Prague Monday, 17 April, Finding Franz Kafka

by | Jul 9, 2023 | Prague

Franz Kafka Head
Prague Monday, 17 April, Finding Franz Kafka 38

Last full day in Prague

This is our last full day in Prague, we move on tomorrow way out east to Olomouc and Hranice, and then to Ceske Budejovice, before returning home. We decided to focus on places we have not been before. In five trips to Prague, we have yet to see the big silver spinning head of Franz Kafka, we decided to rectify that today.

Franz Kafka is not in Andel

We got started a little late today, but we jumped on a tram to Andel because we had never stopped there; once or twice, in fact, we passed through the day before. We were headed to Zličín, but stopped in Motol, when Krematorium Motol popped up on the next stop screen. Read more here.

I had it stuck in my head that the spinning head of Franz Kafka was here in Andel, I was very wrong, so we grabbed a couple of Chlebicky for lunch. While we were eating, I broke down and looked at to find the exact location and then the PID Lítačka app*, to see which way was best and fastest, we then headed to Nové Město, on the B or Yellow Metro. I don’t think I took any usable pictures in Andel (I’ll explain when I can); Andel is Andel, which sums up Andel, but Andel is changing.

* The PID Lítačka app, is probably the smartest way to travel throughout Prague. It tells you the fastest way to travel, how long until the next train, tram or bus. The app becomes your ticket, you can buy day passes for about 6 USD or a 3-day pass for about 15 USD, and you don’t have to worry about losing the little paper ticket/

Franz Kafka is in Nové Město (New Town)

After our excursion to Andel, we spent the rest of the afternoon in Nové Město. I really did not shoot many pictures in Andel, and was only carrying an iPhone, a GoPro, and a DJI Action 3. We found Franz Kafka’s head and found out that we had just missed it doing the spinney thing, by about 3 minutes. So, we needed to kill an hour. We walked around a bit, enjoying the sights and sounds; when we found the Franciscan Gardens, a beautiful green space surrounded by the city. Sometimes you just need to camp on a park bench and watch the world go by! Which is precisely what we did.

Three Sisters(?) Sculpture

We found this sculpture in the Franciscan Gardens. As we admired its craftsmanship, my wife shared an intriguing tale she had discovered in a Prague ghost storybook. It revolved around the mystical bond between three sisters, we think this sculpture might be related to that story.

Cool Witch or sculpture

As we passed a pasáž, a caught this sculpture out of the corner of my eye, it appeared to be some sort of witch, or a dancer. There were the remnants of a nameplate. I wish I knew more about this piece.

Franz Kafka exorcist routine

Then there is the head of Franz Kafka, a kinetic sculpture by David Černy. The sculpture’s many layers spin on the hour throughout the day and early evening. The exorcist would have been so much better if Linda Blair had this talent. To be honest, I had it stuck in my head that Kafka’s head was in Andel, I don’t know why, but I did, my head was very insistent about it, so I didn’t even bother looking at a map. Unfortunately, I cannot share the video I recorded, at this time.

Well protected stairway to nowhere

Why does this stairway exist?
Why does it need a security gate?
What does the QR code point to?
I have asked myself these questions, more than once, and never came up with an answer. I initially thought they may have led to a former entrance, but the bottom is at street level, so that’s a no. The best explanation I can come up with is that it may have been a flower stand of some sort

Church of Our Lady of the Snows

The Google Maps description of this church is absolutely spot on, “Soaring church with Gothic, Renaissance & other architectural styles, plus a big, ornate altarpiece”. Let me tell you, this place is beyond magnificent and will surely leave you awestruck! Imagine a mesmerizing church that proudly boasts a delightful harmony of Gothic, Renaissance, and various other architectural styles. And as if that weren’t enough, it features an absolutely grand and elaborate altarpiece that will surely make your eyes widen with wonder. Trust me when I say, it took my breath away. Now, picture this. You’re strolling through the enchanting courtyard, surrounded by an exquisite collection of statues that will transport you to a different era. And at that very moment, something incredible happens. Believe it or not, I got photobombed by none other than the pope himself! Yes, my friend, it’s true. I simply couldn’t believe my luck. I never thought I’d have the opportunity to share a photo frame with such a distinguished figure. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. Oh, but I should caution you. Be prepared to go a little bit camera-crazy in this place. It’s almost impossible not to. The sheer beauty that unfolds before your eyes will tempt even the most reserved photographer to capture every single detail. And trust me, if I were to disclose the precise number of pictures I took, you’d raise an eyebrow or two. It’s best to let that number remain a mystery for now. However, amidst the vast sea of images I captured, there’s one that truly stands out. It’s a photograph that encapsulates the very essence of this remarkable place. And what does it capture, you ask? An intricately carved pulpit that will transport you to a world of mystery and beauty. In this photograph, you’ll witness an elegant arm gracefully cradling a crucifix. It’s a sight that evokes a sense of wonder and captivates the soul. So, my friend, prepare yourself for an unforgettable experience. This church will dazzle your senses, enthrall your imagination, and leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. Enjoy every moment, and don’t forget to capture that perfect shot.

Wenceslas Square and Na Příkopě ulice

We were not just randomly wandering, we had dinner reservations at one of our favorite places in the city, Restaurace Červený Jelen (Red Stag). The remnants of the Easter Market, were getting cleaned up in Wenceslas Square, so we bypassed it. We are normally rushing when we walk down Na Příkopě ulice (Na Příkopě is Czech for On a ditch), I have to think that at one time this was a moat on the outside of the city walls. Now it is a mostly pedestrian street, lined with shops, fast food, and entertainment, much like any retail mall anywhere. We came across Helmys toy store, freaking place was huge, with a beautiful carousel in the middle.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t loiter too long, as the time for our reservation was quickly approaching. We were not just randomly wandering, we had dinner reservations at one of our favorite places in the city, Restaurace Červený Jelen (Red Stag). The remnants of the Easter Market were getting cleaned up in Wenceslas Square, so we decided to bypass it. Typically, when we walk down Na Příkopě ulice (Na Příkopě is Czech for “On a ditch”), we usually rush. I can’t help but think that at one time, this street used to be a moat on the outside of the city walls. However, now it is a mainly pedestrian street, filled with shops, fast food, and entertainment, similar to a typical retail mall. While exploring, we stumbled upon Helmys toy store – it was enormous, with a beautiful carousel placed right in the middle. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay too long as our reservation time was quickly approaching.


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