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Czech Republic

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Author Zoe
#1 | Posted: 12 Oct 2019 00:36 
Doesn't seem quite fair to rate the Tugendhat villa so low for missing out and the staff being rude. I had that before, especially Robben Island, and one of the castles in the Loire Valley off limits because President Macron was visiting but I can't exactly say it's crap just for that. Disappointing for sure.

The living room of the Tugendhat villa is just wow.

Author Solivagant
#2 | Posted: 12 Oct 2019 05:30 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Doesn't seem quite fair to rate the Tugendhat villa so low for missing out and the staff being rude

Depends partly on whether one is reviewing the "site" or the "visit" or some mixture of both. Most reviews adopt a mixture and, as Clyde said, he is not a modern architecture fan so might not have been much higher if he had got in. Personally I think it would be better not to rate if one wasn't able to take in a site "properly"?
However, I did find this comment by Clyde in his review somewhat ironic "Perhaps its OUV can be better appreciated by those who love the A++ rated modern houses which look like matchboxes without the possibility of opening windows (there are a lot of them in Luxembourg and they are nicknamed 'houses-without-character' by those who prefer being able to open windows for some fresh air!)". In fact one of the "marvels" of the Tugendhat Villa is its relationship to the outdoors and the effort and ingenuity which went in to providing windows which opened. If Clyde had been able to get in (I fully agree with him about the total unacceptability of taking bookings and then cancelling them at the last moment for reasons which were foreseeable/controllable!!) he would have been able to view both the "cunning" way in which the main windows can be lowered and raised whilst hiding that fact via a covering and, in the "machinery room", the mechanism for doing so. The ability to provide fresh air as required by the season was in fact an important design requirement.
See this short video for the windows being raised/lowered!!

Author Zoe
#3 | Posted: 12 Oct 2019 06:56 
Wish Clyde can visit it properly one day. The staff were friendly when I visited and even let me roam around the balcony by myself after the tour was done.

Author clyde
#4 | Posted: 12 Oct 2019 06:59 | Edited by: clyde 
Thanks Solivagant. I knew that the windows opened and was one of the reasons why I planned to visit the interior. In all honesty I still would have given 2 or 2.5 stars at most on par with most of Czechia's WHS in general.

From the garden the living room seemed nice but certainly not wow for me, contrary to the amazing experience of visiting the house in Utrecht which still remains my favourite 'modern' WHS.

Rating will always be subjective and I think the community rating feature as well as the possibility of seeing who voted and how on the basis of their 'experience' are good ways of assessing a whs rating.

A lot of variables involved which ultimately make rating fun: season, weather, scaffolding and restoration, accessibilty, iconic and uniqueness, OUV, personal taste, hospitality, welcoming and information infrastructure, conflicts and wars, price to visit or get there, etc.

Author nfmungard
#5 | Posted: 20 Oct 2019 04:08 
Have to concur with Zoe here: The rating is too low. Even for all those community member not in love with brutalism (i.e. not named Ian), the OUV is obvious. And when you can't do a proper visit, you shouldn't rate.

I normally try to rate only if I have a full experience. On the other hand, I noticed with Cornwall that especially for serial sites it really boils down to what component you visit: Hayle vs St Just is the difference of 0.5 and 4.5.

Author Solivagant
#6 | Posted: 20 Oct 2019 05:59 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Even for all those community member not in love with brutalism (i.e. not named Ian), the OUV is obvious

It is not right I think to regard the Tugendhat house as an example of "Brutalism" - "modernist" certainly. Ok - it uses "concrete" but is light and airy and very connected with the outdoors, whereas "Brutalism" is about vast amounts of poured concrete with rough surfaces and small windows. Interestingly, Ian only grants that most "Brutalist" of WHS (i.e Le Havre) 2** !

I am very conflicted about the "value" of ratings. There are those Raters with whom I feel generally "in tune" and whose assessment of a WHS I haven't seen I regard as as being likely to coincide with my judgement if I were to visit. There are others whose particular knowledge about a type of site I accept as being better informed than mine or whose visit picked up aspects which I had missed and whose judgement I am therefore prepared to accept as being reasonable even if different from mine! But there are others whose ratings I just roll my eyes at, on the basis that "there's them that know, them that don't know and them that don't know they don't know"!! But I am sure that others regard my ratings in similar fashion and everyone is entitled to their view - even if "incorrect"!! I am just not inspired by, among other things, "gaudy" Catholic churches. ruined castles, vineyard landscapes and medinas and, (perhaps!!) have to admit that the result is a reduced understanding of and ability to appreciate them! The reality is that ratings tell us more about the rater than they do about the site being rated. There are few sites so "poor" which someone, somewhere doesn't find "superb" and few "superb" sites which someone doesn't regard as poor. To a lover of "adits" and underground boat rides even Tarnowskie Gory ticks all the boxes!!

Author nfmungard
#7 | Posted: 20 Oct 2019 06:25 | Edited by: nfmungard 
It is not right I think to regard the Tugendhat house as an example of "Brutalism" - "modernist" certainly. Ok - it uses "concrete" but is light and airy and very connected with the outdoors, whereas "Brutalism" is about vast amounts of poured concrete with rough surfaces and small windows. Interestingly, Ian only grants that most "Brutalist" of WHS (i.e Le Havre) 2** !

sorry, for not making this clearer: brutalism to me is the lowpoint of modern architecture. and i referenced it here to say there are even community members who appreciated those sites. it was not to refer to tugendhat being brutalism ;)

and yes, the individual rating says more about the rater. and i generally see who of the raters i know to get a feeling. you tend to err on lower ratings, but that's fine. i think the averages are fine, though, if enough ratings are in. a 4* site will be nice.

Author Solivagant
#8 | Posted: 20 Oct 2019 06:34 | Edited by: Solivagant 
i know to get a feeling. you tend to err on lower ratings, but that's fine.

That is partly because we never agreed on a "scale" and I put my midpoint at 2.5 ("average as a WHS") whereas many seem to have chosen 3.0. I wouldn't of course accept that I "err" - which, in English, means "mistake", "incorrect" or not adhering to a "proper standard"!! I would accept that I "demonstrate a tendency" towards some "lower" ratings than (most?) raters. In my case of course for perfectly proper/justifiable reasons! Though my "average" is slightly above 2.5 and follows a slightly positively skewed normal distribution. Entirely "fair" IMO!

Author nfmungard
#9 | Posted: 20 Oct 2019 07:43 
Dont put too much emphasis on non native speaker usage of words. ;) Still, for me the word was correct.
"to use or show more of (something) than may be needed so that one can be sure that he or she is using or showing enough of it"

And a 2.5. is an average site, a 3.0 a slightly above average site.

Author clyde
#10 | Posted: 20 Oct 2019 08:11 
I could imagine that my low rating of Tugendhat would be criticised. But for me it really was a let down even though I wasn t expecting much since I'm no modern architecture enthusiast.

The main problem for me is that I still got to "see" the interior even if only from the garden, and I wasn t impressed. It's nice and avantguard for its time but not outstanding on its own to merit inscription. Even if I were to revisit Brno, the window mechanism wouldn't be enough to warrant an interior visit for me and the chance to meet the same staff again. It was disappointing to say the least and the highlight of the splendid view of Brno from the terrace was enough for me to rate the site.

The average community rating will always give a fairer indication of what to expect when visiting.

Author meltwaterfalls
#11 | Posted: 21 Oct 2019 06:55 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
Interestingly, Ian only grants that most "Brutalist" of WHS (i.e Le Havre) 2** !

:) Just a quick note entirely off thread for this topic, but my views have softened a little on le Havre since I last visited, about 13 years ago now, and have become much more a fan of full brutalist architecture (lots of exposure to good examples on my daily commute have helped).

So I'm rather looking forward to returning to le Havre to give a re-evaluation, but my score stands from my previous visits.

And just being modern architecture doesn't necessarily mean it will be a winner for me, there are good and bad examples everywhere (I'm really not much of a fan of le Corbusier or his approach, though will defend his inscription) and visiting all of these different sites helps bring out my tastes.

Some of the sites in that category that I have enjoyed most, were ones that on paper I didn't think I would enjoy at all (Casa Barragan, Brasilia (for the broader residential plan), even le Corbusier's Villa Savoye).

Author elsslots
#12 | Posted: 25 Aug 2021 10:16 

Author meltwaterfalls
#13 | Posted: 26 Aug 2021 05:04 
The new Zatec nomination website

Thanks for that.

The interactive map gives a clearer indication of the fields that have been added in the most recent update, and reviewed by Matejicek.

Author christravelblog
#14 | Posted: 28 Aug 2021 05:03 | Edited by: christravelblog 
For those interested, this Czechia itinerary i came up with (flying in from Netherlands)
going to travel this in September. (note: i skip the spa stuff as will do that later from Dresden with own car).
12 sites......

Day 1
Sleep prg Fly to Prague
Day 2
Sleep prg Prague
Day 3
Sleep prg Day trip to Kutna Hora and back to Prague (if time via The Karlstejn Castle)
Day 4
Sleep brno - Morning to Kladruby nad Labem (1:10 drive) continue to
- Litomysl Castle book tour? (WHS) 1:15 drive
Go to Brno (1:30 drive)
Day 5
Sleep brno Day trip to 2:
- Pilgrimage Church of St. John of Nepomuk (1:10 drive)
- Trebic
Day 6
Sleep brno - Tugendhat Villa in Brno
More of Brno
Day 7
Sleep brno Day trip to 2 (or 3) places:
- Gardens and Castle at Kromeríz (0:45 drive)
- Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc and lunch (0:45 drive)
- Paper Mill at Velké Losiny (TWSH) 1:00 drive (If time, if time not enough back to Brno) from here 1:45 back to brno
Go go brno
Day 8
Sleep Cesky Krumlov Visit Telc (1:30 drive) and then Fishpond Network in the Trebon Basin (1:00 drive) end in Cesky Krumlov (1:00 drive) for the night.
* add the renaissance houses in slavonica?
Day 9
Sleep prg See Cesky Krumlov and continue to Holasovice (30 min drive) drive to Prague airport? Or downtown.
Day 10 Fly home

More day trips from Prague to TWHS. And, might be better to make later day trips from Dresden

Day trip to: Zatec hops town (WHS in 2022?) and The Fortress of Terezín
Day trip to:
Ceský ráj (Czech Paradise) Rock Cities its just rocks
Mountain-top Hotel and Television Transmitter Ještěd
and? Jizerskohorské bučiny/ Jizera Mountains Beech Forest National Nature Reserve
Fly home

Author meltwaterfalls
#15 | Posted: 30 Aug 2021 17:23 
Sounds fun, I'm very envious.

Feel free to ignore if you are already set, but just my own thoughts.

I would say that four nights in Brno is quite a lot (even if you are mostly doing side trips). The city centre and Tugendhat Villa (make sure to book this early, it seems to sell out quickly) would probably be a good half day of sightseeing, beyond that you start grinding quite small.

There are a couple of places that I think benefit from an overnight stay, Telc and Olomouc. Not that an overnight stay is essential for either, but it does really improve the visit.
If it was me I would probably do more of a loop staying in Prague > Olomouc >Brno> Telc and Česky Krumlov.
Also Kutna Hora and Kladruby nad Labem are very close to each other (20/25 minute drive) it may be worth combining them.

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