History, Architecture and Museums
Of all the qualities attributed to Prague magical is probably the one most suited to both its appearance and history, clearly marked by Emperor Rudolph II, 45th ruler in the history of Czech land. Very educated and intelligent himself Emperor Rudolph II ruled at a time when Prague was rendezvous to alchemists, astronomers, astrologists and painters. In Golden Lane, behind St. George’s Basilica, used to live the Emperor’s alchemists. There the legend goes an artificial man, named Golem, was invented and is still hidden at the Old-New Synagogue
Along with the exhibitions held at the Jewish Museum and the art gallery at Strahov monastery less renown museums such as The Puppets Museum or Bertramka, where Mozart finished Don Giovanni, can make very interesting visits. Other interesting museums are The National Museum, Prague’s Capital Gallery and The National Gallery.
If there is one name people immediately think of when talking of Prague, it is Franz Kafka. Snubbed by his own countrymen for nearly a century due to his writing in German, these days numerous spots in Prague have become a tribute to his literary talent. His work was heavily influenced by the atmosphere surrounding the alleys of Josefov, Belvedere Gardens and Chotek Park amongst many others. When you visit these places you inevitably feel being transported to the pages in his novels. Kafka is buried in the New Jewish Cemetery.
Josefov or The Jewish Town
In Jewish history for as long as one can remember Prague has been referred to as the Mother City of Israel. Six synagogues, the old Jewish cemetery and other buildings are testimony to historical links with the people of Israel. The Jewish Museum is filled with small historical treasures which speak of the tragedy lived by thousands of Czech Jews during World War II. Some of the synagogues hold exhibitions of Jewish customs and traditions. Pinkas Synagogue has a hall with commemorative writings about the 80000 Jews murdered by the Nazis. Next to each name there is the last place in which they resided and dates of birth and death. This monument is accompanied by the drawings of Jewish children in the Czech prison camp of Terezín, a moving tribute to the horrors of war and human courage.