For no particular reason, I recently visited Prague. I had never been there before, and I love walkable, historic cities, so . . . I went. It was a fun trip. I got an AirBnB flat near the city center and started walking around even on my jet-lagged arrival day.
The city is divided into four zones: Old Town (including the Jewish Quarter) and New Town (which isn’t particularly new, but emerged after the Old Town) on one side of the river and the Castle Quarter and Lesser Town on the other. They all have lots to see.
I didn’t spend much time in museums–there was the Mucha Museum, which I enjoyed, and the Kafka Museum, and a tiny museum devoted to Dvorak–but most of the time I walked. I also took a couple of day trips to smaller cities near Prague to see historic attractions (the Ossuary in Kutna Hora, the Terezin Concentration Camp) and also signed up for some local “Experiences” on AirBnB that were quite fun. One was a dinner in a chef’s home; another was a beer & tapas pub tour; a visit to a master violinmaker’s workshop; and a concert at the main concert venue along with a tour of that building.
Speaking of Kafka, he’s a real presence in the city. Besides the Kafka Museum, there are several statues of him, a plaque marking his birthplace, and more. As it happens, just before I left home I found a book called Conversations with Kafka by Gustav Janouch and read that in Prague since it refers to numerous streets and buildings in the city.
While there is great art in the city, the real story is its architecture (I took a tour with an interesting young man who focused on that)–Roman, Gothic, Rennaissance, Neo-Gothic, Art Deco, Art Nouveau. The city also has quite a good public transit system and once I got the hang of it I was zipping around on the subways and trams when I got tired of walking.
Very glad I went. Enjoy some of my pictures!
Did you know Arnost Lustig, the Holocaust writer who taught at AU? He was a wonderful spirit full of energy in spite of his dark background. As a young teen, he was in Terezin, and then Buchenwald, and then on his way to Auschwitz to be gassed when the transport train was strafed and wrecked, giving him an escape. I went to Terezin in honor of him last summer and loved finding his photo and quotes in the survivors’ hall.
No, didn’t know him, but I recognize the name. The whole experience of visiting was moving.
Loved reading this and seeing your pictures. I was working on a novel about Prague and had to cancel a trip there when my daughter became ill. I hope to still get there.
I hope you can get back to it one day.