Zelenka-related sites to see in Dresden and Prague

  • I am very pleased and excited to be visiting both Dresden and Prague for the first time next month :D, and am making a list of locations to visit that are related to Zelenka. So far I have:

    Site of the old Catholic Court church
    Zelenka plaque on the Kempinski Hotel, on the site of Taschenbergpalais
    Zelenka’s final residence on Kleine Brüdergasse
    His residence at Rampsiche Straße No. 31
    His residence on Moritzstrasse
    The modern gravestone in the Alter Katholischer Friedhof

    The Klementinum

    Any others I'm missing? Particularly in Prague?

    Thanks already to djdresden and others helping me to create the list I have so far.


  • Enjoy! I too went to both places for the first time last summer, and was blown away. Lots and lots to see and reflect upon.

    I could imagine Zelenka being in so many places in and around Prague, and his music has been played in a number of the churches (including the Cathedral) over the centuries, but here's a couple tangible places that Zelenka was surely at:

    1. St. Nicholas church (& former Jesuit College), Malá Strana
    2. The Prague Riding School courtyard

    1. Where his earliest known piece was performed, Via Laureata ZWV 245
    2. Where Fux's opera Constanzza e Forte was performed in 1723 (and, from what I remember, Zelenka may have also performed in). 'The Gallery Café' is on the side of this courtyard which looks over the 'Deer Moat'. It's just off the grand pedestrian road that goes into the Castle Complex from the North. I went inside there casually in Summer, and only do I now realise that it was the site of an almighty Baroque operatic staged performance!

    Also, if you didn't know already, Ensemble Inégal will be performing Gesu Al Calvario, Zelenka's 1735 oratorio, in the Rudolfinum on the 15th of May! See here

  • Oh, and if you have an extra day to kill whilst staying in Prague, and feel like retreating from the hubbub, it's roughly a 1.5hr bus journey to Louňovice pod Blaníkem, the Central Bohemian village where Zelenka was born and grew up.* It's very small and quiet, surrounded by quite pretty countryside of forest covered hills and valleys. It has a beautiful memorial to him outside and inside of the Church, and the 'Zamek' (fort/castle) is worth seeing too.

    It's also quite a nice walk up to the top of the hill 'Velký Blaník'. Though, when I went in October, the tower at the top was closed unfortunately, so my view was blocked by the trees! At Malý Blaník, the small adjacent hill, there are some ruins where there used to be a chapel to Mary. Both these hills would have been sacred sites to the local and wider Bohemians, so Zelenka must have gone to them on multiple occasions. Velký Blaník also has Romantic National significance, being the place that, according to medieval legend, the knights of St. Wenceslas are sleeping, and will rise up again in case Czech lands were in dire need.

    * Use this website http://jizdnirady.idnes.cz/autobusy/spojeni, to find specific times. They only go every couple hours, from Praha,,Roztyly, and there's one transfer at Beňesov. Likewise, there's only a few buses coming back!

  • Thanks Seb for your excellent reply and suggestions.
    In fact, looking back it was your original post about the Prague performance of Gesu al Calvario that planted the seed in my mind to make the trip to Europe. So you deserve the credit / bear responsibility. ;)

    In Dresden I managed to visit all these sites. Walking the same streets where Zelenka lived, worked and created is indeed an emotional experience. One feels the weight of history in Dresden, obviously not just for musical reasons.

    I found the Zelenka marker in the Catholic cemetery, eventually, haha. I somehow missed it initially while looking at the Weiss marker, which is but a few meters away.

    In the lovely park behind the Zwinger there are monuments to Schütz and Schumann. I notice there are many excellent free spots for a Zelenka monument!

    It doesn't look like time will permit a visit to Louňovice pod Blaníkem. It sounds very appealing though. It would be great to contemplate the history of 'our' composer in an environment free of people carrying boutique store shopping bags, selfie sticks, and so forth.

    PS Sorry for the slow reply. Have been travelling a lot, and haven't always had wifi access, or my wits about me ;)


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