On my most recent European adventure (accompanying a student choir) we dipped into the
The Charles Brid
Naturally, someone thought to beautify this functional steel eyesore. Thus, in 2000 David Černý, an artist who has tempted even Europeans to censorship, created giant, crawling, metal babies and affixed them to the tower. They came down but because of popular admiration crawled back up in 2001.
A little context to appreciate the humor here: I live in a city where people bitch about the expense and impracticality of any civic art or beautification (i.e. sculptures of stylized bikes along bike trails- difficult concept, eh?) Imagine how the high school kids reacted when they saw 1800 pound, 10 foot infantile masses of metal swarming a TV tower!
The district around Žižkov is called Vinohrady, until 1968 Královské Vinohrady- “Royal Vineyards.” The name comes from the 14th century when Charles IV planted vineyards in this hilly area outside of
Vinohrady experienced rapid growth through the 19th century. In 1849 it became an independent community, in 1879, a city. The population was estimated at 15,000 in 1880 and more than doubled (34,500) by the next decade.
To permanently serve the needs of community members St. Ludmila parish was established in 1893- two mission chapels were not enough! (This is a striking neo-gothic edifice.) Though this was a step in the right direction the population rose to 50,000 by 1900. This 90% Catholic community needed a new church!
Meanwhile, St. Alois Parish was established on
Construction and details of the church (subsequently rededicated to the Sacred Heart) are traced in a forthcoming post.
As for the neighborhood…Vinohrady was annexed to
Today Vinohrady attracts renown for its wealth of 19th and early 20th century architecture. (St. Ludmila pictured).
Google images: crawling babies zizkov. It may disturb you.