Blogs from Josefov, Prague, Czech Republic, Europe


Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Josefov September 8th 2018

Our last day in Central Europe arrived way too soon. Our third day in Prague, and our third disappointment. This time it was entirely our fault. We had been traveling too long, I guess, and forgot what day it was. We made our way to the Jewish Quarter, looking forward to visiting the synagogues and cemetery, only to realize it was the Sabbath and everything was closed. We had to be contented to walk by Maiselova Synagogue, now a museum, Spanelska Synagogue, and Staronova Synagogue without going in. I particularly wanted to see the Old Jewish Cemetery, but it was not to be. So, what else can one do? We decided right then and there that it was the universe's way of telling us we have to go back to Prague. Whether combined with the German ... read more
Obradni Sin, Jewish Ceremonial Hall

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Josefov July 8th 2017

We took the Metro from Malostranska to Staromestska, and had ice cream on the Old Town Square. It was very hot – it was a job for us to find empty benches on the shadow area of the Old Town Square. Afterwards, we walked to Josefov, the former Jewish town. We firstly arrived at Maisel Synagogue. By showing our Prague Cards, we were given the free entry to several synagogues including Maisel Synagogue. This synagogue was founded by Mardecai Markus Maisel, Primate of Prague’s Jewish Town under Emperor Rudolf II, and had Jewish Museum showing the history of the Jew’s in Bohemia and Moravia from the 10th to the 18th century. Next we walked to Pinkas Synagogue. In terms of their architecture, the Pinkas Synagogue and the Old-New Synagogue are the oldest and the most important ... read more
crowded gravestones
Spanish Synagogue
Statue of Franz Kafka

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Josefov August 4th 2016

7am we head down to the Charles Bridge to take some photos in the early morning light and without the tourist hordes (we are not tourists, we are travellers, it is different). It is already hot but the area is still quiet. A few more people appear on the bridge, including the bizarre sight of a Mainland Chinese couple with a photographer taking photos of them, both in their wedding clothes. It is common Mainland practice to have your wedding photo taken on a different day and in a different place to your wedding, but it’s impressive to find a couple travelling this far. After breakfast, we get an Uber to Josefov, the old Jewish quarter in Prague. The ‘museum’ covers several synagogues, most now converted to museums, and the old Jewish cemetery. The most moving ... read more
Clouds over St Nicholas church
Pinkas synagogue list of concentration camps
Prague old town hall clock

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Josefov August 8th 2015

So what makes something survive, revive and create? What is in the DNA of a city that vibrancy is so strong that it is almost as if you can feel the spirits of past generations pouring energies from above. Prague ! The 3 hour drive from the Vienna airport to the Czech Republic was actually rather boring, we drove through a non defined geographical area that didn't impress and what i would describe as nothing. You couldn't be prepared for the sudden change, the oasis of buildings with beautiful designs and unique colors, the cobble stones or the red roofs decorated with gold shining in the sun. We landed on Thursday morning only to arrive in Prague at 5 pm planning to put our baggage down in the room and then walk the streets for a ... read more
tomb stones and more tomb stones
how many stairs?
In side one of the synagogues

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Josefov December 12th 2014

Prague / Praha Days 12- 15 It has been said that “Prague’s history reads like a James Michener novel, filled with epic ascents and just as epic declines. The city reached its zenith in the 14th century under Charles IV as the capital of the then Holy Roman Empire. A century later, it lay in ruin, the result of the Hussite Wars. At the end of the 16th century, Prague was back on top as the capital of the Habsburg Empire ruled over by the daft but benevolent Rudolf II. But just a few years later, the Thirty Years War ushered in decades more misery. Modern history is no less dramatic: a young democracy emerges in 1918, it’s trampled in succession by the Nazis and the Soviets, and then saved in 1989 by a mild-mannered playwright-president ... read more
Astronomical clock
Castle guard

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Josefov December 21st 2012

Prague used to have the third-highest Jewish population in Europe, concentrated in the district called Josefov since the city was founded. Famous Jewish people from the Czech Republic include Franz Kafka and Sigmund Freud. The Zidovské Museum v Praze (Prague Jewish Museum) was established in the beginning of the 20th century. During WWII, the Nazis decided to preserve it to make a "museum of an extinct race". It's a sickening thought, but it does mean that the Jewish Museum was left almost completely intact, so it could re-open after the war even though the vast majority of Prague's Jewish citizens had been wiped out. Zidovské Museum v Praze has six sites that you can access under one ticket: four synagogues, the Old Jewish Cemetery and the Ceremonial Hall, all within a few blocks of each other ... read more

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Josefov October 14th 2010

We have a friend who was a CAT student in the seminary several years ago who we had lost touch with. We had not heard from her since she was a CAT. This year Nancy was given the joy of contacting the part-time female advanced degree students, asking about their concerns or areas where they need help or advice. Several days later we received an e-mail from her giving us greetings. To our surprise she informed us that she is living and working in Prague and was married in August. Her husband is a world class violin virtuoso. She invited us to attend a solo concert he was giving at the Spanish Synagogue the next week. We were very excited to think we could see her again and delighted with that invitation! Of course we ... read more
The ceiling of the Spanish Synagogue
Front window
Spanish Synagogue top of a column.

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Josefov September 29th 2009

Hi all, A tip for future travelors.... frommers online has AMAZING "walking tours" that the cheapo travelors can take advantage of and see the sights while learning some history and culture. :) Today we did a walking tour of the Charles Bridge and Mala Strana (Lesser Town). Fantastic. We walked along the Vitava River to the 14th Century bridge known as Charles Bridge. It has over 21 statues on it and we learned about them all. My favorite was the St. John of Nepomuk because we could touch it for good luck! :) After we got done walking we had lunch in JJ Murpheys Irish Pub (go figure) and ate wings with Guiness! Yum! We also go to see the Church of Our Lady Victorious (for all you Catholics), which has the famed wax statue of ... read more

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Josefov September 28th 2009

Hi all, I made it to Prague today. We were on a train out of Munich at 844 this morning. We are down to 4. Courtney, Stacy, and Trey headed back to the states. Chad and his sis went to Vienna. Lauren, Mel, and Gina are in Venice. Me, Greg, Jose, and Frankie are in Prague. Once we got to the station we had a nice man waiting to drive us to the condo I rented off It is nice and large and has a washing machine. First things first, we did a load of laundry and headed out for an early dinner since nothing was served on the 7 hr train ride. It is mine and Greggies 2 year anniversary. YAY US We just finished dinner and stumbled upon this cafe. The streets here ... read more

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