Author: Michael Moorcock
Original language: English
Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque crowd together: the early basilica of St Vaclar stands between the sixteenth-century Chemnitz fortress and the eighteenth-century Capuchin monastery, all noteable examples of their periods, and are joined just below, in Konigsplatz, by the beautiful new Egyptianate concert hall designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. It has been fairly said that there are no ugly buildings in Mirenburg, only some which are less beautiful than others. Many travellers stop here on their way to and from the Bohemian spas of Karlsbad, Manenbad and Franzenbad. Mirenburg is joined to Vienna by water, rail and road and it is common to change here from one mode of transport to another, or merely to make the appropriate train connections. The station is by Kammerer: a Temple to Steam in the modern ‘Style Liberty’. From it one may progress easily to Prague or Dresden, to St Petersburg or Moscow, to Wroclaw or Krakow, to Buda-Pesht or Vienna, and beyond to Venice and Trieste, which may also be reached by canal.
Mirenburg’s wealth comes from the industry and commerce of Walden-stein, whose capital she is, but it is enhanced by the constant waves of visitors, who arrive at all seasons.
The revenues from tourism are used to maintain the older structures to perfection and it is well-known that Prince Badehoff-Krasny, the hereditary ruler of Waldenstein, spends a considerable proportion of his own fortune on commissioning new buildings, as well as works by living painters, composers and writers. For this reason he has been fairly called a ‘present-day Lorenzo’ and he is apparently quite conscious of this comparison to the great Florentine. Mirenburg is the quintessential representation of a Renaissance which is at work everywhere in modern Europe.
R.P. DOWNES, Cities which Fascinate, Kelly, London,