Old Town, New Town

For all intents and purposes Prague escaped pretty much unscathed from World War II.  So the Prague you see today is the Prague you would have seen 100+ years ago.  Granted there are in-fill and contemporary buildings but for the most part its a preservationist’s dream land.  Like, “Holy awesome architecture Batman!”  Where there is infill much care has been taken to make a distinction between old and new while still being compatible.  Even an architect I love to bash, Frank O. Gehry, successfully placed a building within Prague’s intact city center.  So here are the sights from both Old Town and New Town.  But don’t let the names confuse you, New Town’s founding was over 600 years ago.  So its really Older Town and Old Town.

Look at all the care and detail

Look at all the care and detail

Old Town Center- Many churches and shops surround this plaza

Old Town Center- Many churches and shops surround this plaza

Old Town buildings glisten in the sun- pink, yellow, green, blue

Old Town buildings glisten in the sun- pink, yellow, green, blue

The next three photos are of Frank O. Gehry’s building, “Frank and Ginger”.  As a preservationist I am not only concerned with the fate of historic buildings but also how contemporary interventions affect its historic surroundings.  Having only seen “Frank and Ginger” in photographs I did not think this project was successful.  After being in the space with the building I have changed again.  Proving once again, architecture must be experienced.  Particularly look at the second photograph and tell me how its NOT a contemporary take on the historic stylings its surrounded by.  You can’t because that’s exactly what it is.  And yet its distinct from the historic buildings, while still being compatible.  I tip my hat to you Mr. Gehry, this one time.

Fred and Ginger

Fred and Ginger

A contemporary take on historic Prague- spectacular

A contemporary take on historic Prague- spectacular

Check out the curves on Ginger

Check out the curves on Ginger

And now a few more shots from around Prague.

The Franciscan Garden was in full bloom

The Franciscan Garden was in full bloom

Good King Wenceslas riding his horse

Good King Wenceslas riding his horse

Headstones from the overcrowded Old Jewish Cemetary

Headstones from the overcrowded Old Jewish Cemetary

The weather held out for me today.  I have my fingers crossed for tomorrow when I cross the river and check out the Prague Castle, St. Vitus, and The Loretto.

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