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Monday 12 December 2011

To Read or to Sleep

The main purpose for me to visit the Strahov Monastery is to see the Strahov Library. The library with the two Baroque halls is the largest monastic library in Czech Republic.

I paid 80 CZK for the admission ticket, but I was given a 50 CZK ticket which I think is the concession ticket. I didn't noticed that until I got back from my trip and studied the ticket in more detail. I wonder what had happened to the balance of 30 CZK!

The first thing that caught my eyes was the two-storey Philosophy Hall once I stepped into the lobby. Everybody is allowed to peek at the hall through the door only. Only V.I.P. guests can enter the hall. It is said that the humidity from visitors' breath may endanger the frescoes on the magnificent ceiling.

To take pictures here, there is an extra 50 CZK photo license. If you have forgotten to pay for it at the ticket counter, one of the prudish attendants there will stop you from taking any pictures until you pay them 50 CZK. They will stick a sticker stamped with the monastery's seal on you camera sling belt as proof of photo license. Once you have decided to leave, they will confiscate the sticker from you. I think that's to prevent the sticker to be passed around among other visitors. What a brilliant thought!

Further down the corridor from the lobby is another beautiful hall called the Theology Hall. The same restriction on visitors' entry to the hall applies here. Everyone is only allowed to peek at the hall from outside the door. The curved ceiling full of embossed carvings is a resemblance of today's moulded gypsum-board ceiling, but I believed they were hand-crafted at that time.

The ceiling is also adorned with beautiful frescoes depicting 'True Wisdom'. What an irreplaceable theme for a library!

When I looked up on the ceiling of the corridor, there was a fresco too, but definitely not as elaborate as the frescoes in the two halls.

Other than the two magnificent halls, ancient books and written artifacts are displayed along the corridor and lobby.

There is a documentary book from the 17th century with very beautiful drawings on it. Writers in the ancient time had to be good illustrators too.

There is a also a symbolic map from the 16th century depicting Europe as a virgin.

When I was about to leave the monastery, I saw two symbolic maps of Europe on the lawn!


R.a.W said...

Hi CK,

Was blog hopping reading some fellow Malaysian travel blogs when I stumbled upon yours. Was very interested reading your write ups and seeing photos of Prague and Czech. Went there some time last year for a few days but stayed mostly in the Old Town area. Obviously I have missed out a lot, judging from your posts here :-S

Looking forward to exploring this further.



CK Ng said...

Hi Russ,

Thanks for dropping by. Prague has a lot more to offer other than the Old Town and Prague Castle. I guess I have only covered most but not all the things to see in Prague.

Happy exploring! :)

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