SWISSbuckling to Europe Pt XXXII – Prague Free Tour

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Our guide Jana of Prague Free Tour

Our Airbnb host Homero had recommended us to go on a free walking tour in Prague Old Town. The morning tour usually starts from Staré Město at 11am and we set off from the apartment slightly after 10.

We alighted from the tram near Rudolfinum

Walking towards Staroměstské náměstí (Old Town Square)

There were several guides from different operators offering free walking tour at Old Town Square and we randomly chose one to sign up with. Our guide’s name was Jana and she suggested that we could take a look inside Church of St Nicholas before the start of the tour.

Church of St Nicholas

Interior

Back on Old Town Square:-

Tourists everywhere at Old Town Square

There were around 20 participants from all over the world in our tour group and Jana welcomed us to Prague.

Jana gave us an introduction of Prague

She then brought us to Astronomical Clock which had an hourly show. Many tourists were there to witness it although to be honest I wasn’t really impressed

Astronomical Clock

Jan Hus Memorial in the center of Old Town Square

We followed Jana around and she stopped at several places to share the history and stories.

Following Jana

Powder Tower:-

Powder Tower

While walking through Wenceslas Square, I got into a conversation with another member of the tour group, a senior German gentleman who was with his American friends. He was also a former policeman and used to participate in exchange program with Czech police. He told me to be careful of my belongings as there were many pickpockets in Prague.

Passing through the market of Wenceslas Square

We saw several interesting sculptures during our tour. Jana pointed out that the first sculpture outside Estates Theater. Apparently the Theater’s claim to fame was that the premiere of Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni was held here in 1787.

Cloak of Conscience sculpture dedicated to the premiere of Mozart’s Don Giovanni in 1787

We also started chatting with the group of tudung-clad Malaysian girls in our group. It turned out that they were medical students studying in Jordan and were touring Europe during their break. This was their second trip in Europe; they visited Western Europe the previous time.

Another interesting sculpture was David Černý’s Man Hanging Out.

Supposedly depicting Sigmund Freud and his struggle with fear of death

Although I couldn’t recall most of the history that Jana shared, I was quite intrigued by her own personal story growing up in communist Czechoslovakia. She shared that having tropical fruits such as bananas used to be a real treat and she also tried to explain some of the differences between Czech and Slovak.

Towards the end of the 2.5-hour tour, we walked to Josefov. As Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II was the one who emancipated the Jews, Prague’s Jewis quarters was name after him.

Old New Synagogue

Star of David on Jewish Town Hall

The tour ended in front of the sculpture of Franz Kafka, probably the most famous Czech writer. Ironically, he was a Jew who wrote all almost his works in German. He only achieved fame and recognition after his death; his friend Max Brod ignored his request to have his works destroyed and published them instead.

Inspired by Kafka’s Metamorphosis

We gave a pretty generous tip to Jana when the tour ended. These free tours are good ways to orientate visitors to new cities although the tour quality is really dependent on the guide’s delivery.

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