Soliloquy in an International Cloister

Watch your step as Brother Lawrence takes you inside the monastery walls of a five hundred year-old international order. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wish you had ignored your hormones and joined the monastery.

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Location: Rome, Italy

19 June 2009

A Prague Spring

Bridge Tower in Prague

After Madrid, it was 3 days in Prague. As in Madrid and Venice, I was there for a meeting, but there was also a little time for sightseeing. Don't be jealous just because I have the best job in the world.

One evening, our hosts arranged a boat trip on the Vltava River for the meeting's participants. A guide pointed out various important sites along the banks of the river, including the Rudolfinum, one of the main concert halls in Prague. Adorning the roof of the building are statues of various Rudolfinumcomposers and musicians. Our guide pointed out that the building was used as a command post by the German army during World War II. The German commander was upset, however, to learn that one of the building's statues was of the composer Felix Mendelssohn. He ordered his soldiers to remove the statue of "the Jew". The unfortunate soldiers had no idea what Mendelssohn looked like so they searched for the statue with the largest nose, and ended up removing the statue of ... Richard Wagner!

After touring the river, we transferred onto a larger boat, where we were served dinner. The food was wonderful, as was the atmosphere. It was a memorable occasion in one of the most beautiful cities of the world. If you have not seen Prague, you must go! I will also put in a plug for "Venice of Prague," the company responsible for the boat trips, which I do without shame because they were most generous and hospitable with us. I highly recommend them.

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1 Comments:

Blogger heartinsanfrancisco said...

Wonderful story about the German commander. An interesting grace note: although Felix Mendelssohn was the grandson of Moses Mendelssohn, the famous German-Jewish philosopher, his father converted to Christianity before his birth -- not that this mattered to the Nazis.

18 August, 2009 17:42  

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