In this series of posts titled Czech Gallery, I will take you on a photographic tour of some fabulous places in the Czech Republic.
The Czech Republic is a quintessentially European country with a Slavic twist, a wonderful blend of historic treasures and modern outlook, a multifaceted nation proud of its heritage and open to the world. It is an absolute must on anybody’s bucket list. As an explorer, the perspective that I offer can only be from the outside in, but I will endeavor to approach this venture intelligently and thoughtfully, and expand it beyond a touristic travelogue.
Perhaps unconventionally, I will not start this journey with pictures of the astronomical clock, the Charles Bridge, or St Vitus Cathedral. No, because of the idiosyncratic mixture of old and new, past, present and future that I just mentioned, I have chosen what is popularly know as the Prague “Metronome”.
Perched over the city in Letná Park, across the Svatopluk Čech Bridge that spans over the Vltava River and up the hill, the Metronome is more than a huge fanciful rhythmic installation.Its actual name is “Time Machine”. It is a work by kinetic artist Vratislav Karel Novák (1942-2014) which stands nearly twenty five meters high and weighs about seven tons. After the fall of communism, it was erected on the occasion of the Centennial Exhibition and started moving on the 15th of May 1991. It ticks relentlessly back and forth where the giant Stalin Memorial, otherwise known as “the Meat Queue” - because of the line of people behind the dictator - once stood from 1955 to 1962. It took 1,763 pounds of dynamite to blow up the Soviet dictator and his retinue. As a result of the blast, the pedestal was weakened and the Metronome was lowered onto its platform by helicopter. I personally find it and its attending graffiti quite hideous, but its meaning is powerful. It represents the continuity of past history, present and future. Novák had originally envisioned to project a laser beam from Old Town Square to the metronome and from there into space/eternity to symbolize this continuity. The technical means at the time did not lend themselves to such ambitious project, but Novák’s vision was eventually realized at the Signal Festival in 2013. You can learn more about it here: https://www.signalfestival.com/en/installations/metronome-2013//p> All the photographs are mine. I have submitted and will continue to submit some of them to the @czechglobalhosts Photo Challenge. If you are interested in all things Czech, I encourage you to visit @czechglobalhosts for an insider’s perspective and regular Travel Tips, and to enter your own photographs of your travels to that beautiful country as well as enter other world-wide travel photography contests. So if it’s something you are passionate about, you’ll love the blogs, the contests and the photographs of fellow Steemians. By the way, this plug is unsolicited. It is my way to say thank you to @czechglobalhosts for providing a forum where I can relive my trip all over again. Thanks also to the creators of Steemit. I am technologically illiterate (as you can probably tell from the lack of formatting sophistication of this post - the learning curve is steep for me -), and I appreciate the knowledge and skills that go into creating and maintaining this platform. In the end, it is about creating a space that hopefully fosters dialog and eventually bring us together despite our unavoidable differences. Thank you for visiting my blog. If you have enjoyed it, feel free to follow, upvote and resteem, and stay tuned for the next installment of Czech Gallery!