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Friday 20 January 2012

Banking with Madonna in Black

Republic Square in Prague is an interesting place with buildings from different ages of architecture. A shopping complex can be leaning on a church.

An arch-like building can just be towering the adjacent buildings at another corner of the street.

At the main junction, two functionalist architecture buildings; the Czech National Bank and the Commercial Bank, can be facing an art nouveau building; the Municipal House with the eminent Powder Tower.

Even the hotel around here has very interesting main entrance.

Walking from Republic square to the Old Town Square led me to this interesting building with cubist architecture. This building belongs to the House of Black Madonna. If you are searching for the Black Madonna, look at the corner of 1st floor.

Near to the House of Black Madonna is Celetná Theatre where there is a quite courtyard to get away from the bustle and hustle on the busy streets.

Týn Courtyard is also around the corner, bridging the streets to the Church of Our Lady before Týn.

Getting out of Týn Courtyard is the Old Town Square where tourists congregate. The Church of St. Nicholas occupies a section of this prominent square. This church is different from the St. Nicholas Church at Lesser Town Square.

There are some other interesting buildings with sculptures along the way from Old Town Square to Charles Bridge. The sculptures can either be traditional or modern.

Sunday 15 January 2012

A Living Wall

The John Lennon Wall in Prague has a very interesting history. At first glance, it looks like any other graffiti wall around the world, but there is a hidden message behind the wall depicting the silent war between the pacifist youth and the Communist police.

When John Lennon was murdered on 8th December 1980, he soon became a hero for the pacifist youth amongst the Czechs people who were still under Communism ruling prior to 1989. These people started to paint this wall with The Beatles' lyrics that promote peace and freedom. Despite several rounds of whitewashing the wall, installation of surveillance cameras as well as assigning night guards, the pacifist youths still risked their freedom from being jailed to keep on painting the wall with messages promoting freedom, which was not allowed under the Communist ruling.

The owner of the wall in the modern days also tried to whitewash the wall but the graffiti kept on coming onto the wall. The authority has already given up in keeping the wall clean from graffiti and it has now become a tourist attraction.

The graffiti on the wall is forever changing as layers of painting keep on coming onto the wall. Some tourists also tried to make their marks on the wall too. No matter how the wall has changed, the spirit of freedom, love and peace will live on.

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