Convent of St. Agnes

18 July 2013

It's our last day in Prague. We spent the last hours on art and culture: Convent St. Agnes.  It is the earliest Gothic building in Bohemia.  Decoration inside was simple.  Treasure of art was abundant, mainly medieval art in Bohemia and Central Europe.  Subjects were predominantly religion related: annunciation, Mary and Jesus, cruxification, etc.  I like Bohemian art for some paintings are down to very details, cracked stone floor, little flowers, cute animal, nameless but very beautiful. Let's appreciate the beauty by theme.

Annunciation is the scene that angel Gabriel announced to Virgin Mary that she would conceive from the Holy Spirit and became the mother of Jesus.  She was afraid but accepted it and praised the Lord. Painters at different periods expressed the scene in their own ways.  Among all, I like the one from Fra Angelico.  Others like Leonardo da Vinci or Botticelli are also famous.  Those shown in the convent are of high standards and exquisite.

Mary and Jesus
It is another theme for painting and sculpture.  There were many many.  Here are a few to share with you.  They are elegant and very beautiful. 


The sculpture of cruxification are very realistic.  Audience can sense the suffering of Jesus Christ, even close to tears.  Hanging over the cross with all the pains, silent and endurance.  His death saves all of us.  All the blame was on him.......
Paintings of cruxification are across different periods and styles.  Less real than the sculpture but the appeal by the colours traps one's attention.

Episodes of Jesus Life
Model of St. Agnes



Prague - Pub Food

Among our 6 days and nights in Prague we only visited 5 restaurants for either lunch or dinner.  2 of them are pub restaurants, U Pinkasu and Lokal.  For environment I prefer U Pinkasu.  For service and sincerity Lokal is the obvious option.  For food, I also opt for Lokal.

At U Pinkasu one has choices of sitting outside or inside, ground floor or 1st floor for more refined versions of Bohemian cuisine.   We picked the outdoor dining as it was high summer and during the day time.  Tables were long and seating was spacious.  Comfy and feel closer to the city beat.  It's near the Wenceslas Square.
Beer was good.  Hey, it's Czechs.  Beer will never disappoint.  At the restaurant's website, it highlights Bohemian sirloin and beef goulash with dumplings.  My goulash was OK but not something to wow or delight.  The dumplings were so so.  My friend's duck leg was crispy. 

Written in my guidebook is weekday lunch menu for 89Kc.  But it was not shown in the menu handed to us, just a la carte.  At time of writing, Aug 2013, 1 month later than our patronage, its Czechs website featured a lunch menu at 99 Kc for Beef broth with noodles and 100 g gnocchi gratin with smoked meat and spinach.  When we checked the bill the waiter emphasized that we should add 10% as tips though it was not written or printed on the bill.  Quite bad impression!  All together we paid 600 Kc, not hugely expensive but a harsh feeling.

Lokal is in Ambietne Group, a large restaurant group with many different restaurants, including Café Savoy and Pasta Fresca.  It was a random find when we visited the Convent of St. Agnes. Guests were mainly locals.  It's loud inside, full of atmosphere and joy.  The restaurant is very serious about its food.  Read the motto printed on the menu and the daily evening menu.
We picked a chopped salad with feta-style cheese and smoked pork knuckle (100g) as our starters.  I like particularly the slight smoky and tender meat.  It disappeared within 2 minutes.
Both meaty main dishes were good but the pork neck steak with onion gravy was preferred, juicy and delicious. The goulash was good too.  Authenticity, great beer, good food gave a nice ending of our last night in Prague.
 Address: Dlouhá 33


Prague Restaurants with Modern Twist

It's our first lunch in Prague.  Klub Architektu is located next to the Betlémské Chapel. Situated at the basement and decoration as a cave adds atmosphere.  A good impression right at the start.  It's modern and chic.  Lunch menu is served Monday to Sunday.  You've got a few choices of main courses.
We ordered Chicken thigh roll with red cabbage and dumplings from the lunch menu.  Chicken is my rare choice for Continental dining.  But this was good and I liked it.  The other dish was pappardella with salmon.  It was delicious, creamy but not too filling. Soup with bread or dessert were offered at 38kcduring lunch.  Of course, meal in Czechs Republic cannot go without beer.  Cheers!  It was served on our table.
Klub Architektu - Betlémské náměstí 5

My pen friend from Austria and her daughter came all way through from a small town to Prague to meet us.  Friendship is dear and precious.  We spent nice time together and here was our dinner on the second and also the last night.  Instead of common touristic restaurant, we took the underground to Mozaika for a touch of local modern food.  And it's good value for money.

Duck Liver Pâte with morels and foie gras
Rillettes of Klatovy Trout, home-made sour cream & shallot

Home Smoked Duck Breast with lemon jus and extra virgin olive oil 
We ordered a few appetizers to share.  All were fantastic!  Well seasoned, fresh was the trout in sour cream.  Smoked breast was tender, flavoured.  Duck liver mousse was smooth and velvet.  Believe that it was a rare dish for my European friends.  But they all loved it.

For the main courses, only the salmon in Japanese way was disappointing as it was  a bit rough and too tiny for a meal.  The beef and the salad were wonderfully tasty.
We took 3 desserts, twice the vanilla cheesecake and brownie.  Sumptuous! All the good food with water just cost 1600kc.  Awesome! This expression is very American and often heard from my half Czech and Polish ex-colleague, Alex.

Restaurant Mozaika
Nitranská 13
130 00 PRAGUE 3 Vinohrady
Phone: 224 253 011, 725 422 862