Back home again after my library conference in Prague which went very well. Although I do appear to be the one person to visit Prague and come away without seeing the Charles Bridge or the Astronomical clock. But hey, there are at least two reasons to go back. Actually I have LOTS of reasons to go back. And being that we were there as a group of specialist librarians on tour (as it were – herding cats), we got to see some rather special stuff at a lot closer range than many people would. Things like this:
Yes, we had a private tour of the library at Strahov Monastery. Nothing prepared me for the Theological hall. We just entered through a huge door, horribly early in the morning to avoid the crowds. We all stood there, dumbfounded at how beautiful it was. In the second picture, of the Philosophical Hall, if you look closely you can see the mob of angry tourists forming who were not allowed to enter the library because we were there, breathing (breathing creates moisture in the air which is bad for rare books and makes their librarians cranky). Also we were taking pictures. Many many pictures. It is not for nothing it is called one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. My first thought on entering the Philosophical Hall was the library Beauty and the Beast. It has secret doorways and spiral staircases building into the bookshelves, disguised with books. A magical place. You can bet it is going in a story.
We also went to the Archbishop’s palace:
And got a view of Prague from the roof.
There were a lot of Churches visited, and some of the group sang, like a flashmob moment in Our Lady of the Snows. It is a church built for plain chant and the effect was magical. (They had permission by the way). I’ve made a slideshow of some of my many many photos which you can see below. The videos will have to wait for a while.
17 days until The Treachery of Beautiful Things launches. I can’t quite get my head around that!