Streets and Streets of History! – The Walking Tour of Prague
Yet another city, yet another free walking tour! This time we found ourselves in beautiful, historical Prague. The town that so many, including hitler himself, loved for its wonderful mix of beauty and bohemian culture. We often like to spend our first day in a big city doing one of the free walking tours because we find it not only helps us orientate ourselves but what we learn historically and culturally on the tours are invaluable and make everything that little bit more special.
On this walking tour we got to see and hear stories about the great Astronimcal Clock, which I wrote about earlier, the major churches of the city, the major squares of the city and learnt about important historical events that occurred in Prague over the centuries.
My favourite stories, even though they were sad, showed true Czech spirit in times of difficulty and sadness. In one of the major squares of the town that leads to the Prague Musuem we learnt of students who burnt themselves during the soviet communist rule in Prague and we also learnt amazing stories about the Prague Uprising in the last few days of the war which eventuated in the evacuation of Nazi occupation from Prague.
We also visited the Jewish quarter of Prague and saw the amazing cemetery where the Jews were forced to lay hundreds of bones and bodies in single graves because no one would give them extra space to expand their cemetery. We also saw two beautiful very, very old synagogues which remained untouched during the second world. On the tour we found out that Hitler was to thank for keeping these synagogues. And just when we were about to think that hitler may have had one human bone in his body we were told that the reason he left these intact was because his plans for when the war was over and his final solution was finished was to use these synagogues as a “zoo” type museum showing the “extinction” of the Jewish people. At that point, we couldn’t help but all feel sick and disgusted at this despicable excuse of a man.
The buildings and streets around the Jewish quarter were lovely though. Even though it used to be swampy, wet land and the Jews had to live in squalor. These streets now hold some of the “finest” shopping areas of Prague and you can see many people walking around the streets enjoying the now happy area.
My years of studying literature finally came to use when the guide asked us who Franz Kafka was and what he wrote and I was able to yell out “Metamorphosis” as in the Jewish quarter of Prague is where Franz spent most of his life as a suffering artist.
All in all, the tour was very insightful and lots of fun. We had a great time!