Unique Places in Prague

  • Franz Kafka statue in the Jewish Quarter
    Franz Kafka statue in the Jewish Quarter
    by Jefie
  • Zoubek's Monument to the victims of Communism
    Zoubek's Monument to the victims of...
    by Jefie
  • Prague's Hunger Wall
    Prague's Hunger Wall
    by Jefie

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Prague

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    Josefov - Kostel svetoho Ducha

    by croisbeauty Updated Mar 28, 2014

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    Kostel sv. Ducha (Church of the Holy Spirit) is situated at the border of the Old Town and Josefov, right next to the Spanish Synagogue. It was originally founded in 1346 as a Gothic single-aisle building. It belonged to the Benedictine order who had a convent adjacent to the church. During the Hussite wars, in the 15th century, the church was severely plundered same as the most of the Roman Catholic churches in Prague. In 1689, during a Big Fire in the city the church was destroyed and rebuilt in the Baroque style.
    During the reign of Emperor Ferdinand I (1503-1564), Jews had to attend catholic service in this church.

    kostel svateho Ducha kostel svateho Ducha kostel sv. Ducha and Spanish synagogue in behind

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    Narodni trida

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 31, 2013

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    Narodni trida is one of the important avenues in Prague, placed on the boundary of NewTown and Old Town. It is connecting Most legii (the Legion Bridge) with The Jungmannovo namesti, right on the line where in the medieval times there were the city walls.
    Narodni trida is home of important buildings and institutions, such as, National Theatre and Czech Academy of Sciences. It is also home of a few very beautiful houses built in Art Nouveau style.
    For young Czech population this avenue has a particular significance, in 1989 riot police violently suppressed here a peaceful student demonstrations, which is thought as initiation of so-called Velvet Revolution.

    Viola Building Topic Building Czech Academy of Sciences Viola building Viola building

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    Memorial to the victims of the regime

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 25, 2013

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    The monument to the victims of Communism is located in Mala Strana Ujezd. The monument was unveiled in 2002 and made by sculptor Olbram Zoubek and architects Zdenek Hoelzel and Jan Kerel.
    The monument consists of a monumental staircase on which there are seven bronze sculptures of figures who gradually turn into torsos. A bronze strip goes through the centre of the staircase and there are a number of people on the stripe, whom the communist regime sentenced, executed, killed while escaping and forced to emigrate.
    I visited Prague before the fall of the Berlin Wall and well remember the harassment to which I was exposed when entering and leaving the country. At that time Prague was equally beautiful town, as it is today, but very rusty.

    the monument to the victims of Communism the monument to the victims of Communism

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    Josefov - Parizska ulice

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 25, 2013

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    Parizska ulice is the heart of Josefov and its main street. The street looks very representative, filed with beautiful buildings and prestigious rooftops. Between 1893 and 1913 most of the ghetto was demolished, as a part of an initiative to model the city of Paris. Obviously, it became an elite quarter in which lived the most wealthy members of the Jewish community of Prague.
    Parizska street is a mecca for shoppers, but for those for whom the cost is not important at all. Here are arranged, side by side in a row, shops with the most prestigious fashion brands.
    In the small park, next to the Old-new synagogue, is exposed a very beautiful sculpture of Moses, work of great Czech sculptor František Bilek. Bilek (1872-1941) is famous Czech Art Nouveau and Symbolist sculptor and architect. His works often reflect Biblical themes or have religious connotations. The bronze sculpture of Moses, work from 1905, represents the Bilek's vision of the Old Testament prophet. The figure of a kneeing man in a superhuman size who writes on the scroll the name "Adam", as a symbol of a mankind.

    Moses by Franti��ek Bilek Moses by Franti��ek Bilek Parizska ulice

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    Josefov - Jewish Town Hall + Vysoka synagoga

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 23, 2013

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    Židovska radnice (Jewish Town Hall) was constructed adjacent to the Old-New Synagogue, on the corner of Maiselova and Červena ulice. The building was constructed in Renaissance style but it acquired its Rococo facade in the 18th century. It was the main meeting house of the local Jewish community but currently is close for the public. The building features two clocks on its rooftop, one on a tower with Roman numeral markings, the other, lower, has Hebrew numarals, which are the same as letters in the Hebrew alphabet. The Hebrew numerals begin with "aleph" and continue counterclockwise around the clock dial.
    Vysoka synagoga (High Synagogue) was financed by Mordechai Maisel and it was finished in 1568, the same years as the Jewish Town Hall. The building was designed by P.Roder in Renaissance style. It was designated as a preaching place for councilors of the Jewish Town Hall. In 1689 it was destroyed in a Great Fire, reconstructed in 1883 but the facade was simplified to the modern appearance.

    Jewish Town Hall&Vysoka synagoga the clocks of the Jewish Town Hall The Jewish Town Hall from Maiselova ulice Josefov - Old Jewish Ghetto

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    Josefov - Maiselova synagoga

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 23, 2013

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    Maiselova synagoga (Maisel Synagogue), designed by Josef Wahl and Juda Goldsmied in late Renaissance style, was built in 1590-1592 as a private chapel for the Maisel family. Mordechai Maisel (1528-1601), who commissioned the synagogue, was a very rich man. He was a mayor, Minister of Finance, philanthropist and communal leader of Jews. The synagogue burnt down in 1689 and was then rebuilt in Baroque style. Since 1918 the synagogue became a center of Jewish Reformists.The synagogue survived Nazi occupation because it was planned to be the part of so-called "museum of extinct race".
    Mordechai Maisel financed a large number of the Renaissance buildings in the Josefov district, changing face of a ghetto into a modern city look.
    The synagogue serves today as a Jewish Museum, of a history of Jews in Bohemia and Moravia from the 10th to the 18th century.

    Maiselova synagoga Maiselova synagoga Maiselova synagoga

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    Josefov - Pinkasova synagoga

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 23, 2013

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    Pinkasova synagoga (Pinkas Synagogue) was founded in 1535 as a private chapel of Pinkas-Horowitz family, one of the richest members of Jewish community of Prague. It is now the second oldest synagogue in Josefov, built in the late Gothic style and later on partly renovated in early Renaissance style.
    Nowadays the synagogue is part of a Jewish Museum of Prague and the place of major importance for the entire Jewish people. Pinkas Synagogue is now one of the memorials to the victims of the holocaust. During WW II and the time of the occupation, Nazis killed most of Jews who lived in Czechoslovakia. The names of 77,297 victims were written on the synagogue's walls, to keep the memory of the Jews who did not survive the camp in Terezin.

    Pinkasova synagoga Pinkasova synagoga Pinkasova synagoga Pinkasova synagoga

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    Josefov - Španelska synogaga

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 23, 2013

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    Španelska synagoga (Spanish Synagogue) is a Moorish revival synagogue built in 1868 to the design of Vojtech Ignatz Ullmann. The synagogue was built on the site of the most ancient synagogue in Prague, called The Old Synagogue, which may originally have been used by Byzantine Jews, known as Romaniotes. The Old Synagogue was demolished in 1867.
    The facade copies the Leopoldstadter Tempel in Vienna. It has tripartite facade with a tall central section flanked by lower wings on each side. The central section is topped by a pair of domed turrets. Despite its name, the synagogue was never used by a Sephardic congregation, it was an early Reform temple.
    The building is owned by the complex of Jewish Museum of Prague and is used as museum and concert hall.

    Spanelska synagoga

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    Josefov - Staronova synagoga

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 23, 2013

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    Staronova synagoga (Old-New Synagogue), dating back to the 13th century, is the oldest synagogue in the Central Europe. It is also the oldest surviving medieval synagogue of twin-nave design.
    Completed in 1270 in Gothic style, it was one of the Prague's first Gothic buildings. (A still older Prague synagogue, known as the Old Synagogue, was demolished in 1867 and replaced by the Spanish Synagogue.) Originally it was called the New of the Great Synagogue. Its name deviates from the Hebrew "al tenay" which means on condition. According to the legend, angels have brought stones from the Temple of Jerusalem to build the synagogue in Prague, "on condition", that they are to be returned when the Messiah comes.
    The synagogue follows orthodox custom which separate seating for men and women during prayer services. Women sit in an outer room with small windows looking into the main sanctuary. It is said that the body of Golem (created by Rabbi Judah Lowe ben Bezalel) lies in the attic where the "genizah" of Prague's community is kept. Genizah is a storage area in the Jewish synagogue or cemetery designated for the temporary storage of books and papers of religious topics, but also for deceased bodies prior to proper cemetery burial.
    It is not allowed to take the pictures inside of the synagogue but I risked and took my chances.

    the Old-New Synagogue flag with the Star of Dabvid torah ark bimah the Old-New Synagogue

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    Josefov - Monument to Kafka

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 23, 2013

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    Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was a German-language writer of novels and short stories, regarded as one of the most influential authors of the 20th century.
    The monument to Kafka is located in Dušni/Vezenska, right next to the Spanish Synagogue. It is symbolic location because the Kafka family lived at Dušni street no. 27. The sculptor, Jaroslav Rona, was inspired by an short story written by Kafka called "Popis jednohu zapasu" (Description of a struggle). Novel tells about young man riding on another man's shoulder through the streets of Prague. The split design of the statue refers back to the spiritual split of the writer mentioned in the novel. In Rona's work that figure is Kafka himself sitting astride a headless man.
    A bronze statue was unveiled in 2003.

    the statue of Franz Kafka the statue of Franz Kafka

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    Josefov - Jewish quarter

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 23, 2013

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    Even in Prague can be noticed that Jews had a special status throughout the history of their life in Europe. I shall not mention the name but I was in a city where, already in the Middle Ages, the Jewish quarter was separated by the walls and the gates have been locked over night. Less important is motive for doing it because when someone wants to isolate someone, will always find a "valid" reasons.
    Jews have settled in Prague as early as the 10th century. The first pogrom was in 1096 and Jews were concentrated within a walled Ghetto. In 1262 king Otakar II issued a "Statuta Judaeorum" which granted the community degree of self administration. In 1389 was one of the worst pogroms which saw some 1500 massacred at Easter Sunday.
    The Ghetto was most prosperous towards the end of the 16th century when Jewish mayor, Mordecai Maisel, became the Minister of Finance and very wealthy man. Maisel financed a large number of the Renaissance buildings in the Ghetto. Around this time the Maharal was supposed to create the Golem. Judah Loew ben Bezalel (1520-1609), widely known as the Maharal of Prague, was an important Talmudic scholar, Jewish mystic and philosopher. MaHaRaL is Hebrew acronym of "Moreinu Ha-Rav Loew" (Our Teacher, Rabbi Loew).
    In 1850 the Ghetto was renamed "Josefstadt", after Joseph II Holy Roman Emperor who emancipated Jews with the "Toleration Edict" in 1781. The edict allowed Jews to settle outside of the Ghetto. Most of the Jewish quarter was demolished between 1893 and 1913 as a part of an initiative to model the city of Paris.
    During Nazi occupation the old ghetto was preserved, following the plan to make of it "exotic museum of an extinct race".

    Parizska ulice Maiselova ulice Siroka Ulice Staronova synagoga plan of all synagogues in Josefov
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    • Family Travel

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    The Strahov Monastery.

    by Maurizioago Updated Dec 10, 2013

    This monastery was built in 1182 on the place of an older construction from 1140.

    Through the centuries it has been destroyed by fire, bombarded and ransacked by the Hussites as well as by other armies. Most of the buildings we see today was constructed in the 17th and 18th centuries.

    The highlight of this monastery is the library. This is made of two magnificient halls containing old volumes and manuscripts. The Theological Hall (1679-1727) and the Philosophical Hall (1797). Unfortunately you can' t go inside these halls. You can only peak into them from the corridor. These two halls are connected by a corridor that houses an extensive collection of various things as insects, a few weapons, lots of stuffed animals, minerals et al).

    Within the monastery precinct there are also the church of the Assumption (1743-1752); a picture gallery, a deconsacrated chapel now used as exibitions hall and a couple of restaurants. One of these is also a brewery.

    You can go to the monastery by tram n. 15 or n. 22. Get off at Pohorelec tram stop.

    The entrance to the monastery.
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture

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    The Unconventional Art of David Černý

    by GracesTrips Written Nov 22, 2013

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    David Černý is a well known sculptor in the Czech Republic. His artwork is displayed throughout Prague. I did not find all of it but found some of it.

    The statue of St. Wenceslas riding a dead horse is probably one of the more famous pieces displayed at Lucerna Palace central atrium.

    The Babies are located in Prague at the Kampa Museum very close to Charles Bridge.

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    Hrad Ceský Šternberk

    by GracesTrips Updated Nov 3, 2013

    This castle is located about 30 minutes south of Prague on Highway E65 E50. You can't park at the castle itself. You will park down below. There are a couple ways to walk up to the castle. The website doesn't indicate appointments need to be made. The castle was closed but they said we could participate in the tour but we would have to wait about 45 minutes. So, we waited. It was worth while.

    Not many castles you visit will be fully furnished in period furniture and décor. This one was which was great! Founded in 1241, this castle still belongs in the family, a descendant of the man who first had it built, Zdeslav of Sternberg. They actually live on the second floor. You will tour the 3rd floor. The tour is about 40-50 minutes. Since this tour was in the Czech language, we were given laminated information sheets in English.

    Entrance cost is 125CZK for the Czech language tour. Other language tours cost 195CZK.

    It does cost money to use the toilet.

    Located at 257 27 Ceský Šternberk, Ceská republika

    Please see my travelogue for more photos of the castle

    View from the castle Family Tree
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    Royal Garden - The fountain

    by kris-t Updated Oct 13, 2013

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    This fountain situated in front of the Belvedere Palace in the center of an Italian garden in The Royal Garden.

    It was made in 1568 by metal founder Jaros, who also known as a creator of the biggest bell of the Prague Castle for St Vitus Cathedral.

    The fountain is also known as the Singing fountain but in order to hear this singing sound you have to be located right under the bronze bowl press your ear to the fountain very closely.

    Royal Garden - The fountain Royal Garden - The fountain Royal Garden - The fountain Royal Garden - The fountain Royal Garden - The fountain
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