Cornell University Eidlitz Travel Fellowship (2019)
Prague, Czech Republic
Staroměstské Náměstí - Old Town Square
Proposal: to document the sites and sequences of space of the Strahov Monastery and the Klementinum
Eidlitz Travel Fellowship ︎︎︎
The two Baroque Libraries in Prague offer contrasting experiences of the city. The Klementinum is close to the center of the old city, embedded within the historic fabric; Strahov Monastery stretches out into the adjacent hillside and looks back from afar.
This is a small selection of the photographs taken while wandering the streetscape of Prague.
Prague is a unique place; it’s medieval architecture almost completely intact. The ground plane is blanketed in cobblestones; their subtle detail giving a sense of scale and texture. The facades are colored a subtle variation of pastels underneath brightly tiled roofs. On sunny days, the pastels glow and become vibrant. On cloudy days, the pastels give a hint of life.
Strahov Monastery Inner Courtyard
Strahov Monastery is unique in that it has a pair of library spaces. The Theological Hall is the older of the two and represents an early baroque design. The space is short and wide with relatively simple painted wooden bookshelves. The ceiling arches land behind decorative moldings above the bookshelves, a tactic widely employed. The floor is composed of unadorned wide wood planks. It is unique to have a preserved early baroque space as many monasteries went on to update their libraries to comply with the later high baroque styling that became ubiquitous. In this case, the Philosophical Hall was added as a complimentary new library reflecting the latest styles. This tall, generous space has soaring vertical proportions, intricate wood details, and a beautiful arched, frescoed ceiling. In the end, both library spaces are mirrored about a small exterior quadrangle with wide connecting corridors making up the other two sides.