7. Following Franz Kafka: A Self-Guided Audio Tour in Prague
The Prague that world-renowned writer Franz Kafka knew was a restless city, rapidly transforming from a provincial city under the Austro-Hungarian monarchy into a modern metropolis. On this walking tour, I’ll share Kafka’s fascinating story, and bring the place he called home at the turn of the 20th century to life. When Kafka was born in 1883, extensive parts of the city’s Old Town, especially Prague’s Jewish Quarter, were on the verge of extinction. The changing character of the city left a fundamental mark on his fragile and sensitive personality. After all, he was so emotionally attached to Prague and its people that, apart from a few months towards the end of his life, he never left. On this tour, you’ll see the places where he grew up and went to school, starting with Kafka’s birthplace in Franz Kafka Square. I’ll show you the Old-New Synagogue that he and his father would visit, Charles University on Celetná Street where he studied, and the House at the White Unicorn where he’d meet up with literary friends Max Brod, Franz Werfel and Hugo Bergmann. With the help of historical photos, we’ll even visit places that no longer exist. On your walk, you’ll also get a taste of Kafka’s work, listening to parts of his stories and diary entries in the very places that inspired them. On this tour, you’ll have an opportunity to: • Glimpse the well in the Small Square that supported the drunkard in Kafka’s short story Description of a Struggle • Pass by the House at the Minute, where Kafka lived as a young boy • Stroll down Meat Street, once lined with butchers, towards Meat Market and find out how the street may have contributed to Kafka being a vegetarian • Admire the beautiful facade of the Golden Pike House where Kafka lived as a young man • Discover the beautiful Spanish Synagogue and pass the house where Kafka started writing Trial • Gaze upon Kinsky Palace in the Old Town Square and hear details about Kafka’s uneasy relationship with his father • Appreciate the Civil Court Building, where Kafka got his first job • Find out about Kafka’s lovers, including his passionate correspondence with Milena Jesenská • See the Statue of Franz Kafka created by the Czech artist Jaroslav Róna, and Franz Kafka’s Rotating Head sculpture by David Černý On this 90-minute stroll, you’ll get to know most of the places which played an important part in Kafka’s life. You’ll find out many interesting and little-known facts not only about him, but also about the Prague he knew. Join me on this tour to see the city through his eyes.