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Prague Castle

$155.00

Prague, Czech Republic 

For some reason, I think I was expecting Prague Castle to be one large structure, so I was surprised to learn that it was in fact made up of many different buildings!  We had fun stopping to explore shops and churches on our long climb up the hill, so we didn't actually reach the castle until late afternoon.  When buying our tickets for entry, we were told that St. Vitus Cathedral would be closed the following day due to some "important visitors" so we make the best use of our remaining time that day in the Cathedral and then come back for the rest the following day.

We followed her advice and saw the cathedral, explored the castle grounds, and shopped in the little stores in Golden Lane. We decided to head back down the hill the "back way" and found a cute little outdoor wine bar nestled in the castle's vineyard clinging to the side of the hill.  We sat, had a couple glasses of wine and some appetizers, and watched as the sun set over Prague.

The next day, we decided to take the tram to the top of the hill because my hips and knees were killing me from the climb the previous day and all the walking on the cobblestones.  The tram let us off at the back entrance, but we (as well as a large crowd) were stopped from crossing the street to reach the castle.  We stood there for quite a while, wondering what was going on, when suddenly several large black SUV's drove out through the gate, followed by several black town cars with heavily tinted windows.  We realized we had just seen the President of the Czech Republic just drive by!  We were finally allowed to enter, and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon touring the castle buildings.

 

Fun Facts:

  • Largest ancient castle in the world (in the Guinness Book of World Records)
  • Franz Kafka lived and wrote in a small house just behind the castle in an area called the Golden Lane
  • Official office and residence of the President of the Czech Republic
  • Dates back to the 9th century
  • After forcing the Czech president to hand over his country to Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler spent the night at the castle on March 15, 1939 "proudly surveying his new possession"
  • After the communist coup in 1948, the castle housed the offices of the Czechoslovak government
  • There are 4 churches within the castle:  St. George's Basilica (the oldest, dating back to 10th century), St. Vitus Cathedral, All Saints Church, and the Holy Cross Chapel
  • The Castle has 4 palaces and 11 gardens
  • The Rolling Stones played one of Prague's first international concerts after the Velvet Revolution of 1989, and developed a close relationship with the President.  Legend has it that over coffee, the Stones remarked that the castle was beautiful but it was a shame it couldn't be seen at night.  They paid their lighting designer to install the lighting system that visitors continue to enjoy today

Process And Size Guidelines

I handcraft each piece in my home studio, located just outside of Kansas City, MO.

Most of the photos I use were taken by me on my travels near and far.    I review each photo, looking for striking colors and strong structural elements.    If you think of the entire design as a pie, I am looking for a perfect “slice” of pie within the picture.  Once I find it, the slice is mirrored and repeated in a circular fashion to create the whole pie, i.e. the kaleidoscopic design.

 

The design then is printed multiple times onto photo paper and I hand cut different elements from each copy of the design with scissors (yes, scissors!). After the cutting is done, I reassemble the pieces into tiered layers separated by foam core, creating the unique three-dimensional kaleidoscopic effect.  Finally, I mount the piece onto mat board and frame it in a shadow box, adding a small copy of the original photo to the piece.

 

 

Each design is available in multiple sizes.  The larger the piece, the more layers the design will have, which gives you even greater depth and dimension.  The larger size also allows for more intricate cutting, providing more texture and more "wow"!

 

 Size
Outside Dimensions Inside Dimensions Frame Color
10x10
9.75" x 9.75" x 2" 9" x 9" x 1.5" Black
13x13
13.5" x 13.5" x 2.75" 12" x 12" x 2.25" Black
16x16
18.5" x 18.5" x 4" 16" x 16" x 3" Custom made reclaimed cedar with museum quality plexiglass front