ANNOUNCEMENT: I'd like to let you know that the Vision and Verb blog I participated in will be shut down in just a few days after its almost-five-year-long productive and inspiring existence. You can find all my posts written for the blog including the received comments here in the relevant entries where I used to post just links and accompanying photos. Would you ever want to get back to them, just follow the "Vision_and_Verb" label.

Further I want to tell you that I needed to make some changes in my google accounts and it resulted in a few problems with displaying some photos on this blog of mine. I'm working on repairing it, thank you for your understanding.

July 12, 2014

Blatná castle


Amidst marshland, situated on rock bedrock, a wooden fortress used to stand. Then, in the 13th century, the fortress was rebuilt into a castle and later in the place of the marsh a moat was built to protect the castle. That is where the history of the castle in Blatná, which is a small town in South Bohemia, dates back.


The era of the family of the house of Rožmitál in the 15th century under which the castle was remodelled significantly is considered as the most important period in the castle's history and sometimes it is called a golden age of the castle. The family of the house of Rožmitál was very influential and held many significant posts. Jaroslav Lev of the house of Rožmitál was a relative to George of Poděbrady, the King of Bohemia, who ruled from 1458 to 1471. Jaroslav Lev was designated as a leader of a representative Bohemian mission of forty lords and knights that was travelling European courts from 1465 to 1467 to gain regard for politics of the king aimed at creating a general peace union. Description of this travelling by Václav Šašek of Bířkov became the first Bohemian book of travels.


As each castle, also this one had many owners. The last family possessing it has been the family of Václav Karel Hildprandt who bought the castle in 1798. 


In 1948, when the communist party seized the rule, the castle was confiscated by the state. Thanks to relations with the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selasie I., the Hildprandt family was allowed to emigrate to Ethiopia in 1958. In 1990, after gaining the castle back into possession, baroness Kornelia Hildprandt returned to the Czech Republic and her family make effort now to restore the castle and keep it open to the public.


There is a lot that needs to be done before the restoration is finished but I applaud to that attitude and all the work that has been done. This time we haven't attended a guided tour so when I was reading the background information a moment ago, I was amazed to learn about the importance of the castle and its inhabitants in the history of Bohemia and thus the Czech Republic. 


And yet, there were no lines waiting to get inside the castle, there was no crowded parking lot...


The first photo of this post shows the entrance to the castle from the town, the other photos were taken in the castle's yard.


There is also a large park by the castle where you can meet fallow deer and peacocks freely roaming among visitors. I'm going to take you there in my next post.

June 25, 2014

Reflections


Once I was standing on a bank of a pond, watching a duck resting just opposite and admiring its reflection in the water. It was such a tranquil scene... I zoomed in my camera in an effort to capture the impression but when I opened the photo on my laptop, I felt taken aback. Is this what I saw at the place? There is something wrong with the picture…

And then it dawned on me. The reflection did not look as I supposed it should. The duck was there but there were also trees mirroring themselves in the water which could not be seen in the upper part of the photo. Thus the resulting image consisted of two not quite matching parts. That made me think about reflections.

Mental reflections, that is to say. Our mind is able to reflect everything, not only what we can see at the moment but also what we were able to see before, even without realizing it. In the reflection we can find what is hidden to our awareness. We can distinguish new structures, conjure new patterns, identify unusual hues. We can rediscover what was forgotten, realize what was not thought over, glimpse an unexpected solution. Sometimes the picture may seem unbalanced at first or make us confused but eventually - when we look long enough - it reveals its message.

Isn't reflection a gate inviting us to an exciting world of new views, understanding and enrichment?

May 22, 2014

Costume


Last summer we visited a Milotice castle, a baroque castle situated in South Moravia. When we entered the castle’s court yard, we noticed a poster inviting everybody to “Change into a period costume!”. After a while we noticed a group of three women dressed in enchanting period gowns. Obviously they were having fun while promenading in the castle’s park, posing for photographs and chatting, and it felt as if we found ourselves in that period as well.

The way we dress ourselves definitely influences or even decides on how we feel. To put on clothes of a different style than we are used to wearing may evoke a surprising experience of any of the whole spectrum of feelings. What would it be like to put on not the clothes but a body and personality of “a different style”? Sometimes I wish I could try that though the experience would probably be rather shocking.

A few weeks ago I read about an experiment done in this field. A man and a woman, dressed only in their underwear, had a video camera placed on their face. Each camera was connected to the other camera in such a way that when they were looking at their own bodies, they could see just the body of the other person. Can you imagine that? To feel your body but to see someone else’s?

And what about hearing your own thoughts and listening to someone else’s? Feeling incapacity of the other body? Maddening ideas perhaps and actually, what that could be good for? Just in the back of my mind I can hear whispering suggesting that perhaps then we would value more our own thoughts, skills and personalities and would understand better our weak and strong points.