If you haven’t noticed the various posts on my Facebook feed, we now have a mural on our wall next to the dining room. It’s a picture of the Charles St Bridge in Prague in the Czech Republic.
I really liked the city of Prague – I was intrigued by its multiple types of architecture: Renaissance, Gothic, and Baroque. In the picture above, you can clearly make out Gothic and Baroque.
What’s the difference? Well, Baroque devices from the French term “tromp l’oeil” which means to “trick the eye.” That style is not reflected above although it is everywhere in Prague. Instead, another part of Baroque style are the ice-cream cone-style roofs on some of the ceilings. If you look in the distance you’ll see them.
Gothic, by contrast, is characterized by its long spires and ash-colored roofs. That’s the central focus of the bridge and even the clock tower on the right. I like that style of building.
But I also liked the bridge especially for its religious significance. The Charles St bridge has carvings of Christian saints all along the side of it, and Gothic churches have a history behind them in that their layout is intended to tell the gospel story; it was how it was told to pre-literate societies. For example, the churches are laid out in the shape of a cross, they are oriented a particular direction, and the spires signify being close to God. The Czech Republic has one of the highest rates of atheism in Europe but it was not always this way, as demonstrated by its architecture and carvings.
I’ve wanted a mural on the wall for a couple of years now. I had several ideas in mind but ultimately settled on Prague after I bought a painting on the street but couldn’t find a frame that fit for it. Rather than spending $100 on a frame (no exaggeration), I decided to spend money on the wall.
I don’t regret it at all.
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You may be wondering what this has to do with cyber security? Well, in June 2013, MAAWG had a session in Vienna, Austria. After Vienna, my wife and I went to the Czech Republic for a week. We spent time in Cesky Krumlov (highly recommended) and the rest in Prague.
While in the Czech Republic, I started drinking beer for the first time in my life. All my previous years, I didn’t drink it. I had it a few times but strongly disliked the taste. But in the Czech Republic, I tried it and it was amazing! It was the Pilsner Urquelle and that’s the drink that got me into trying various types of beer. The Pilsner Urquelle doesn’t taste the same in the US as in Europe, but I’m fortunate enough to live in a part of the country where they brew pretty good beer locally. It turns out that I didn’t dislike beer, I only ever tried stuff that wasn’t very good.
So, this post appears on this blog because if it weren’t for MAAWG, I would not have this mural on my wall, nor would I have ever started drinking beer.
That’s a true story.