Thursday, 26 August 2010

Old Grocery on Charkovská

Here's an unusual bit of local social history.  Going down Charkovská the other day I noticed for the first time these old inscriptions on the wall of one of the beautiful facades that line that street. The ground floor now comprises residential apartments, but this was once a general store, selling all manner of foodstuffs. The clue is given by the only complete word here: sůl (salt). We can also make out okurky (gherkins), mák (poppy seeds) and vinný ocet (wine vinegar). The short word ending in 'r' could have been 'sýr' (cheese).

The buildings in this fine street date from the first decade of the 20th century. Only a few months ago it was invaded by a film crew making a movie about Adolf Hitler's young adulthood in Munich, the 'real German city' to which he moved in 1913 and where after the First World War he was to launch himself into Nazi politics.

Parts of Prague like this are popular for location shoots for two reasons - one is that the architecture is often more historically coherent and the other is that it is still comparatively cheap to film here, especially if (as in this movie) there are large numbers of extras to feed. I doubt whether the actors would have been lunching on okurky, mind you.


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