Pragues Jan Zizka Statue: A Shifting Historical Monument

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Viktor Dyk was already well known to Brod and Kafka in Podiven The division of nations will in fact follow according to language and its foundations. In Bohemia this resulted — or better to say should result — in the division of the once homogenous Bohemian society into two isolated German and Czech socie- ties. Although, in the Bible, this full division comes only after divine intervention, in Prague it was constructed by nationalists, who sought to define national ter- ritories by language and deny any form of transition.

Of course, there were no such clear borders in everyday linguistic practice, nor did they have any institutional or territorial reality.

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Nekula , as we will see also later. However, this division was already partially given in the historical foundations of the multilingual Austrian empire. The second interpretation seems to be more probable when one considers that the story was written in in the future tense. Incidentally, Kafka considered this anxiety to be the real reason for his illness in , which was accompanied by serious thoughts about suicide.


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Nekula Zimmermann Franz Kafka to Max Brod, August 29, In the second part of the 19th century, public space in Bohemia was oc- cupied by two contradictory projects of Czech Slavic and German nationalism. Uns beide nicht. Neither one of us. This mother has claws. We have to submit or —. We can recognize two elements in this quote.

As Kafka wrote in his letter to Oskar Pollak, the royal cathedral and crypt had been already renovated in the gothic, anti-baroque style and deco- rated with frescos with Slavic motifs. Franz Kafka also repeatedly visited the foyer of the Czech National Theater cf. Nekula a , where the wall paintings also depict the myth. We now come to the second part of the opposition, to the second place Kafka wanted to set on fire.

The emperor from Vienna resided here during his visits in Prague.

A mini guide to Zizkov – Prague’s most authentic district

The roof of the Czech National Theater could be read as an allusion to the roof of the Belvedere on the other side of the river bank near the Prague Castle. Kafka and Nekula a, b, This mythic reading of Prague allows us to understand these two hills in Prague as Scylla and Charybdis, between which Odysseus has to navigate in the Odyssey when he was escaping from the mythic sirens. Thus, as the myth of Scylla and Charybdis teaches us that escape is impos- sible.

It is impossible to escape the siren Prague, who encircles the narrator and appears misleadingly pleasant but at the same time represents the fear of the violence and pogroms. It is just as impossible to escape from Scylla and Charybdis as from the German and Czech battle over language with its monolingual ideology that dominated public discourse, institutions and space in Bohemia and Prague.

The only way out is an act of desperation: to set fire to Prague as Kafka proposed in the letter to Oskar Pollak. But we can already see, Kafka not only reflects, but also decidedly rejects the national polarization along linguistic lines, the German-Czech fight for language and national annexation of public space. Early Slavic Czech history and the present are thus connected. Franz Kafka must have been aware of this on his walks through Prague. Like other Germans and other German-speaking Jews, he cf.

Engel began his walks at the Charles Bridge, crossed over to the dominantly German Lesser Town with its monument to the Austrian marshal Radetzky which was torn down after , and walked up to the Prague Castle. By contrast, Czechs from the At roughly the same time, Kafka wrote his skeptical reflections on the battle over language in Bohemia census , diaries Binder Kafka, however, associates this bridge with failure and suicide. When he sees the bridges from underneath, he sees them not only from the under side, but he also sees the other side of the ideologies that hide behind iconography.

Prague Walk Vitkov Hill, Zizkov and Karlin

Kafka was quite aware of the ideological functions and the effects of na- tional iconographies in public space. In the 19th century, these iconographies made prominent use of monuments. Two young boys sat on the quay wall and played dice.

As he walked by, he shoved them off with his cane. The dead monument threatens to wake up; its hero seems to move and to wield his saber. Everyday Franz Kafka was confronted with this monument cf. Kafka to M. It was therefore destroyed soon after Czechoslovakia was founded. The small circle that Kafka traced with his index finger and in which the fear of pogroms entrapped him could not be recognized explicitly in his texts.

The fault was beginning to open in the 20th century and would swallow the Jewish community in Prague, Bohemia and other countries. Kafka knows that this fault is opening not only in Bohemia and not only for Jews. His stories are thus both: universal and Praguian. You get to explore the areas you might usually not go to anymore again and showcase the city you live in to people you love — making them adore it just the same!

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Here are the best places to take your parents to for when they are coming around for a visit. Not just the outside is a strike of excellence — the building also holds many stories and myths to discover. The entry fee is CZK Instead, opt out for Maiselova street and head towards Old Town Square.

The best part? Visit the second oldest gallery after the Louvre and marvel at masterpieces of Czech and international artists right in the heart of the center. Of course, you know what to do when leaving the National Gallery: Show your loved ones around the main most beknownst square of the capital. Tell them about the myths and legends of Tyn Church , Jan Hus Statue and the Astronomical Clock , then head to Zelezna street, to get to your next stop.

Despite the theater standing in the middle of the city, some tickets start at CZK Check out their next plays and get your ticket for the visit of your parents. From the Estates Theater, follow Zelezna street towards Wenceslas Square and let your parents marvel at the beauty of the renovated Muzeum.

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Every tour needs a break. When all of you have regained some strength, move onto the National Theater and down to the river shore — if the legs are not too tired yet — and lead them to the Dancing House or make use of tram 17 to get you there within 2 stops. Why not start off at a different spot than other visitors do? The area is relatively small and yet there is much to see, such as the brewery, where they produce Benedict beer. Lead your parents to the well-known Strahov Monastery Library and explore the weird little bits and pieces that live in it.

From here, move on to the next stop and…. You can either opt out for a direct walk over to the Castle building and St.

Czech Republic: 'Night Wolves' pay their respects to Czech national hero Jan Zizka

From here, follow the trail back to the Castle grounds. The Lobkowicz Palace and its beautiful gardens are well-worth the 10 minutes stroll from the castle downhill to the tram stop.


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  4. For example by visiting Vitkov Monument. This huge building made of granite, the statue of Jan Zizka towering over the area is well worth a leisurely 15 minutes stroll around Vitkov Hill and makes for a perfect Sunday Walk with your parents. The adjacent rose garden beckons you to take in the beauty surrounding you in while resting your legs. You can also already see your next stop from here…. The area is rather small and thus not much walking is needed.

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    If you want to make the step counter on your phone go up, however, take them to…. But there is many more parks to discover in the area. The perfect place to take your parents to on a Sunday afternoon is Troja Chateau. I always use and trust the following websites:.

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