Blog posts

Posts

Ohlédnutí/Revisited Soundworm Gathering

By samotař, 9 October 2017

Kleté krajiny

By samotar, 7 October 2017

Kinterova Jednotka a postnatura

By samotař, 15 September 2017

Upsych316a Universal Psychiatric Church

By Samotar, 6 July 2017

Za teorií poznání (radostný nekrolog), Bohuslav Blažek

By miloš vojtěchovský, 9 April 2017

On the Transmutation of Species

By miloš vojtěchovský, 27 March 2017

CYBERPOSITIVE, Sadie Plant a Nick Land

By samotař, 2 March 2017

Ivan Illich: Ticho jako obecní statek

By samotař, 18 February 2017

Thomas Berry:Ekozoická éra

By samotař, 8 December 2016

Best a Basta době uhelné

By samotař, 31 October 2016

Hledání hlasu řeky Bíliny

By samotař, 23 September 2016

Bratrstvo

By samotař, 1 September 2016

Anima Mundi Revisited

By miloš vojtěchovský, 28 June 2016

Simon A. Levin: The Evolution of Ecology

By samotař, 21 June 2016

Jan Hloušek: Uranové město

By samotař, 31 May 2016

Manifest The Dark Mountain Project

By Samotar, 3 May 2016

Pokus o popis jednoho zápasu

By samotar, 29 April 2016

Nothing worse or better can happen

By Ewa Jacobsson, 5 April 2016

Jared Diamond - Easter's End

By , 21 February 2016

W. H. Auden: Journey to Iceland

By , 9 February 2016

Jussi Parikka: The Earth

By Slawomír Uher, 8 February 2016

Co číhá za humny? neboli revoluce přítomnosti

By Miloš Vojtěchovský, 31 January 2016

Red Sky: The Eschatology of Trans

By Miloš Vojtěchovský, 19 January 2016

Towards an Anti-atlas of Borders

By , 20 December 2015

Pavel Mrkus - KINESIS, instalace Nejsvětější Salvátor

By Miloš Vojtěchovský, 6 December 2015

Tváře/Faces bez hranic/Sans Frontiers

By Miloš Vojtěchovský, 29 November 2015

Na Zemi vzhůru nohama

By Alena Kotzmannová, 17 October 2015

Upside-down on Earth

By Alena Kotzmannová, 17 October 2015

Images from Finnmark (Living Through the Landscape)

By Nicholas Norton, 12 October 2015

Czech Radio on Frontiers of Solitude

By Samotar, 10 October 2015

Langewiese and Newt or walking to Dlouhá louka

By Michal Kindernay, 7 October 2015

Notice in the Norwegian newspaper „Altaposten“

By Nicholas Norton, 5 October 2015

Interview with Ivar Smedstad

By Nicholas Norton, 5 October 2015

Iceland Expedition, Part 2

By Julia Martin, 4 October 2015

Closing at the Osek Monastery

By Michal Kindernay, 3 October 2015

Iceland Expedition, Part 1

By Julia Martin, 3 October 2015

Finnmarka a kopce / The Hills of Finnmark

By Vladimír Merta, 2 October 2015

Workshop with Radek Mikuláš/Dílna s Radkem Mikulášem

By Samotářka Dagmar, 26 September 2015

Já, Doly, Dolly a zemský ráj

By Samotar, 23 September 2015

Up to the Ore Mountains

By Michal, Dagmar a Helena Samotáři , 22 September 2015

Václav Cílek and the Sacred Landscape

By Samotář Michal, 22 September 2015

Picnic at the Ledvice waste pond

By Samotar, 19 September 2015

Above Jezeří Castle

By Samotar, 19 September 2015

Cancerous Land, part 3

By Tamás Sajó, 18 September 2015

Ledvice coal preparation plant

By Dominik Žižka, 18 September 2015

pod hladinou

By Dominik Žižka, 18 September 2015

Cancerous Land, part 2

By Tamás Sajó, 17 September 2015

Cancerous Land, part 1

By Tamás Sajó, 16 September 2015

Offroad trip

By Dominik Žižka, 16 September 2015

Ekologické limity a nutnost jejich prolomení

By Miloš Vojtěchovský, 16 September 2015

Lignite Clouds Sound Workshop: Days I and II

By Samotar, 15 September 2015

Walk from Mariánské Radčice

By Michal Kindernay, 12 September 2015

Mariánské Radčice and Libkovice

By Samotar, 11 September 2015

Most - Lake, Fish, algae bloom

By Samotar, 8 September 2015

Monday: Bílina open pit excursion

By Samotar, 7 September 2015

Duchcov II. - past and tomorrow

By Samotar, 6 September 2015

Duchcov II.

By Samotar, 6 September 2015

Arrival at Duchcov I.

By Samotar, 6 September 2015

Czech Republic

Gardens of the Osek Monastery/Zahrady oseckého kláštera

Posted by
ll

Early on a Saturday morning, after the Meeting at The Osek Monastery, I wander the gardens of the 12th-century monastery complex in Osek u Duchcova, in the north of Bohemia. As I step outside, the humid morning air parts to embrace me with its chill. The greenery drips with a drenching dew, and this gathered moisture is also reflected above in the overcast sky. The leather of my shoes darkens with the accumulated wetness as my feet shuffle through the unkempt grass.

The bounty of autumn is everywhere in the orchard, apple trees are heavy with uncollected fruit, and I taste several of them and find that there are not less than three varieties of apples growing here, tasting sometimes of honey, sometimes of wine, or even hinting of rose. But they are late apples, perhaps left too long on the tree, too dense and hard to eat.

Further testifying to the fertility of this place and its abundance, a small flock of sheep grazes in a nearby field, but a wire fence keeps me from going any closer. They look up at me as I pass, but they don’t stop chewing, their breakfast being far more important to them than any passing stranger.

The gardens of the estate seem vast, but are hemmed in by walls that create an enclosure for the yards, the orchards, the pools, the workshops and the storage sheds. Some of these walls are made of raw stone knitted together in a chaotic matrix, characteristic of that certain period of wall building. Others are put together from orderly brick logically arranged in rectilinear expanses. The length of a stuccoed wall next to a highway (I know the road is there because I can hear the passing sound of the occasional solitary vehicle) is divided by a portal gate that leads out.

In the wan misty light of early morning, the sun appears as a fine white disc, still hanging low in the sky. In the enclosed space are arranged, not only the convent and church and its formal courtyards, but also several ruins, and I find stone stairways disappearing into the grass, seldom-used walkways, and other baroque pieces rendered poignant by their now run-down elegance. I discover a small chapel and step inside. It’s a bit grimy, but generally in good condition. A statue of a bare-chested man, a martyr probably, stretches out his hand, offering me a skull.

I had arrived in Osek the previous afternoon with friends to take part in the final evening of the project. After we are assigned rooms to spend the night, I wander the corridors of the monastery for a time, inspecting the many paintings hanging on the walls, consisting of religious scenes, mainly, and portraits of church patriarchs. I admire the play of late afternoon light as it pours in from tremendous windows in broad diagonal shafts, asserting their hold on space as if they were solid bodies. The streaming light is modulated by baroque balustrades, reflecting glass, and other furnishings, which throw their own images on the surrounding walls, their forms visibly resonating by means of a regiment of distorted shadows. I listen, too, to the sounds made by my own movements in the building.

That evening, the project organizers had arranged an organ recital in the main church of the complex, the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (Klášterní kostel Nanebevzetí Panny Marie). Built in the romanesque style in the 12th century, like so many old buildings in the Czech Republic, it was redone in the baroque style in the 18th. The vast interior of the church boasts two organs, a large one over the narthex, and a small one in one of the transepts. The recital was performed on the smaller organ, as partially documented in this recording.

Related

Altered Landscape, Lives and Memory: A walk from Osek to the sites of the vanished villages of Libkovice and Hrdlovka
Walking could turn out to be the best way to understand a place. Even the natural sciences and the humanities aim to explore the countryside, but they use different methods. …

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