November 02, 2014

Art in Klenová

In my previous post I promised to share some information about art we could see in Klenová and here I am to fulfil my promise. 

The castle in Klenová serves to present works of art in many forms. During our visit we saw an exhibition of paintings, an exhibition of photographs and several statues placed in the premises of the castle. There were more than you will see in my photos but these were the ones that impressed me most. Please take into account that looking at my captures doesn't correspond entirely to standing in the statues's nearness and even touching them...

I have to admit that I quite regret now that I didn't write down the names of the pieces and their creators, I've captured just two labels along with the works. You may not know the artists as well as I don't know them but it suddenly seems right to state their authorship. Next time I intend to keep this aspect in mind.

Here is one of the identifiable: "Bull from Corrida" by Vincenc Vingler. We saw it right after our arrival and my attention was captured right away. It is made of metal, needless to add, I guess.

Do you remember that small church in the previous post? For that post I cropped the photo somewhat to avoid confusing you but here you can see what the scenery looked like: 

In fact, we were disappointed by the "marred" view of the church but I really loved a detail of the feet. When looked at closely, they seemed to be made out of paper. 

The following sculpture was named "Medusa" and it reminded me of Jules Verne's novels. I took also a detail of the base which you could see posted in my photoblog for the Week 41 when we visited Klenová.

The metal ball below represents an "Endless tablecloth" by Čestmír Suška, what an apt name! Would you expect humour attached to a ball?

In the inner yard of the castle I saw an enormous sculpture I didn't know what to think about:

Only after getting around it and looking at it from another angle I realized I had seen it from behind, the front part discovered a figure.

A figure of a very modern interpretation of a knight, to be precise...

From the same entrance you could see another sculpture, this time of a "car driver":

I've taken quite a few photos of this sculpture, it looked very different when captured from the entrance:

... and from another spot in the yard:

Of course, the blue sky made it shine...

I admire that imagination that leads to creation of such art works as well as I admire the courage to share them with the public. You may like them or not, either way they change the way you perceive the life itself.

October 21, 2014

This and that in Klenová

A few years ago we stopped in Klenová for a while and visited an old church there, a small church hidden among trees. I just remembered there was also a gallery we didn't want to visit at that time and having taken a few photos in front of the church and having spent several minutes there, we left for home. Last weekend we decided to visit that place once more and to be thorough this time and visit everything it offers. Which is the church, a gallery, an exhibition of photos and an exhibition of paintings, ruins of an old castle and a building of a new chateau.

When we arrived at our destination, we headed for the church at first and I was amazed to see the difference between its winter appearance during our last visit, and its autumnal appearance now. The current colourful leaves accompanied by beautifully blue sky made all the difference versus the previous bare branches and greyish hue of everything. To be understood well, I still love the winter captures, but feel like entering through another door this time.

We bought tickets in the cash office and got to know that they are valid for everything in the area. One can roam freely in the ruins, join a guided tour of the chateau, visit the current exhibitions and admire art pieces placed in the premises. 

The castle was built in the 13th century but except for the fact that Kryštof Harant from Polžice and Bezdružice - an influential Czech nobleman from the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries - was born there, I didn't find the castle's history much interesting so I'm not going to repeat it here. Instead I'd like to share and describe a few captures I took.

No. 1: I haven't found any explanation on the Internet but I guess that the flags which were flapping around in front of the cash office belonged to the families that owned the castle through history. What else could they represent?

No. 2: Previously a granary, nowadays a part of the gallery. I liked the contrast in light, colours and structure between the building and the tree.

No. 3: The figure below represents just the upper part of a much higher statue involving one more person but the detail was much warmer and expressive than the whole. 

No. 4: Ruins of the castle in floral detail. On our way there the weather was foggy but as soon as we arrived at the spot, the sky turned marvellous blue and all the photos profited from it.

No. 5: Stairs leading to the ruins. I love that geometry. You can search the ruins while entering them from several directions and exploring them was really fun. Because of the views, the ways and the art pieces you could see along the way.

No. 6: The wooden room is placed between the ruins on the left, the new building on the right and above a passage you pass through. The pattern caught my attention.

No. 7 - 9: The three captures below were taken in a small yard with a big chestnut tree in the middle of it. As I was standing there, taking photos, another man with a camera came, passing quite quickly by me, and then he noticed what I was doing. He stopped in his tracks, looked around and took out his camera... I had to smile because this is what I like about photography, how differently we perceive our surroundings and thus can share different views and enrich one another.

No. 10: Eventually, when you've seen everything, you can sit down and get the energy back. Menu for that day consisted of a broccoli soup, roasted turkey-hen with spinach and dumplings or spaghetti with mincemeat, and as a desert you could order a cottage cheese strudel with blancmange. We didn't have anything from the menu but the meals sounded good to me and were not overpriced. The prices are given in Czech crowns. 

Well, that's it today. I just want to add that the opening photo at the beginning of this post shows a view as seen from the castle. I intentionally left out my photos of the art pieces I've mentioned before as I'm going to devote my next post to those of them I liked most. They deserve to be treated separately.

July 29, 2014

Park of Blatná castle

At the end of my previous post about the castle in Blatná I promised to take you to the castle’s park so here we go.

The park is open to the public all year round, free of charge. 

In the park used to stand several buildings but today there is only one, an Empire style house, where Hildprant family owning the castle lives today. They say it is more practical and the family have more privacy there.

By the house there is a little shed which would look very nice if repaired.

At the beginning of 19th century, baron František Hildprant let build an artificial hillock with rocks in the south-west part of the park, inside which grottos connected with stone corridors were made. Those plans brought work and wages to the inhabitants of the estate in the tough period of Napoleonic wars. We might have found an entrance into one of the caves but the underground system is referred to as inaccessible these days.

At the beginning of 19th century, the front part of the park was remodelled from a deer-park into an English style park, the back part remained preserved in its original form. 

The park is not as large as it used to be but it seems to have retained its charm.

In the 80's of the 20th century the park lost an oak tree more than 800 years old, 30 metres high and 180 centimetres in diameter. Unfortunately the tree had been struck by lightning and burnt and became damaged "beyond repair". They say that under that oak the Czech Queen Joanna of Rožmitál, a sister of Jaroslav Lev of Rožmitál that I mentioned in the previous post, liked to sit and met her future husband, the Czech King George of Poděbrady.

In the front park you can see (and hear) a bunch of peacocks of various colours. They are used to people and walk freely among them. 

Nevertheless, the most popular inhabitants of the park are fallow deer that roam in the park and accept food from people walking through the park. There are signs displayed warning you that you approach and feed the fallow deer at your own risk and of course you should respect the fact that they are not your pets but they are tame and behave friendly. Especially if you have something delicious in your hand. 

You can buy some dry food for them at the castle's ticket office if you have nothing prepared.

As the park is open to the public, there is a system of gates which close themselves if you forget so that the fallow deer wouldn't get out. 

It was interesting to notice that female fallow deer kept more their distance than male fallow deer that seemed much more interested in people and what they were offering. 

The nearness of the deer felt positively and we had lots of fun watching them.

Yet I need to remark that there is a little negative aspect relating to their feeding and gathering. You need to watch your steps carefully... :)