After our first evening in Prague I was really loving the city. On our second day there, we decided to see the Jewish quarter. Apparently, Prague has long held an enclave of Jewish culture. Sadly, WWII and the Nazis changed that, but today there is a series of Jewish sites in the city. The two best were the Pinkas Synagoge and the Jewish cemetery. The synagogue has holocaust victims’ names written all over the walls, along with some information about them. It’s a startling memorial. The cemetery has layers and layers of graves; after it ran out of room, more dirt was carted in and they began a new layer while bringing all the gravestones to the top. This went on until the late 1700s and resulted in a small area packed with slanted and crumbling tombstones. I also enjoyed the ornate Spanish Synagogue, though there were a few other museum-synagoues in the Jewish quarter that were less interesting. (They’re all part of the same ticket, 300 krona).
While walking around the Jewish quarter we also checked out the art noveau architecture. We learned that the area actually has some of the best work from that movement in the world, and it was fun to see the brightly colored buildings and fanciful embellishments.
Later, we went to the Municipal Hall to see the Prague Philharmonic performance that we had bought tickets for the day before. The building was also done in a spectacular art noveau style, and while our tickets were supposedly only for standing room, there were still places to sit down. The performance was excellent and afterward we walked out on the Charles Bridge (again, we’d already walked over it a few times before) and explored the area downhill from the castle.
Then, after grabbing some desert, we headed back to the hostel where we planned our next day. Though I loved Prague and wished we had more time there, we had decided to leave a day earlier than we originally planned so we could visit a small medieval town called Cesky Krumlov.
The next morning we quickly visited the Mucha Museum, which is devoted to the delightful work art noveau pioneer Alpnose Mucha (I’m not sure if I spelled the first name correctly). Then we got our train and left.