Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Dancing House - Prague

I know I haven't been here for a while :-(. I have been very busy lazy since we moved to Prague. New language and endless paperwork keeps me on the top of my toes constantly. Prague is definitely a European capital (probably one of the most beautiful ones), but the moment you step in to any of the administrative buildings you cross instantly to "Communism". Or, to tone it down, you can definitely feel you deal with people from some old previous bureaucratic systems. If you are from the Balkans, you feel at home :). 

 Suddenly everything makes sense. One truly understands the inspiration for Josef K's misfortunes. Der Process was written here for a reason. To name one example, only here (and probably in the Balkans) does it make sense to hire people who do not speak English in the police office dedicated to the registration of foreigners. Or any other foreign language, for that matter. 

To brighten up, you can clearly see a line between the old communist clerks and the young Czechs in general. Younger generations all speak English and have been abroad. They have different open minded views, willing to help and mediate when you come across the old guard office clerks who roll their eyes on you, clearly annoyed that they have to do some extra work their job. 

Another reason I was away for so long is that I don't know where to start writing. Prague is a true treasure. It is living history. It's amazing and intimidating at the same time. Each building is a gem of its own. It's a mix of Baroque, Art Nouveau and Gothic. Writing about any of the impressive structures of Prague will require a lot of research, which makes me thrilled and a bit scared at the same time. 

Before delving into history and old Prague I will start with the new and modern. My first pick is the Dancing House (Tančící dům) designed by Croatian-Czech architect Vlado Milunić in a co-operation with the well known Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry. The style is known as Deconstructivism or "new-baroque". Some other noteworthy landmarks by Gehry are the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Beekman Tower in New York.   

The Dancing House is one of the fairly recent and controversial landmarks of Prague. Many criticize the building for its extreme contrast from the rest of the more classical Prague. To me it seems daring and refreshing. What do you think?

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