We stayed a week in Liberec while my partner lectured at the
Technická univerzita v Liberci, getting the chance to visit Ještěd Tower, which I have already written about, but also see a bit of the countryside. The rolling hills of the north are simply beautiful, mist-filled, green. We rolled through them on our train on the way to Hodvokice, just as filled with beautiful craftsmanship as Prague really, and of the kind I like more as it not as cherubbed and otherwise statued. This house I fell in love with, it is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen I think — the day was a terrible one for taking pictures however, so apologies:
The most stunning windows, and the detailing exquisite. The town’s wealth seemed to come from this factory — textiles perhaps, as Liberec? I am unsure, but it is also beautiful from the outside. Strange to stare at a factory and have not the slightest context for what it is, who works (or worked) there, what that is like.
I am, of course, obsessed by details and found some more door knobs for my collection:
There was also a wide use of tiles, as in much of Prague, and though some might have seen better days, they were still beautiful.
Perhaps even more than in Prague — where beauty could possibly be seen as a project of Empire — I was so impressed by all that was functional yet exquisite:
Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised by the way that this craftsmanship seems to also fill the countryside — the antithesis of the hamlets of the Southwestern U.S. I know so well, which are always interesting but rarely beautiful and often creepy. But everything was well cared for and this kind of work very common:
We came to this beautiful old place as well, now tragically falling down.
We were walking up to Sychrov Castle, bought (as one of several) after the French Revolution by some aristocrats who had managed to keep most of their money. Their connections to the Bourbons fill the place through its decorations and carvings — and the carvings are exquisite. I didn’t take pictures inside, but here is a view of some of the details I did capture.
And a view of the castle as a whole — again, far removed from what an English castle looks like:
From the castle we walked down to another small village to catch the train back — you can wander over the tracks at will and the ‘industrial’ area alongside was very cool.
I know I have used the word beautiful far too much, but that is what the country is.