Personal impact and experience on European culture and architecture, an assay for the Central European Cultural History subject, under the t...

Impact and experience on European culture and architecture

Personal impact and experience on European culture and architecture, an assay for the Central European Cultural History subject, under the tutor of professor Ondřej Tikovský.

Life is much more different, warmer, and colorful on the other side of the globe or on the “new continent” as to how many European historians, pirates, and sailors have once called the America’s in their journals and books.

Europe shares a much more different history, socio-pollical, economic, architectural, and cultural atmosphere than the Americas, not only among the Latin-Hispanic communities but also among the Anglo-Saxon territories as well.

Although the reality of both continents is very different, they are still connected at some point, more connected than one can ever imagine. But to discover and understand these differences, it is necessary to know about the history of both territories, their crucial and most important moments in history.

Europe —in my personal opinion— is one of the most classical and art conserved continents in the world, and not only because of its great cities like Vienna, Prague, Grace or Italy but also of its territories and countries that are not mentioned that much on the media or by the contemporary historian.
Europe is the nest and mother of ancient architecture and history, of the evolution of humanity to the modern age.

In the American continent, there's a big European influence, not only of food and bloodline, but also of architecture; and this is not something from the present or last century, but it has been like this for more than 500 years since the British, Spanish, Portuguese, French, among others, arrived at the ancestral, indigenous and virgin continent to expand their territories.

These people brought with them their beliefs and languages, but also something that is still relevant and well conserved today: the architecture, cathedrals, government buildings, palaces; squares, and other buildings and landmarks inspired by their homeland.

It depends on which side of the Americas you are in, you can admire the different European-style architecture; for example, in the Anglo-Saxon region or Anglo-Saxon America, it’s possible to admire a lot of English architecture, but also Spanish ones, renaissance type buildings among others. In Latin or Hispanic America, it is possible to see a variety of architecture, from gothic to renaissance, baroque, among others. All these structures of course are over 300 years old.

Some of the countries and cities of America where it’s possible to see a little bit of Europe and its relationship with the past of the new continent are: “Buenos Aires” in Argentina, “Medellín and Cartagena” in Colombia, “Antigua Ciudad de Panamá” in Panamá, “Asunción” in Paraguay, “San José” in Costa Rica, “Granada and León” in Nicaragua, “Antigua Ciudad de Guatemala” in Guatemala, “Ciudad de México” in Mexico and also “Florida” in the United States. Some of these cities share a bit of the European architectural heritage, mostly from the English, French, and Spanish influences, even though there are others as well.

Territories in the Caribbean and Antilles also share a bit of the European architectural heritage, this is because of the “colonizers” or settlers that established first in many Caribbean countries we know today.

Traveling to Europe and visiting some of its most emblematic cities had helped me connect with the past of the old continent and to experience different cultural and social behavior. Seen the architecture is one, but it would not be possible to understand them if it were not for the tutoring of the professor of the Central European Culture and History class, PhDr. Ondřej Tikovský, Ph.D.; who kindly shared his knowledge and passion with us about Europe, its architecture, and history, transporting his students to the past to get a better understanding of the module and also the social reality —past, present, and future— of our new and temporally home.

And what better way to understand and experience European architecture, culture, and history, than living in former Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic, with the beautiful and historic city of Prague as its capital.

The experience of living in Czechia and being able to travel to some nearby cities and villages has been wonderful, in fact, one learns something new every day from the sceneries and people.

From experiencing for the first time a classical concert at the Rudolfinum in Prague to visiting the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, or the Prague Castle; walking through the historical streets, and tasting delicious culinary, it’s incredible how one can transport back to the past, and feel in their heart joy and sense of accomplishment, the spirit to continue learning, but overall to grow as a person and seek greatness.

People have always said to me that the Czech people are proud, and I have realized why, and I don’t blame them, they own a lot of history and are the genesis of some of Europe’s most important creations and moments.

The Czech Republic is unique, and it has a lot to share with the world, and I think that’s why daily you see hundreds of people in some of her biggest cities, hidden sites, airports, and train stations.

Its religious buildings, castles; the Moravia and Bohemian regions both hold a lot of its history and teachings for the present and future generations. It is a blessing, or a lifetime opportunity to experience everything here.

It’s quite impossible to learn so much in such a short time, and sometimes one has too much on their mind when they are far away from home that they can’t even concentrate clearly on some moments, places, and knowledge that others are trying to transmit to them. Nevertheless, it is still good that one can learn a bit or two, or mostly about specific topics that call their attention. And I am glad that I got to learn — more— about the different architecture, sounds, and music, and of course about European history.

Back home in my university city, there is a lot of European heritage when it comes to architecture, and It has always been a bit difficult to identify the type of architecture of each building, and cathedrals were. But now, with more knowledge on the topic, I know that I won’t look at these places the same again, and I will remember, maybe not everything but most of my lessons here in the old continent.

Experiencing everything I have lived so far, there is only one quote that comes to mind,
“Sometimes we need to go somewhere else to cherish and understand where we come from”.

Shayron P. Tower / 20 of May 2019