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Feb
28

Cheap flight to Prague-Check out the Latest in Art & Beauty

stunning prague

stunning prague

Q: What’s happening in Prague these days? We’re in Poland and we’re thinking of hopping a quick flight to Prague if there’s anything especially fun going on.

A: There’s always something super artsy going on in Prague but this February and March there’s some truly great art shows. Starting with the Rembrandt & Co in Prague. The Netherlands in the 17th century was the place to be.

Roughly 650 to 700 artists produced about 70,000 paintings annually in this so-called Golden Age of Dutch painting, according to Anja K. Sevcik, a curator at the National Gallery in Prague. The museum has a number of Dutch paintings from this time in its collection, and is displaying them along with 12 related pieces from other institutions as part of “Rembrandt & Co.,” through May 27.

The exhibition has been organized to bring together various pieces, sitters and compositions that were separated over the centuries. For example, Prague’s Rembrandt “Scholar in his Study” and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam’s Rembrandt “Bust of a Man in an Oriental Costume,” which feature the same sitter in different roles and varied expressions. Or Rembrandt as a Shepherd” (from the Rijksmuseum) and Rembrandt´s wife Saskia as a Shepherdes”  is another special pairing.

“Rembrandt & Co.” is being held on the second floor of the Baroque Sternberg Palace, next to Prague Castle. To see these paintings all together, is amazing, book your flights to Prague today.

Rembrandt

Rembrandt

Another interesting show is happening at the Dox Center for Contemporary Art, the show, entitled  “Middle East Europe,” is a sort of collage of  European artists reacting to conflict in the Middle East are contrasted with works by Israeli and Palestinian artists in which runs through April 20.

“One of our goals was to show the conflict as directly related to our European past as well as to the present,” said Zuzana Stefkova, one of the curators. “As Europeans, we should acknowledge the historical responsibility for what has caused the conflict in the first place. That is why we linked Middle Eastern themes to works showing current European racism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.”

Middle East-Europe

Middle East-Europe

Works on display include a realistic-looking sculpture of Ariel Sharon — in a coma — in a hospital bed appearing to breathe by the Israeli artist Noam Braslavsky and the film “Wall and Tower” by the Israeli artist Yael Bartana, which shows a fictitious return of Jewish kibutzniks to Poland. The Swiss artist Christoph Draeger tackles terrorism in a work in which he reconstructs the kidnapping and killing of members of the Israeli Olympic team in Munich in 1972.

Neighborhood Art:

Everyone knows art and culture reign supreme here. While Prague’s spire-studded Old Town hosts most mainstream events, all the cool underground stuff usually requires a trek. East of Old Town, the grungy Zizkov neighborhood has hills topped with cobblestone lanes and the odd nuclear bunker, like the one on Parukarka hill.

the bunker

the bunker

Built in the mid-1950s, the space functions as a club today. A 36-foot rock-climbing wall is circled by a long staircase as it descends to the shelter  Bands and D.J.’s play, and the walls are often used for temporary photo exhibitions.

Architecture buffs will also have to take a trek to see some of the city’s most distinctive buildings. Gothic and Baroque rule the historic center, the best examples of Czech Cubism are hidden to the south.

Villa Kovarovic

Villa Kovarovic

Villa Kovarovic, built in 1913 by Josef Chochol, displays the movement’s characteristic hexagonal forms.  Another five minutes south will take you to Chochol’s ”triple house,” a complex of three Cubist buildings facing the river; they are not open to the public.

Cubist Triple House Prague

Cubist Triple House Prague

Eat:

Used to be that people would hop on cheap flights to Prague and come away lean. Not anymore. The food has vastly improved. Thank God. It’s lighter, less communisitic in look and feel and far less depressing.

Things like soft-shell crab sliders on fluffy rice buns dressed with peppery wasabi cream,  fresh asparagus salad with tangy lime, aromatic mint and a blast of fiery chile are examples of what you can now expect.

sansho

sansho

Sansho, which opened in a quiet, residential corner of central Prague has made a huge splash. It’s really worth it to fly to Prague for this experience alone.

Owned and run by Paul Day, a former sous-chef at Nobu London who started his Asian culinary education as a butcher in London’s Chinatown, Sansho has none of  Prague’s Old World traditions of stiff, formal dining. Instead, this small restaurant offers communal seating on benches and serves its dinners family-style, creating an informal, neighborly atmosphere quite unlike anything else in the Czech capital.

And because of the vast Vietnamese population in the Czech Republic, there’s tons of fresh fruits, herbs and spices shipped from Hanoi to Prague’s wholesale markets. These, of course are used in his menu.

sansho fusion

sansho fusion

Sansho has caused a minor revolution not just because of the types of food, like  pork belly and watermelon salad, but the fact that he could tell you exactly which village the meat came from and the farmer’s name. Complex dishes like an Indonesian-style rendang — tender chunks of beef slow-cooked in sugary coconut milk — are highly technical, he knows where each ingredient comes from, and yet, it’s served easily and casually. How nice that such a serious chef doesn’t take himself seriously.

Book your Prague flights to see all this city has on offer, great art, culture and food and at great prices.

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