Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Happy Name Day, Pavlína! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Pavlína.  Happy Name Day, Pavlína!
The name Pavlína is a variant of Paulina, which is of Latin origin.  The meaning of Pavlína is "small".

Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy Name Day, Vladěna! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Vladěna.  Happy Name Day, Vladěna!
The name Vladěna is of Slavonic origin and is mostly used in the Czech language.  The meaning of Vladěna is "to rule".

Happy Belated Name Day, Augustýn & Evelína! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

This past weekend we honored Augustýn (August 28th) and Evelína (August 29th).  Happy Belated Name Day, Augustýn & Evelína!

The name Augustýn is a variant form of the name Augustine, which is of Latin origin and means "august, dignified, holy".

The name Evelína is the latinate form of Aveline, which is from the Norman French form of the Germanic name, Avelina.  The name Evelina was revived by the author Fanny Burney for the heroine of her first novel "Evelina" (1778).  It is also often regarded as a variant of the related name, Evelyn.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Diamonds are a girl's best friend

Well, they are!  And who doesn't love the renowned French jeweler, Cartier?  I know I wouldn't mind his jewelry against my skin!

Cartier exemplifies elegance, and now you can you can see over 368 pieces of exceptional and historical jewels, timepieces, and luxury objects created by Cartier at Cartier na Pražském Hradě (Cartier at Prague Castle - "The Power of Style").

Located in the Riding Hall of the Prague Castle, which is also the largest Baroque building at the Castle, the Cartier exhibit is going on now through October 17, 2010.

The Prague Castle joined together with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the British Museum of  London, as well as other famous exhibition venues, such as Le Petit Palais in Paris, Vitra Design Museum in Berlin, the Kremlin Museums in Moscow, The National Musuem in Tokyo, and most recently, The Palace Museum in the heart of Beijing, and becomes the next place where visitors from all over the world will be able to discover 163 years of Cartier's magnificent creations.

The exhibition will allow visitors to get incredible insight into the royal jeweler's treasures through a fascinating and inspiring journey.  It will present the influences that lead to the creation of these works of art, along with original archives and biographical stories about their prestigious owners.

As Ivo Velíšek, Director of the Prague Castle Administration, puts it, "...The Prague Castle is the perfect venue for this worldwide acclaimed collection.  Staging it on our premises will add mystique and enchantment to the entire experience."

Happy Name Day, Otakar. Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Otakar.  Happy Name Day, Otokar!
The name Otakar is mainly used in the Czech language.  It's of Germanic origin and means "wealth, fortune; vigilant, watchful".

Thursday, August 26, 2010

'Cause this is thriller, thriller night

Because who doesn't want to do the Thriller dance through the streets of Prague?  I know I do!  So grab that red leather jacket you've been keeping in the back of your closet and join us for Thriller Walkin' Prague.

On Saturday, August 28th, beginning at 2 pm in the Zítkovy Sady Park on Palackého náměstí and ending at 5:20 pm in Hradčanské náměstí, some 500 to 1,000 people are expected to show up to recreate Michael Jackson's famous video

Unfortunately, due to a lack of sponsors, the organizers of this event have had to postpone an attempt to break the world record for the most people dancing simultaneously to Thriller in one place, but it will still be a scene with the amount of people they're expecting!

After the procession through the streets of Prague, the party moves to SaSaZu at 9 pm for Michael Jackson Forever, a party paying tribute to the King of Pop (9-11 pm admission is free; after 11 pm it's 100 CZK)

Participation in Thriller Walkin' Prague is free, but be sure to register for the event on the official Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=134004206634701&ref=ts

Visit the website at http://www.thrillerdance.cz/

Happy Name Day, Luděk! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Luděk.  Happy Name Day, Luděk!
Luděk is the Czech form of Louis/Lewis/Luis.  It is of French and Old German origin and means "famous warrior".

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Happy Name Day, Radim! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Radim.  Happy Name Day, Radim!
The name Radim is of Czech origin and is a short form of Radomir, which is of Slavonic origin and means "happy; peace; great, famous".

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Happy Name Day, Bartoloměj! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Bartoloměj.  Happy Name Day, Bartoloměj!
Bartoloměj is the Slovak, Croatian and Serbian form of Bartholomew, which is of Aramaic origin, and the meaning of Bartholomew is "son of Talmai (the father)"

Monday, August 23, 2010

Happy Name Day, Sandra! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Sandra. Happy Name Day, Sandra!
Sandra means "man's defender" and is of English origin and is the short form of Alexandra/Alessandra.  It was introduced to the English-speaking world by author George Meredith, who used it for the heroine in his novel "Emilia in England" (1864) and the reissued version "Sandra Belloni" (1887).

Today is a very special day...

Happy Birthday to my Daddy!

A little girl needs her Daddy
For many, many things:
Like holding her high off the ground
Where the sunlight sings! 
Like being the deep music
That tells her all is right
When she awakens frantic with
The terrors of the night. 

Like being the great mountain
That rises in her heart
And shows her how she might get home
When all else falls apart. 

Like giving her the love
That is her sea and air,
So diving deep or soaring high
She'll always find him there.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Happy Name Day, Bohuslav! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Bohuslav.  Happy Name Day, Bohuslav!
The name Bohuslav is the Czech, Slovak and Ukranian form of Bogusław, which is of Polish origin and means "glory of God".

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Happy Name Day, Johana! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Johana.  Happy Name Day, Johana!
The name Johana is of Hebrew origin, and its meaning is "God's grace".

Friday, August 20, 2010

Happy Name Day, Bernard! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Bernard. Happy Name Day, Bernard!
The name Bernard is of Old French and Old German origin, and the meaning of Bernard is "strong; brave bear". 

Three famous medieval saints bore the name: a founder of a monastic order, the patron saint of mountain climbers, and a scholastic philosopher.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happy Name Day, Ludvik! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Ludvik.  Happy Name Day, Ludvik!
The name Ludvik is a variant of Louis, which is of French & Old German origin.  The meaning of Ludvik is "famous warrior".

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dvořákova Praha (Dvořák Prague Festival 2010)

Friday, August 20th through Saturday, September 4th, the international classic music festival, Dvořákova Praha, will take place at the magnificent Rudolfinum, home to the Czech Philharmonic.

Dvořákova Praha is a celebration of the life & works of Czech composer Antonín Dvořák and his major impact on the Prague classical music scene in the 19th century.

The festival hosts a variety of international artists, each of whom will play a selection of Dvořák's famous pieces, among them the New World Symphony, the Slavonic Dances, and Rusalka.

Dvořák Hall 

Although he spent much of his career abroad, Dvořák's heart undoubtedly belonged to the Czech lands, and especially the Bohemian countryside.  The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra's first concert took place in the gorgeous Rudolfinum on January 4, 1896, and was conducted by no other than Antonín Dvořák.


The neo-renaissance Rudolfinum building is located on a site called Rejdiště.  In 1873, this site was bought by the Czech insurance company, Česká Spořitelna, with the goal to build a House of Artists as part of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of its founding.  Crown Prince Rudolf became the patron of the project and the building was named after him.  Well known architects J. Schulz and J. Zítek won the bid competition and presented the first plans in the year 1875.  The facade is an analogy of the fire-destroyed Semper Opera in Dresden (1838-1841).  The building was finished in the year 1881, and the sculptures in the attic gable are from 1884, the same year that the concert hall and the surrounding spaces were furnished.  The inauguration concert was held on February 7, 1885.

The roof of the Rudolfinum bears the statues of famous composers, including Wagner.  A legend from World War II states that the Concert Hall was to be defaced by toppling Mendelssohn off the roof, but the Nazi lackey was so ignorant that he knocked off Wagner's instead. 

Two majestic lions guard the carriage way

For more information about the festival, visit http://www.dvorakovapraha.cz/en/index.shtml

Alsovo nabrezi 12
11000 Praha 1

Happy Name Day, Helena! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Helena.  Happy Name Day, Helena!
Helena is a variant of Eleanor and Helen, both of which are of Greek origin.  The meaning of Helena is "sun ray, shining light".

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Beautiful photo compilation by Portuguese photographer Luis Lobo Henriques

I think this photo compilation of Prague by Portuguese photographer Luis Lobo Henriques is simply beautiful....

Happy Name Day, Petra! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Petra.  Happy Name Day, Petra!
Petra is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Petra is "rock".

A very special Všechno nejlepší k svátku goes out to my beautiful aunt Petra...

Monday, August 16, 2010

"The Apotheosis of Love"

Alfons Mucha (July 24, 1860 - July 14, 1939) is perhaps the best known Czech artist, thanks in part to his Art Nouveau posters.  And now, the Mucha Foundation is presenting an exhibition of his work on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of his birth.

My favorite work of Mucha's is entitled Summer and is part of Four Seasons, a series of decorative panels from 1896.

Summer is my favorite season, and this piece evokes memories of the lazy days of summer...

Four Seasons

"The Apotheosis of Love"
Hundreds of designs, photographs, and paintings representative of Mucha's work will be on display at The Municipal House now through September 30, 2010.

Also on display will be the studies Mucha made for his grand Slav Epic, which is currently on display in Moravský Krumlov because a suitable location has never been found to display these immense canvases in Prague.  First denounced by Hitler, Mucha's Slav Epic works were repressed behind the Iron Curtain for decades...rolled up and stored away for 25 years!  His true virtuosity is just now beginning to surface.  

Slav Epic

Part of one of the Slav Epic panels...

And what better place to show the works of Mucha than in the temple of Art Nouveau architecture itself, The Municipal House. 

 Located in the heart of Prague on Republic Square (Náměsti Republiky), the Municipal House features stained glass by "Mucha

"The Apotheosis of Love" at The Municipal House
Now through September 30th
Daily 10 am - 7 pm

Happy Name Day, Jáchym! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Jáchym.  Happy Name Day, Jáchym!
The name Jáchym is primarily used in Czech and its language of origin is Hebrew.  Jáchym is a form of Joachim, whic is also of Hebrew origin and means "Yahweh will establish; established by Yahweh".

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Happy Name Day, Hana! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Hana.  Happy Name Day, Hana!
The name Hana is of Arabic origin, meaning "bliss, happiness".

Saturday, August 14, 2010

"Beer is the center of the universe"

It's true, Czechs love their beer!  And here is a pretty funny video created by employees of Pilsen Prazdroj Brewery, reminding us that Czechs are some of the biggest beer drinkers in the world!
In four minutes the video introduces us to the Czech Republic, Prague, and the country's great men - all seen through the lens of a nation of beer drinkers.  Among other things the video tells us the Czechs separated from the Slovaks because they didn't drink enough beer.  Or that beer has the opposite effect on women: although it gives men beer bellies, it is the reason for the country's large number of supermodels.

Happy Name Day, Alan! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Alan.  Happy Name Day, Alan!
The name Alan is of Old German origin, and its meaning is "precious".

Friday, August 13, 2010

Charity Photo Exhibit at the Municipal House - Don't Miss the Works of Photographer Angelo Purgert

Don't miss this amazing opportunity to see photographer Angelo Purgert's work at the Municipal House.  Sunday (August 15th) is the last day of the exhibit so get over there ASAP!
The First Republic was a period of style, decency, romance and gentlemen (a period that I would like to see brought back if I do say so myself).  It is this period that inspired Angelo Purgert, who in his photographs combined, in an entirely original manner, the First Republic style with a touch of present times.

The photographs presented at this charity photo exhibition were taken in Prague's important First Republic locales, such as the Municipal House, hotels Ambassador, Imperial, and Paris; cafes Slavia, Louvre, Imperial and Adria.  Locations, naturally, also include Myšák, the First Republic confectionery, and the National Technical Museum, as well as the streets of old Prague and various parks.

The exhibit will allow you to travel back in time to the beginning of the last century and enjoy the atmosphere of that time time.  The exhibit will end on August 15th, culminating in an auction of the displayed works.  All proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Children's Home in Dolni Počernice, Prague.  To ensure the greatest possible financial aid for the children's home, all participants in the project have selflessly agreed to give up their royalties.  

Angelo Purgert was born in 1965 in Prague.  The beginning of his career was, thanks to his father, linked to the legendary Flexaret camera.  His photographs have been published in foreign publications, commercial and advertising materials.  He co-operated on the concept of the book entitled, "The Best of Prague", which has been published in eight languages, to which he also contributed photographs.

Sat & Sun 10-6 pm
Municipal House Clubrooms, Namesti Republiky 5, 111 21 Prague 1

The oldest bar in Prague

Americký Bar (American Bar) is located in the Municipal House in Prague, and is the oldest bar in Prague and the second oldest bar in Europe...or so they claim.  Its history dates back to the beginning of the 19th century when this was apparently the first public place where thoughts from the "New World" were reflected.  For instance, members of the "American Women Society" could visit Americký Bar without being accompanied by (gasp!) men. 

The decor is very unique and will transport you to an era long gone

The bar is decorated with colorful drawings by M. Ales (drawn in 1910-1911).  In 1921, these were replaced with copies made by A. Neumann, of which six were again replaced in 1997 with new copies made by R. Klouza.  On the pilasters adorned with replicas of the original black ceramic tiles you will find six drawings...these being:  "A cooper", "A countrywoman with a goose", "A (female) gardener", "A butcher", "A cook with a fish", and "A beater with a hare".

The dominant feature in the room is the main ceiling chandelier.  Its stained glass mosaic in the shape of a  wreath with four diamond cartridges frames a drawing of a heron by Mikuláš Aleš.

The bartender is a master at his craft...proven by the delicious cocktails I enjoyed.  

So head on over to the Municipal House and take in its Art Nouveau interior before making your way to the basement and the oldest bar in Prague...Americký Bar.

Open daily 11:30 am - 11 pm
Address:  Náměstí republiky 5, 110 00, Praha 1

Happy Name Day, Alena! Všechno nejlepší k svátku!

Today we honor Alena.  Happy Name Day, Alena!
The name Alena is of Greek and Latin origin, and a variant of the name Helen.  Alena means "sun ray; shining light".

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Another fun summer activity

Ever wonder what it would be like to be inside a gigantic beach ball or to walk on water?  Well, here's your chance to find out!

I'm back & forth between "this would be a blast!" and "I'm not even inside that thing yet and I already feel claustrophobic", but here's a video of some people giving this a go:  
Overall it looks like a lot of fun!  Except that background music makes it seem like you're staring in your very own horror flick.

For more information visit http://www.aqua-ball.cz/ 

"What the heck is that thing?"

Whenever I'm in Prague with someone who's visiting for the first time I know I'm bound to hear, "What the heck is that thing?"  That "thing" they refer to is this...

This "thing" is the Prague Metronome, which was designed by international artist Vratislav Novak.  It was erected in 1991 and stands on a platform left vacant after the 1962 destruction of an enormous monument to former Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin.

The Stalin Monument

The 75-foot-tall Metronome is part of our landscape now and a meeting place for young folk.  The area behind the Metronome is a famous skate park where skateboarders from around the world meet and film.

Metronome is situated in Letna Park and can be reached by walking across the Stefaniku Bridge from the main city area.