The Jewish quarter is a small area known as Josefov, named after Emperor Josef II, whose reforms helped to ease living conditions for the Jews (the Jewish Quarter contains the remains of Prague’s former Jewish ghetto). Josefov lies between the Old Town Square and the Vltava River. Here are two famous figures synonymous with this part of the city: Franz Kafka, and the mystical Golem created by Jehuda ben Bezalel, also known as Rabi Löw.
Browsing: Franz Kafka
Even if you have never heard about Franz Kafka and have never read one of his books (novels The Trial, America and The Castle have been translated into several languages), you will surely notice his presence while visiting Prague. T-shirts, posters and mugs carrying the writer’s image are available at every souvenir shop across Prague.
Josefov, formerly Jewish Town, came into being from a settlement of Jewish traders and moneychangers that was adjacent to the ancient ford over Vltava River on the north tip of the “Slavic Flood Island” which extended from a place presently opposite to the National Theater (Narodni divadlo) as far as Kaprova Street in the original riverbed of Vltava.
Although Franz Kafka was a Prague citizen born and bred, it was only in 2004 (i.e. eighty years after he had died) that the city paid tribute to his accomplishments by building a distinctive statue in Dušní street in the Old Town district. Kafka could speak Czech fluently but German was his native language and this was the language that he decided to write in.
This district is named in honour of Jan Žižka, the leader of the Hussite army. It is located southwards of Žižkov Hill, which was the area where the Vitkov Hill Battle occurred, on the 14th July 1420. In this battle, Žižka’s army of peasants decisively beat the troops of the Holy Roman Emperor, Sigismund.