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Art & Music in Prague
Art & Music in Prague OverviewBohemian Heartland: Art & Music in Prague from CICERONI Travel. Several private visits to important palaces and collections. See the famous Lobkowicz collection of paintings Art Nouveau and Art Deco architecture and design of great beauty. Opportunity to attend opera, ballet and concert performances. Unhurried pace and plenty of free time.
Bohemian Heartland: Art & Music in Prague
Tour Lecturer; Tom Duncan, Co-founder CICERONI TravelHow many times have you read that this or that city “stands at the cross-roads of Europe”? In the case of Prague, for once this is true. It played a central role in European history - military, dynastic, commercial, artistic and musical. Blessed with remarkably beautiful buildings, it is a joy to visit. Prague’s architectural beauties were laid down in many layers: fine medieval churches, renaissance palaces built when the city was the centre of the Habsburg Empire in central Europe, magnificent Baroque and Rococo extravagances erected for the Bohemian aristocracy, and a wonderful range of Art Nouveau and Art Deco buildings and decorative interiors.
The site of the earliest part of the city is the fortified castle that overlooks modern Prague. This castle, the Hradcany, contains a wide range of buildings, both secular and religious, and remains the heart of the city. Subsequent dynasties, particularly the Habsburgs, developed both the castle area, and the city below it, divided into three separate towns or quarters, creating the boundaries of the historic Prague we will see, finally established in the late 18th century under the Empress Maria Theresa.The development of nationalism in the 19th century affected Prague in remarkable ways, with the emergence of a distinct sense of a “Czech” nation, symbolised in the erection of buildings such as the fine National Theatre, and the rise of a “national” musical and literary tradition. As we move into the modern age, the city underwent profound changes, not least the building of a magnificent range of Art Nouveau and Art Deco masterpieces. Figures such as Alfons Mucha were an inspiration, both to architecture and the decorative arts, which are so fine a feature of the “unknown” Prague.
Against this cavalcade of art, music played a no less important part in the long history of Prague. Today, the names of Mozart, Smetana and Dvorak are the three that are usually remembered. Mozart paid several visits to the city, where he found a public more receptive to his genius than in Vienna. It was in Prague that Don Giovanni had its premiere in the famous Estates Theatre. The countryside of Bohemia was one of the primary influences on both Smetana and Dvorak throughout their lives, and their music is a vivid barometer of the emergence of Czech nationalism in the 19th century. On almost all evenings of this visit you will be able to attend both the opera, ballet and various concerts. Details will be available once the performance schedules are published.We shall stay in the comfortable 5* Hotel Grand Hotel Bohemia ideally located in Prague’s Old Town and within easy walking distance of much that we shall visit.