Thursday, April 26, 2012: Looking Up!


Like a night sky in the daytime, this ceiling hangs over a fascinating collection of memorabilia. But where is it?

Look Up! Recognize This Ceiling?

Here’s another in our series of brain teasers for you. Can you identify this famous, musically-related location in Prague?

It was originally built as part of the Prague water works system, but today houses a museum and library.

If you’ve ever happened to visit the Charles Bridge, you’ve probably noticed this beautiful Neo-Renaissance building perched right on the water, and, due to its fortunate lack of signage, you may have wondered what the building “is.”

Here are some other clues:

It was built in 1883-84 and today honors someone who probably watched its construction, owing to the fact that this person was born in 1862.

In any case, he would have noticed the lovely sgraffito friezes by then-famous artists Mikoláš Aleš and František Ženíšek.

That same person who watched the building’s construction couldn’t have known that in 1928, a society would purchase all his memorabilia for a museum (since he died in 1874).

Since 1935, the building has been on permanent loan to the Bedřich Smetana Society, and yes, this is one of the ceilings in the Bedřich Smetana Museum, at Novotného Lávka 1. The museum was opened to the public on May 12, 1936.

Its current permanent exhibit is divided into three areas by color: The green section, with information in Czech, English, and German; the pink section, where visitors can “conduct” some of Smetana’s works; and a blue section, focusing on Smetana’s life and career from 1862-74. This particular ceiling, obviously, is from that section.

Two more dates for you: Nov 21 and Apr 4, 2011. You can click on them and read more information about the museum’s collection, and on the type of school tours available offered there by its parent organization, the National Museum. The information is from articles published in Opus Osm on these dates. — oo

Photo Credits: Miroslav Setnička

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