Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Stromovka (2)

25 October.

Stromovka (1)

When we parted she embraced me and said: Stromovka Park is over there, would you walk for me there sometimes? I have loved that beautiful place so much. If you look into the dark water of the pools, perhaps one of these days you will see my face.
- W.G. Sebald,
Austerlitz, tr. Anthea Bell, p. 253.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Šporkova 12

Mrs Ambrosová suggested that before crossing the river I might begin my inquiries in the Lesser Quarter, which wasn't ten minutes' walk away from here, she said, I could try Šporkova, a small street a few paces uphill from the Schönborn Palace, where the register of inhabitants for 1938 said that Agáta Austerlitzová had been living at Number Twelve in that year.
─ W.G. Sebald, Austerlitz, tr. Anthea Bell, p.212.

After reconstruction work was completed in 1996, the building at Šporkova 12 has been the centre for Kongregace Milosrdných sester sv. Karla Boromejského [Congregation of Sisters of Mercy of St Charles Borromeo].
For over a hundred years it served as St Notburga Orphanage (founded in 1813) and in 1939 became a public boarding school run by the Congregation. In 1950 the school was nationalised; Šporkova 12 was now a House for Youth (soon afterwards the sisters were expelled from the associated hospital too and no longer had a seat with the Superior General). In 1970-1974 the building was reconstructed and resumed housing an elementary school. Šporkova 12 was taken from the State in restitution (under law 298/1990) by the Congregation and today serves as a hostel for its monastery sisters working in the nearby hospital Pod Petřínem.


And so, said Austerlitz, no sooner had I arrived in Prague than I found myself back among the scenes of my early childhood, every trace of which had been expunged from my memory, as long as I could recollect. As I walked through the labyrinth of alleyways, thoroughfares, and courtyards between the Vlašská and Nerudova, and still more so when I felt the uneven paving of the Šporkova underfoot as step by step I climbed uphill, it was as if I had already been this way before and memories were revealing themselves to me not by means of any mental effort but through my senses, so long numbed and now coming back to life.

W.G. Sebald, Austerlitz, tr. Anthea Bell, p. 212.

15 November.

School yard, near Lobkovický palác

15 November.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Pear trees

Seminářská zahrada, 22 November.

Seminářská zahrada (4)

22 November. At the border of Seminářská zahrada with Schönbornská and Lobkovická zahrada.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Petřínská rozhledna

22 November.

In the above photograph can be seen the reverses of two of the Křížová cesta/ Stations of the Cross (J. Kranner, 1834-8), leading to Kostel sv. Vavřince na Petříně (Church of St Lawrence).

Petřín lookout tower in fog. The tower was built by the Czech Tourist Club, after attending the Exposition Universelle of 1889 in Paris, work beginning in March 1891 according to a design by František Prášil and Julius Souček, and finishing in August of the same year.


15 November.

Looking towards Hradčany from the heights of Lobkovická zahrada

15 November. Cf.

Seminářská zahrada (3)

Steps up to the avenue of sycamore trees (not pictured here - but there) that stand along the wall separating Seminářská zahrada from the steep slopes of Lobkovická zahrada and Schönbornská zahrada, greater spotted woodpeckers and nuthatches clambering in their boughs.

Pear trees among the younger cherry trees.

Seminářská zahrada (2)

15 November