Welcome to part 3 of our series “Impressions of Shipka’s Art Gallery”. The Art Gallery “Hristo Pesev” is located in the Shipka’s Community Center. We are currently running a campaign to collect funds for the roof repair of the building, which needs to happen this spring to prevent negative consequences for the cultural heritage stored in the building. See here how you can donate for the roof repair of and help preserve our art collection for future generations!
This time we have a special painting for you: “Smetana’s quai” by Radka Kostova – Vladeva. It is presented by our Czech volunteer Martin, who is here in Shipka with us doing his European voluntary service helping us develop cultural tourism in Shipka.
In the Art Gallery of Shipka there are many curiosities hidden. It is gratifying, after I arrived from the Czech Republic – 1200 km far away- to find a piece of home in this distant place. The Painting by Radka Kostova – Vladeva (Радка Костова – Владева) represents a view of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic.
The picture shows the view from Smetana’s quai over Charles Bridge on Prague Castle. Although the painting is not very detailed, it shows us quite a true look on those places some decades ago.
The Charles Bridge across the Vltava River is the second oldest bridge in the Czech Republic. It was finished in year 1402 and is bordered with many baroque statues.
Behind the bridge protrudes the red tower of the baroque monasterial church of St Thomas. This church is one of the richest decorated churches in Prague and you can find there artworks by several famous European painters, for example Peter Paul Rubens.
The main dominance of the picture (and of whole Prague) is Prague Castle, the seat of Czech kings and presidents. The most visible building is the cathedral of St Vitus, the most important church in the Czech Republic. It is from the Gothic period, but the building was finished in 1929 and last pieces, new organs, are installed right now, thanks to donations from many institutions and people.
Very interesting is the house on the left side on the riverbank. Up to present days there are living only local people and there isn’t any commercial accommodation for tourists, like in almost every house in the city center. This house is connected to many interesting people and miracles. It is named “At the Picture of Virgin Mary” after a picture, which is placed on a small balcony on the wall orientated to the bridge. On this balcony there is the continuous light of a small lantern. According to the legend, this is the eternal light of the soul of an unhappy girl, Petruška (“Петрушка”), who lived in a loft of the house and was always alone. Therefore she chose one star at the sky and wanted it to come down, which didn’t happen. When she was dying, she sent a word to the star: “Now you see it, I remained alone.” But the star answered: “I’m always with you yet.” After that, the soul of the girl came to shine in the lantern on the balcony. She became the eternal light and finally she isn’t alone anymore, thousands of visitors walking on the Charles Bridge keep looking at her.
Pls, spread the word about our campaign to help us raise the funds for the roof repair. May our gallery have many visitors, similar to Petruška’ lantern!