remember at least 10 of them within walking distance of the hotel and since it was 10 degrees Farenheit or less the entire time we were there, walking distance for me was about a mile in any direction.

I don't know what this building houses, but I thought it was pretty.  I love that there are lots of windows on the fronts of these buildings.  It is probably an attempt to make up for the fact that there aren't any on the sides since they are usually touching the building next door.  The glass in the upstairs windows was wavy which is fascinating to me.

This is one of those buildings of which I don't remember the location.  Note the width, or lack thereof, of the door. 

Another interesting piece of a fruitbowl.  This is one of the buildings where I think the adornment was added well after original construction.  Something about the cement reminds me a but of stucco.

I thought this was very interesting because it is so intricate.

This reminds me of Green Man, though there are no leaves.  I think he makes an interesting juxtaposition with the texture and lined design behind him.  Exposed wires like those to his right are nearly as common a sight as the adormnent of the buildings.

Faces and flowers.  And that hole that looks like someone took a sledge hammer to the building.  I have no idea what that hole is but, it isn't the only one I saw.

I thought this building was interesting in the variety of work.  Simple on the bottom and increasing in intricacy as we work our way up.


Another that reminds me of the Green Man.  And this one has a beard that looks like leaves.

I really enjoyed the colorful buildings.  I think that this green is just about perfect.  And the designs are interesting.  I think this photo was taken in Prague and I am almost positive that the business on the right is a tavern.


Detail from the photo above.  I adore these owls!


This building was definitely in Prague.  I wish I'd been the one to take a photo of the U.S. Embassy there.  It is the only Embassy I've seen in real life and the building was ver cool.

We've come to the last architecture photo.  I included this one because the decorative features are different than the others I've shown today.

When I post again the topic will be art.  And this isn't museum art, but art around the town.  There was an incredible amount.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Waiting for Laundry to Dry

How boring, eh?  The last load of wash is in the dryer and I am surfing around enjoying the internet while I wait.

I think it would be a grand idea to post a picture of my recent trip to the Czech Republic.  I have about one third of them loaded on this machine so I think I'll try my luck and see if I can get one stuck in this blog some how.  Here we go...

It worked!  I'm so happy I could do a little dance.  Instead I'll tell you a bit about the photo.

This is the view of the city square in Chomutov.  The steepled building in the background is the biggest church I saw in the town.  The white tent about midway in the photo was put up after we'd been there for about three days.  Each night a different performace was held in the tent.  Most of the entertainment was performed by local school children. 

The small brown structure just behind the first car is a temporary store front for a fish monger.  It is my understanding that people in this part of the country only eat fish for Christmas dinner.  So, a few weeks before the holiday these buildings are erected and several huge blue plastic tubs are filled with cold water.  Then come the fish, somehow by magic I think.  Huge carp appear in the tubs and then the shoppers show up.  They select a fish and the owner of the stall cleans and packages it for the supper of the lucky diner.  I watched this happen for days, the men stayed all night and I never saw a single fish delivered to the square though many dozens left in tidy paper packages.

Just to make sure it wasn't a fluke I uploaded another photo.  This was a holiday art exhibit that we saw one evening as we were walking to dinner.  I believe the entire thing is made of straw.  Somewhere in my photos I have some pictures of live sheep that were just beyond the field of vision of the first photo I posted.  I thought this was one of those photos, but apparently I was mistaken. 

I will try to get the remainder of the photos into my computer tomorrow and will post a few more photos regularly until I have them all available to you.  I hope you enjoy these two in the mean time.