We are four quintessential tourists . . . Zelda and I pulling and pushing our suitcase while Juli and Tejomaya carry their backpacks. Only Juli knows how to pack extremely few things in a very small backpack and still look extremely stylish for three-days . . . Teach me!!! To make our schlepp more humorous, the sidewalks in at least this section of Prague are all cobbled. I especially love/hate the small black and white cobble sidewalks! The walk is architecturally inspiring with Baroque, Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings.
“Dancing House,” was collaboratively designed by architects Frank Gehry (Canadian-American) and Vlado Milunic (Croatian-Czech) in 1992 and completed in 1996. The very non-traditional design was controversial at the time. It is situated where a former multi-story house was destroyed by the U.S. bombing of Prague in 1945. Next door, a house still remaining was co-owned by former Czech president Václav Havel's family and where he lived for decades. Havel enthusiastically supported the non-traditional and controversial at the time structure that was intended to be a cultural center for the area.
Considered “deconstructivist” or “new-baroque” in style, Dancing House's unusual shape is supported by 99 concrete panels, each a different shape and dimension. On the top of the building is a large twisted structure of metal nicknamed “Mary.”
On Narodni (street) we pass an interesting three-dimensional sculpture of hands reaching above a date (17.11.1989) that commemorates the Day of Struggle for Freedom and Democracy, which began with riot police suppressing a student and older dissidents demonstration and ended with the toppling of the communist regime. Known as the Velvet Revolution, this non-violent transition of power took place on the 50th anniversary of a violent demonstration that occurred here against Nazi occupation.
As hot and humid here as in Dresden and Berlin, our freshening up didn’t last long. By the time we reached Café Louvre (Narodni 116/20), we were ready for cold beers and food! The Café was founded in 1902 and “since its opening has represented the pinnacle of Prague café society and has been a centre of cultural life.” It is Art Nouveau in style and was frequented by Kafka and Albert Einstein in their day. Jazz Club Reduta next door, drew my attention — though no one else seemed interested. The Louvre serves traditional Czech cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and respecting the tradition of coffee-houses, you can borrow chess and checker games or play billiards on the five tables in its Billiard Hall. By the way, the food was excellent — vegetable pancakes, homemade quiche and a fabulous chocolate cake! [Sorry no pics of food ... too hungry!