Courtyards in Malá Strana open for the weekend

The second edition of Malostranske dvorky brings culture to hidden spaces

Over a dozen courtyards will be open to the public in Prague's Malá Strana and Hradčany neighborhoods on May 26 and 27. The event is from 10 am to 7 pm, but some locations have shorter hours.

People passing by on the street don't realize that the center of the block often has a life all of its own. This is the second year for the event, called Malostranské dvorky. Last year some 7,000 people participated.

The courtyards will have live concerts, exhibitions and poetry. “Almost every house in Malá Strana has a history,” the event's Facebook page states.

Ondřej Kobza organized this event, and he is the force behind other events aimed at bringing some new life back into the city. He was the person behind pianos in the streets, public chess sets and “poetry jukeboxes,” devices with drums covered in words that people could spin to create random thoughts.

When he was thinking about what else to do, he thought about organizing walks with a poet in Prague. Poets notice things other people overlook, which could potentially make the walks more interesting than standard working tours.

He did organize some events involving Czech poets and had a walk that showed where some famous poets lived and worked, as well as the location of a small publisher.

From this work with poets, he learned that courtyards in Malá Strana were used in 1981 to have a secret exhibition of works by then-famous sculptors as a way of eluding oversight by the authorities. At the time, only the blandest art as approved for public display.

He thought that similar events could now be organized to make use of the spaces.

But while an event is scheduled for this year, he is uncertain if the project will have a long life. Landlords of the spaces are reluctant to participate.

Programs listing all of the events will be available for purchase (CZK 50) at Malostranské náměstí starting at 10 am on May 26, and at the participating locations when they are open.

For more information visit: www.facebook.com/malostranskedvorky or facebook.com/events.


The houses participating are:
Loretánská 8
Loretánská 13
Loretánské náměstí 15
Nerudova 8
Nerudova 25
Nový Svět 21
Sněmovní 5
Sněmovní 11
Šporkova 10
U Lužického semináře 4
Vlašská 7
Vlašská 9
Zámecké schody 2

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