Tuesday, 8 December 2009

4 Šubertova Street, Vinohrady

Here's another for all you architecture fans. This fabulous neo-baroque house, Number 4 Šubertova Street, was built at the start of the twentieth century. It was the birthplace of noted Czech art historian Dobroslav Líbal (1911-2002) whose name is inscribed on a plaque that was placed here after the building's restoration three years ago.

From reading about Líbal, one senses not only that he would have been very pleased with the sensitive restoration of the roof, facade and wrought-iron balconies; but that also, without his own dedication to Czech architecture and the preservation of buildings and monuments, such restorations might never have taken place.

The polymathic Líbal was for many years president of the Czech branch of the International Committee on Monuments and Sites, while his excellent French won him many friends at UNESCO's Paris headquarters. He was an expert military historian, too, particularly on the subject of naval battles.

No 4 was also the home of actor Karel Vávra, the son of a miller - one of whose uncles, the tenor Antonín Vávra, had sung in the opening night of Smetana's Libuše at the National Theatre in 1881.  The rest of Vávra's relatives seem also to have been actors of one variety or another, appropriately enough, for this house is to be found just round the corner from the Vinohrady Theatre.

3 comments:

Julie said...

Okay, okay ... I can desist no longer. Prague and its environs is on my list of places to experience before I shuffle off this mortal coil.

Alex said...

You're most welcome. Get a flight over from Oz and bring your camera! As regards the Tasmanian Devil, I think it's just a typically eccentric piece of Czech humour. The devil seems to be quite popular here: my next door neighbour's children occasionally wear flashing red horns on their heads!

Hilda said...

It's magnificent! Looks like a perfect home for anyone in the arts. How wonderful that it's so wonderfully preserved.

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