Wed 6 Oct 2010
By Becca Hensley
The walls don’t talk at Prague’s Aria Hotel they sing. Or, in some cases, they emit euphonious melodies, release dulcet string trio tones, expel an occasional canorous crescendo perhaps even spew an unplugged pizzicato. You might not heed the cacophony at first, but sit down in the lobby of this music-themed hotel, delicately entrenched in the ancient Malá Strana district, and you’re certain to hear something.
Of Mozart, who adored Prague and visited first as a child prodigy, Emperor Joseph II said, “Too many notes.” The people of Prague disagreed and rejoiced when he premiered “Don Giovanni” in the city in 1787. Today, Aria Hotel honors him with a two-bedroom suite that overlooks
the Baroque, Eden-like Vrtbovska Garden, a UNESCO-listed World Heritage site. A vision of romantic interiors, the Mozart room has surround-sound stereo, controlled by a computer program loaded with Mozart music. A painting depicting Mozart adorns the wall. Mozart would have expected nothing less: He always said Prague was the only city that truly understood him.
But Mozart’s not the only musician celebrated at Aria Hotel. The 52-room hotel takes the history of music, a history closely tied to Prague itself, very seriously. The Czech kingdom, after all, was the musical heartbeat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
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