Archive for November 29th, 2021

November 29, 2021

Curiosities of Prague!!

Here i go again the deeper I look the more gems I find! I have written on Prague before in my blog and several posts, however, feel left some nice monuments out. This is a post to give credit to these wonderful architecture gems of Prague and tell you a bit more about them. Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Municipal House is a architectural complex belonging to the city of Prague. It brings together a concert hall dedicated to Bedřich Smetana, an exhibition space, reception rooms, a café and an Art Nouveau-style restaurant on the ground floor, a cocktail bar, a brasserie and a dance hall in the basement.


The Municipal House was built between 1905 and 1912, Under a copper dome, the pediment of the building is dominated by an impressive mosaic on a cardboard by Karel Špillar. Two “V” wings, the base of which would be the main entrance, frame the concert hall known as “Salle Smetana” in honor of the musician Bedřich Smetana. It can accommodate 1200 listeners and is used, among other things, for concerts as part of the Prague Spring Festival, The Municipal House was completely restored between 1994 and 1997.


Originally, on the site of the Municipal House, was the Royal Palace of the Sovereigns of Bohemia, the construction of which was undertaken in 1380 by Wenceslaus IV and which served for a century, from 1383 to 1484, as the main residence of the kings. of Bohemia, Sigismund I, Ladislas the Posthumous, George of Poděbrady before Vladislas IV Jagiello returned to Prague Castle. It is, symbolically, from the balcony of the Municipal House that on October 28, 1918, the independence of the country was proclaimed and the creation of the First Czechoslovak Republic. It was also within its walls that, following the Velvet Revolution, negotiations took place between representatives of the Civic Forum, headed by Václav Havel (later first President of Free Czech Republic) and those of the Czechoslovak Communist Party.

The official Municipal House of Prague

The Prague tourist office on the Municipal House

The National Gallery of Prague is the Czech museum , which houses the national art collections from Antiquity to the 21C.  The story goes that on February 5, 1796, the Society of Nationalist Friends of Fine Arts was created in Prague. Its initial members are mainly the representatives of the great Czech noble families who give it part of their collections of Baroque paintings. The Society founded an Academy of Fine Arts and a Gallery of Paintings open to the public. In 1902, the Emperor Franz Joseph added the Modern Gallery of the Kingdom of Bohemia to collect the Czech art of the 20C, In 1919, the Painting Gallery became de facto the museum institution of the new Czechoslovak state.

The collections of the National Gallery cover all eras and are distributed among various buildings, historical monuments and specialized repositories according to the era:

Saint Agnes Convent – ancient art collections (Middle Ages in Bohemia and Central Europe)
Saint-Georges cloister – collections of ancient art (mannerism under Rudolph II and baroque art)
Kinský Palace – the Czech landscape from the 17C to the 20C.
Šternberk Palace – European art from antiquity to the present day.
Exhibition Palace (Veletržní palác) – Fine Arts of the 19C and 20C.
Stables of Prague Castle and Stables of Wallenstein Palace – temporary exhibitions.
House of the Black Madonna – Museum of Czech Cubism.
Zbraslav Castle – collections of Asian and Oriental arts.


The official National Gallery of Prague

The Prague tourist office on the national gallery

The Wax Museum (Tussauds) has its address in Prague’s Old Town, where visitors can meet their favorite heroes, artists and other celebrities face to face. The exhibition is extensive, it is divided into several floors and thematic sections.


In the first, those interested will get acquainted with important figures of the Czech Middle Ages, including Charles IV. or Rudolf II. This is followed by well-known personalities of cultural and political life – President T. G. Masaryk, writer Karel Čapek or Dobrý voják Švejk.  Whoever prefers sports, both Czech and world, will be pleased, not only by the manikin of Jaromír Jágr. The cultural and musical world is represented by the Dalai Lama, Karel Gott or Tina Turner or Mick Jagger, and there is also a section dedicated to important dictators – Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Klement Gottwald or Stalin.

The official Wax Museum of Prague

The Prague tourist office on the wax museum

There you go folks, another set of dandy monuments in pretty Prague, Czech Republic! A wonderful city to walk and see the beautiful architecture and history; hope you have enjoy the post as i.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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November 29, 2021

The Church St Martin of Vitré!

And again doing my rounds in my own blog, found out only briefly mentioned this church and that is it. Sadly, one of the least seen in the city of Vitré but worth the detour and looking forward to see it wholly soon. You can see my many posts on Vitré as well.  Let me therefore, tell you briefly on the Church St Martin of Vitré!

The city of Vitré is located in Ille et Vilaine dept 35 of my lovely Bretagne at about 165 km and 2 hrs from my house.  The Church of Saint Martin is a Neo-Romanesque church, blessed in 1885. It was completely done in 1913 and still today it is one of the best example of Neo Romanesque construction in the department of Ille et Vilaine.

The Saint-Martin Church surprises with its size and the width of its nave. It has some very beautiful neo-Romanesque capitals and a large pulpit for preaching, much in the style of 19C creations. We are a little surprised by the very high stature of this neo-Romanesque church which literally crushes the surrounding houses in size. The porch rises halfway up the facade, which only reinforces the impression of slenderness. There are few carved parts, unlike traditional Romanesque buildings. It has a Latin cross layout, choir and transept covered with a ribbed vault, dome at the crossing of the transept, vault for the ambulatory, bell tower porch, lateral facade with multiple gables, chevet with canted sides, neo-Romanesque style , nave with large arches, triforium and double row of tall twin windows.


Artistically neo-Romanesque, through the breadth of its four levels, approaches neo-Gothic. On the first level, a series of very sober semicircular arcades is enriched with capitals. The very wide opening of the stands on the nave has a real cachet and makes all the nobility of the whole.  The central nave is very wide. Consequently, the architects authorized themselves, without fear of a feeling of being crushed, to cut the slenderness of the elevations by two cornices above the level of the stands: the lower one is with dentils, the upper one with billets. The first goes around the semi-engaged column when it meets it, while the second accommodates a capital and masks at the point of contact ,which is also that of the drop of the warheads. The pulpit to preach is a very beautiful cabinetmaking monument that occupies the entire width of a bay, it was made in 1902 .The stained glass windows in the nave are mostly made up of simple geometric shapes. However, the two most beautiful, and also the most original, are undoubtedly those which surmount the braces of the transept of the high altar.


The axis chapel is dedicated to Notre-Dame de Grâce. It is one of the most beautiful places in the church. The perimeter of this chapel hosts large murals on the themes of the Adoration of the Magi, the Adoration of the Shepherds and the Pieta . Above the altar, the statue of the Virgin and Child.

The great organ of the Saint-Martin Church perched on a platform occupying the first bay of the nave, the instrument, of neoclassical style. The construction, undertaken in 1941, was greatly delayed by the WWII.  The choir organ of the was built in 1883. It is placed at the end of the choir, in the central semicircular arch. The transmission is mechanical The instrument is housed in a one-story neo-Romanesque style sideboard supported by a high base. The bell tower of Saint-Martin Church houses five bells dating from 1885.

The city of Vitré on its history/heritage

The Vitré tourist office on arts and history:

The Ille et Vilaine 35 tourist office on St Martin Church:

The Bretagne region on things to see in Vitré:

There you go folks, a dandy city of Vitré in my lovely Bretagne. The St Martin Church is worth the detour once in town, and we will be back for more. And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!

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