Conference: International Bridges Group in Prague, Neo-Renaissance Villa Lanna in Prague, 8 – 10 July 2016

After the success of the first meeting of the International Bridges Group in Westminster Palace [Ed. note: enthusiastically reviewed by Medieval Art Research here], the International Bridges Group will meet in Prague for our second symposium. The Charles Bridge in Prague, with its spectacular gate tower, makes the city an excellent choice, and will be a major topic of discussion. In addition to that, we have also planned a one day trip to Písek, a charming medieval town outside of Prague and the home of the oldest standing bridge in the Czech Republic.

To take advantage of Prague itself, we will be given a private tour of St. Vitus Cathedral (when it is closed to the public); of the House at the Stone Bell and of several other major sites usually closed to the public. In addition, as 2016 marks 700 years since the birth of Emperor Charles IV, our symposium there would be the perfect opportunity for the delegates to see the spectacularly planned ‘Emperor Charles IV 1316 – 2016’ exhibition in the Waldstein Riding School (see link below).

Our programme will be as follows:

Friday July 8th:
8:00 Cathedral Tour with Klára Benešovská and the master mason of the cathedral, Petr Chotěbor
10:30 Tea in the Old Town
11:00 Romanesque House Tour
12:00 Lunch
13:30 House at the Stone Bell with Klára Benešovská
15:00 Judith Bridge Tower and Charles Bridge withJana Gajdošová
19:00 Evening Lecture

Saturday July 9th:
9:30 Symposium in Villa Lanna
Our speakers / chairs (and their topics) include:
David Harrison (London); Klára Benešovská (Prague): Roudnice Bridge; Simone Balossino (Avignon): Pont Saint- Benezet and the recently completed project on its reconstruction; Alexandra Gajewski (London): Pont du Gard in the Middle Ages; Jana Gajdošová (Cambridge); Gerrit Deutschlander (Hamburg): Bridges and Gates; Bill Harvey(Exeter): Bridge Spans in England; Susan Irvine (London): The Sword Bridge in Medieval Chivalric Romance ; Zoë Opačić (London); Sarah Harrison (London); Tim Tatton Brown (London)

15:30 – Free time to see the exhibition
19:30 Dinner

Sunday July 10th:
Coach to Pisek (included in the symposium fee)
Písek is a lovely south Bohemian town and the home of the oldest bridge in the Czech Republic. This 13th century structure as well as a castle, founded in the same century (with 15th century wall paintings of the town and its bridge), will be the focus of our tour.

The symposium itself will take place on July 9th, 2016 in the Neo-Renaissance Villa Lanna in Prague and the entire event will occur on July 8-10, 2016. The Villa (see link below), with the support of the Institute of Art History (Academy of Science of the Czech Republic), has given us a substantial discount to use their premises and will also give anyone from our group a 30% discount on their rooms. (A single room would be approximately £29.) Should you choose to stay there, please contact Jana to book a room. The event fee is £55 and includes lunch, coffee/ tea and dinner during the day in Villa Lanna, as well as the coach to Písek.
We can only accommodate a limited number of delegates due to the private tours/ coach trip. If you are interested in joining, please email Jana Gajdošová to register at

We hope that you will be able to join us in Prague!

Best Wishes,
Jana Gajdošová and David Harrison
Exhibition 2016
Villa Lanna 


Published by Meg Bernstein

Meg Bernstein is a PhD candidate in Art History at UCLA. Her thesis examines the architecture of the English parish church in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

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