Home Authors Posts by Mihaela Lica Butler
Mihaela Lica Butler
When you stay with us at Mamaison Residence Sulekova, a 10 minute walk from your hotel you will find a charming little garden the locals call Kochova Záhrada (Koch’s Garden). It is a protected area landscaped sometime around the early 1930s (1932 – 1935) as the park grounds of the Karol Koch sanatorium. The project was carried by architects Dušan Jurkovič, Jindřich Merganc, and Oto Klimeš. With benches, stairways, raised points, rest areas, sculptures, and a small pond, the garden was supposed to be a relaxing oasis for the patients of the sanatorium. All permanent features of the plot, like stairs, stone tiles, alleys, benches, fountain, and sculptures, are still the original from 1932.
After years of neglect, local authorities and volunteers are working diligently to make this place the beautiful retreat it once was. Although it is a private garden, generally not open to the public, the owners are occasionally opening its gates, especially for thematic events and workshops, as well as for volunteer care of the grounds.
Although it is a small space, covering about half a hectare on the slopes of a hill, this urban gem has an incredible variety of plants. Currently, under Municipal protection, Kochova Záhrada is a significant example dendrological garden, with about 30 conifers and 26 deciduous evergreen exotic species among several other tree varieties. Local authorities, owners, and volunteers are still working to revitalize the garden and to reopen it to the public.
Besides plants, the garden also features a fountain and two sculptures, one of a mother and child, and one called Lovers.
Until the garden reopens officially, you can always see their official website (linked in the first paragraph) to see their current public programs and volunteering opportunities.
Kafka at Wenceslas Square. This stunning kinetic sculpture by David Černý' measures 10 m in height, and is entirely made of steel. HepcoMotions Heavy Duty Rings technology enables 42 independently driven layers to move, creating stunning effects.
One of the most delightful ways of discovering Prague is walking in Kafka’s footsteps. More than a walking tour, this is a cultural experience. You can start at Náměstí Franze Kafky where his birth house stood once. Only a door is left from the building where Prague’s beloved novelist and short story writer saw the light of day. You can still see it integrated as the main door of the building standing at Náměstí Franze Kafky 3, next to the Church of St Nicholas.
Kafka spent his childhood (from 1889 till 1896) in the beautiful Dům U Minuty (Staroměstské nám. 3/2 – in the Old Town Square), in English, House at the Minute – a stunning Gothic-style building covered in ornate Sgraffito decorations depicting scenes from Greek mythology, Renaissance, and the Bible.
Have a cup of coffee at Café Franz Kafka before you begin your walk to the Old-New Synagogue (Altneuschul), which is not only the place where Kafka attended religious services, but also Europe’s oldest active synagogue. An edifice dating from 1270, the synagogue was among the first Gothic buildings erected in Prague, and today it remains the oldest surviving medieval synagogue of twin-nave design in existence. The synagogue is open to the public, but they charge an admission fee, so have cash ready.
From here, walk to 16 Dlouhá, where you will find the house where Kafka wrote the bulk of his novel The Trial in 1915. From here, you can walk to Café Louvre (Národní 22), one of the few remaining of Kafka’s favorite haunts. Kafka was not the only famous patron of this monument: Karel Capek and Albert Einstein count among the cherished guests of the locale too. The venue also boasts a non-smoking saloon and restaurant, patisserie, billiards, and in the summer months terrace, plus a gallery with a nice café and a Functionalist style saloon, suitable for exhibitions and other events.
Another Kafka favorite, Palác Lucerna (at Štěpánská 61) still offers a rich cultural program, along with cafes, restaurants, and shops. From here, the Kafka Museum (at Cihelná 635/2b) is 25 minutes on foot.
Kafka is also celebrated in street art, as well as through an impressive monument by David Černý.
You don’t always have to count on the mainstream media to learn that one of your favorite destinations is “cool,” but when they rank it as the “Coolest Capitals in Europe” things change. Because you know that, with superlatives, the crowds flood in. Prices rise. Quaint parks get busy. Your secret spots are not-so-secret anymore. And, Warsaw is now “Poland’s capital of cool.”
According to The Independent, one of the several publications that now describe Warsaw as a “cool” spot, the Polish capital is “abuzz with creativity,” boasting hummus bars, design shops, hipster squares, playful cafes, and the list goes on. Verve Magazine describes Warsaw as the rebuilt capital of Poland, famous for its pulsating nightlife – a city reborn, rebuilt with “eerie accuracy.” We live metaphors and superlatives. We love Warsaw.
The Courier describes this Mamaison address as an exciting city break destination, “packed with museums, bars, nightlife and a whole lot of history.” These are three of the main players praising Warsaw and setting it up as the coolest destinations in Europe in 2017. This means that tourist numbers will soar this year and that prices for accommodation are also going up. But Mamaison still keeps balance with Mamaison Hotel Le Regina and Mamaison Residence Diana – you can still book with us at exceptional prices – provided that you book directly on our sites.
Warsaw deserves the monicker of “capital of cool.” Where else would you find “Bach in the Subways” concerts, Chopin tours, and traces of John Paul II? The city offers something for all ages if entertainment is your concern, as well as lively activities in nature, and a wealth of things to see and do for art lovers. If culture is your thing, also check out our five must-see museums in Warsaw that are usually not recommended by mainstream publications and travel guides. Bookmark our official blog for more insiders’ tips worth knowing before mainstream media finds out about them!
St. Patrick’s Day is an Irish national holiday with universal appeal. It is celebrated in countries and cities all over the world. If you happen to be in Moscow on March 17 and the weekend following the date, you will have plenty to do to mark the festival.
Budapest is a year-round destination. The charming Hungarian capital beckons with something interesting and exciting every season. There are two Mamaison hotels that will welcome you like a VIP here: Mamaison Hotel Andrassy Budapest and Mamaison Residence Izabella Budapest. Check out their special offers page for deals that are not available anywhere else.
MFFK Febiofest is at its 24th edition in March. The international film festival takes place from 2 to 8 March in several venues around the city, including Kino Lumière, Kino Mladosť, Zrkadlo, Foajé, Kino KLAP (VŠMU), and several others. Access to each venue besides Kino KLAP, which is free, is usually between 3.50 and 4 EURO. With a Febiopas ticket – available to purchase here – you gain access to all the cinemas in Bratislava for 15 €. After performances in Bratislava, the festival will tour 10 other Slovak cities till April 4, 2017.
The 24th edition of the MFFK Febiofest international film festival has a rich program, featuring 140 films in 10 sections. The highlight of the event is the themed competition “In the middle of Europe.” Viewers will enjoy the newest Slovak productions, as well as international films in original language with subtitles. The official site of the festival offers timely updates and schedules for interested parties.
You can also follow Febiofest SK on Facebook to learn what’s new.
Besides film screenings, the festival also includes discussions with filmmakers, master classes open to the public, introductions by directors, and audience polls regarding movies participating in the themed competition “In the middle of Europe.”
MFFK Febiofest 2017 promises to be an interesting event for lovers of cinematography. It is also an affordable cultural event that makes the beginning of March a great time to visit Bratislava.
The UK Post Office Travel Money ranked Prague among the top budget-friendly destinations for UK travelers in 2017. The Czech capital follows European destinations like Algarve (Portugal), Sunny Beach (Bulgaria), Costa del Sol (Spain), and Marmaris (Turkey). The top continues with Paphos (Cyprus), Budapest (Hungary), Sliema (Malta), Corfu (Greece), Porec (Croatia), Sorrento (Italy), and Nice (France). Tokyo (Japan), Cancun (Mexico), and Cape Town (South Africa) are also considered to be among the most affordable destinations for UK vacationers according to the Holiday Money Report 2017.
The UK Post Office Travel Money monitors the price of eight tourist items – comprising dinner for two with wine, a range of drinks, suncream and insect repellent to generate its Holiday Money Report. Out of 44 resorts and cities around the world, the report has found that Europe takes 9 of the top 10 places – with Tokyo at number 8 before Sliema and Corfu.
Prague and Budapest offer excellent value accommodation and dining opportunities, as well as quality entertainment year-round. For visitors interested in luxury without paying an arm and a leg, Mamaison offers a good choice of accommodation and dining at the two destinations: Mamaison Hotel Riverside, Mamaison Residence Belgicka, and Mamaison Residence Downtown in Prague, and, in Budapest, Mamaison Hotel Andrassy and Mamaison Residence Izabella. Booking directly on our corporate website guarantees guests the best online prices and a variety of other perks.
Our hotels and residences are centrally located and close to some of the most interesting and attractive tourist and cultural landmarks of the two cities. You can choose Mamaison hotels for accommodation when you travel on business too, as well are equipped to satisfy your needs, offering free WiFi and business amenities. You have dining choices at your Mamaison hotels, or you can explore their neighborhoods to find something for your budget too.
Warsaw has a fair number of outstanding museums covering a wide variety of fields and attracting culture lovers, history buffs, and art enthusiasts of all ages.
Russian photographer Kristina Makeeva shows you Moscow like you’ve never seen it before! The talented photographer shares fresh images on Instagram every day to show the world how beautiful the Russian capital can be any time of the year.
Her work got media attention after the photographer shared some of her spellbinding images on Bored Panda. Some of her most shared pictures on Instagram include the Red Square, Saint Basil’s Cathedral, the Bolshoi Theatre, and other important landmarks, as well as everyday people enjoying the atmosphere.
“In Moscow, winters are cold, of course, but this time of the year is the most beautiful, in my opinion,” she wrote. “In our city, there are a lot of lights that are often lit up all night, so those nights in Moscow, when it is snowing, the atmosphere is really fabulous.”
The following images illustrate the talent of the photographer and the magic of Moscow. A city beautiful every season, Moscow is at its most inviting in winter. So plan your Valentine’s Day with us. Check out the special offers at Mamaison All-Suites Spa Hotel Pokrovka Moscow for more winter magic. For example, our Winter Wonders package allows you to save up to 20 % on your accommodation for bookings made directly on our site until March 31, 2017. We leave you with the photographic art of Kristina Makeeva for inspiration.
Guests at Mamaison All-Suites Spa Hotel Pokrovka Moscow have a unique opportunity this Christmas to purchase authentic artifacts at ArtFlection, the fair that brings together some of the best Russian designers and craftsmen, showcasing a variety of decorative objects, jewelry, and other interesting items. The exhibition will also feature works by international designers.
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