Prague – Lobkowicz Palace

This isn’t a picture of the palace; it’s a picture of the view from the outer wall of Prague’s castle (Pražský Hrad), which is more like a bunch of little castles and aristocratic houses and churches and cathedrals all connected together. The part of the castle that I visited today was the Lobkovický Palác. (And I have just learned that my keyboard is biased against Czech, because it will not allow me to put an accent mark over a y. I have to copy and paste. This strikes me as silly. I feel like we Anglophones ought to be as accomodating as possible to languages that mark things like pronunciation and emphasis, by way of apology.)

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But the Lobkowics Palace is interesting, because this family were patrons of Haydn and Beethoven. (For those uninterested in music, they also have the largest surviving complete set of 17th-century Delft ware, which is on display in its entirety.) There is a room in the exhibits that has not only a few 17th century lutes that one Lobkowicz used to play, but an honest-to-god Gluck manuscript, a manuscript of Mozart’s orchestration of Handel’s Messiah with some of Mozart’s notes in, a performance copy of one of Beethoven’s symphony scores, and a few other things that I forget because one is not allowed to take photographs, and my brochure was (ahem) disposed of by le spouse, who was zealously preventing us from being bogged down by garbage. We did the lame touristy thing and got audio guides, and having listened through most of those in both English and German can confirm that the Lobkowicz family is also the owner of the world’s oldest loop recording of main theme of Smetana’s The Moldau.

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