Friday, September 23, 2011:Placing the Place

Even Dvořák himself saw the similarities between Iowa and the Czech Republic

Contest! Placing the Place

Ever recognize someone’s face but can’t remember their name? We often say we “can’t place the face” — connect it to the context we know it from. (Czechs are a little more optimistic: Znám ho podle obličeje — I know him according to his face.)

For this brainteasing contest, your task is not to place a face — obviously, that’s Antonín Dvořák on the left — but to place the place where the photos below were taken. They all come from either the area in and around Spillville, Iowa, where Dvořák spent a happy summer in 1893, or from the area in and around his home town, Nelahozeves in the Czech Republic.

Look at both sets of photos, and you’ll see exactly why Dvořák felt at home in Iowa during his extended visit. The atmosphere, surroundings, even some of the architecture between the two places is very similar. So similar, in fact, you may have difficulty placing the place where each photo is from.

But give it a try — and then look at the answers at the bottom of the page.

Good luck!

Question 1: Nature: Trees, Water

Is this the Turkey River ...

or the Vltava River?

Question 2: That Blue Bridge

Where are these blue bridges? In Iowa?

or in the greater Nelahozeves area?


Question 3: The Memorial

Is this part of the Dvořák monument in Nelahozeves? ...

or in a park in Spillville?

Question 4: The Towering Rocks

The rocks, trees, and river inspired Dvořák -- here in Iowa?

Or was it here in Nelahozeves? (Or both?)


Question 5: The Tower

Where is this tower located?

And where is this one?

The Answers

Iowa is on the left, the Czech Republic on the right

Question 1: The Turkey River, Iowa (left); The Vltava (right)
Question 2: The blue bridge across the nearby Mississippi River (left); across the Vltava at Nelahozeves (right)
Question 3: The Dvořák Memorial in Spillville (left) and in Nelahozeves (right)
Question 4: Rock formations near Spillville (left) and between Kralupy nad Vltavou and Nelahozeves (right)
Question 5: The clock tower at St Wenceslas Church, Spillville, where Dvořák played the organ (left); and on the public building in Kralupy nad Vltavou (right) –oo

Photo Credits: Barb Matz, Mary Matz, Miroslav Setnička

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