Monday, 2 April 2012

The Prague Spring

Last week, I managed to achieve a long-held ambition by visiting Prague, and I certainly wasn't disappointed by my all too short trip to the crossroads of Europe. The unexpectedly superb weather was a bonus, but the city is so fabulous that it would be a great destination in any weather.

I studied Franz Kafka when I was doing my A Levels long ago, and I have always enjoyed his work, so a visit to the Kafka Museum was a must. Very good it was, too. And I was amused to find not only a Sherlock Holmes pub, but also a tobacconists' known as Baker Street.

I was struck by the monument to those who suffered when the country was under Commmunist rule. Suffice to say that capitalism has really taken hold of the place now, but it's important to remember the past, especially when, in difficult economic times, many questions are bound to be asked about the way society is run. Questions which, as Kafka intimated a century ago, are not easy to answer.

Above all, I found a visit to the Jewish Quarter unforgettable. The whole area is fascinating, but one thing I'll not easily forget is the synagogue in which are displayed pictures drawn by young children who were held by the Nazis, and almost all of whom were killed in the death camps a year or two later. The hopefulness and humanity of their art work was unbearably poignant. And again, we need these reminders of the past, in order that the mistakes of history are not repeated.


Margot Kinberg said...

Martin - What a wonderful trip you must have had! Thank you so much for sharing those lovely 'photos. Your story of the synagogue you visited made me remember the trip I made to Amsterdam and the Anne Frank house; a very powerful experience as I'm sure yours must have been.

Sarah Pearson said...

Those pictures would have broken my heart.

What are the statues? They are incredible.

Christos G. Makrypoulias said...

Excellent post, Martin, as usual. I hope you enjoyed other aspects of Czech culture as well, like a pint of Staropramen!

Martin Edwards said...

Many thanks for your comments.
Margot, I went to Anne Frank's house many years ago, and you are right,it's unforgettable.
Sarah, the statue on horseback is St Wenceslaus, the others are the monument to the victims of Communism.
Christos, I missed out on the beer, but did have some excellent goulash!

Rakethetable said...

Where did you find the best Goulash. I am going in June and looking for a great goulash place. Also - did you try the fried cheese sandwhich?

Martin Edwards said...

Can't remember the name of the restaurant, but goulash is everywhere! Didn't try the fried cheese!