Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Cubist Houses

On Sunday, Hubert inquired whether I might like to meet him and a Fulbrighter visiting from Sweden to take a look at the cubist houses below Vyšehrad. I was rather tired after having gone to the Croatian art nouveau show at the Obecní dům (which is much to be recommended) and a subsequent fruitless attempt to find coffee (the cafes at the Obecní dům, the Cubist Museum, the design museum, and the Ebel kavárna were all full), but the cubist houses are on my way home, so I agreed to meet them at the house on Neklanova. A couple of years ago, Jesse and I had discovered that there was a new and quite good restaurant in this house, so I persuaded Hubert and Valerie that we should stop for something to drink before seeing the other houses. While the prices have gone up, it is still a nice place to sit. And I should point out that one can only get this kind of view of the house with the wide angle, unless perhaps one could photograph it from the elevated railway tracks.

Down the street and a bit around the corner one finds this elegant house. which looks out at the river and the railroad bridge. My first acquaintance with it, when I was living in the neighborhood, was with the back of the building (or is it technically the front?), shown below.

While this side is the business entrance and presumably is where the mail is delivered, I think it is less agreeable. Or perhaps that's just because the garages next door are not very inspiring.

Considering that I did spend three months living in this neighborhood, it took me an inordinately long time to locate this house and its companions, which are farther down the river than my guidebook had led me to imagine. I now see them pretty much every day from the tram. The pointy items that look like ears do not actually belong to this house, but to the church up the hill at Vyšehrad.

This is more the view one gets from the tram going by.

And this is the farthest south of the houses, which faces toward the tunnel and an attractive building dubiously labeled a nightclub. (Not in photo.) I was dubious enough of the nightclub before Kelly informed me that in German, the word refers solely to brothels and not to places where ordinary people go to dance. I have not yet inquired whether the term takes the English or the German meaning in Prague.


Blogger Max and Cha said...

I love your blog

Paris, France


May 02, 2006 11:33 PM  
Blogger Max and Cha said...

I love your blog

Paris, France


May 02, 2006 11:34 PM  
Blogger random.thoughts said...

Nice photos

May 03, 2006 12:41 AM  
Blogger morskyjezek said...

Nice photos of those houses. Hubert mentioned how they always look so much more distinctive in pictures. It's funny how they can blend in so well when you're just walking along the street.

I would say that the "nightclub" you mention is definitely of the brothel variety. Look closely at the advertisements and signage when you go by and there seems little question. I can't imagine many people looking for a dance club would ever find the place anyway.

May 03, 2006 1:47 AM  
Blogger Julia said...

Nice pics! I went to a meeting once in the second one from the top - mostly so that I could actually go into the building and check it out! From the inside it wasn´t as remarkable as from the out, but the conference room had a few more walls to it than four which made it interesting (and apparently a challenge to furnish a bit as well).

May 03, 2006 8:58 AM  
Blogger Karla said...

I agree that the houses blend in with their surroundings when seen in real life--my first attempt to find them was fruitless. Of course, when you see the second one down from the riverside view, it does immediately strike one as unusual.

I guess I haven't examined the nightclub closely enough. The tram is as close as I've ever gotten as I'm not sure there's even a sidewalk there. The place always looks deserted. Perhaps we can do a feature on disreputable locales and include the place Alex found in Smichov.

May 03, 2006 9:28 AM  
Blogger Karla said...

Speaking of photos, Max and Cha have many good black-and-white ones on their blog.

May 03, 2006 9:35 AM  

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