- 14 November 1999
Back in Central Europe and it’s damp, cold and overcast, just as I expected. Still I love Prague, which is as beautiful as I remember from an earlier visit in 1993.
Driving into Prague I noticed a tremendous amount of graffiti on walls of remaining Soviet-built concrete structures. Granted every large city has graffiti but here it is rampant. If only I could read the writing…. And of course the grey cement buildings the graffiti calls home are offensive, reeking of a past, tasteless era.
But the potential in Prague is conspicuous with extraordinary architecture gracing much of the city. Prague escaped the bombs of WWII and the surviving architecture reflects many periods – art deco, rococo, baroque and neo-gothic in sherbet colors of pink, yellow, lime and peach. Prague and Budapest remind me of one another with their old architecture – I find it difficult to walk the streets and not feel in awe of the history preceding me. But now many of Prague’s buildings need attention, love and a serious cleaning. Pollution causes much of the discoloration and lack of maintenance is all-too-obvious.