Guide to Franz Kafka’s Prague

The newest Kafka attraction in Prague is the giant rotating head of Franz Kafka (created by David Černý) located near National Street (Národní třída) between MY department store and Quadrio shopping mall. Watch our video.

When in Prague you could go in search of Franz Kafka. The house where he was born into a Jewish family does not exist today. However, a house built later in the same place is just off the Old Town Square, in what is now known as Franz Kafka Square. Not far away, in Dušní Street, in the Jewish quarter, you will find The City’s official monument to Kafka. The statue depicts a suited Kafka on the shoulders of a huge headless man. This work of Czech sculptor, Jaroslav Róna, was inspired by Kafka’s short story Description of a Struggle.

Although Kafka lived in noisy Dlouhá Street, he wrote a lot of his major works in the quieter house of his sister in Golden Lane, near Prague Castle. In the Lesser Quarter, close to Charles Bridge, you will find the Kafka Museum in Hergetova Cihelna. Presented in two parts, the Existential and the Imaginary Topography, the exhibition contains many first editions, letters and diaries, along with audiovisual pieces. Kafka is buried at the New Jewish Cemetery in his family plot. obrazek-1-28
A plaque there commemorates Kafka’s sisters, and opposite is another in memory of his best friend Max Brod. Kafka met Brod at Charles University where he studied law. Kafka entrusted most of his  works to Brod, then a writer and publisher, and it is thanks to him that those works were not burned, as specifically requested by Kafka.  obrazek-2-24

It is interesting to visit the Franz Kafka bookshop located at Široká Street 14, between the narrow Maiselova Street and the luxurious Pařížská Street, in the very center of the historical part of the city. The bookshop is in the center of Kafka’s neighborhood, surrounded by houses where he lived, the libraries where he studied and cafés where he sat talking with his friends . The bookshop is open every week day from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., weekends from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.

Check our Prague Reading List for some interesting books about Franz Kafka or featuring Prague.  If you have any questions or would like to get some recommendations, send us an email. Interested in a literary tour or Franz Kafka Tour in Prague? A book club interested in a discussion with a professor of Czech literature in Prague, please contact us.

By Myrabella (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Prague Literary Tour

Guide to Kafka’s Prague

Kafka statue PragueIf you are interested in a literature tour or Kafka Tour in Prague or if you are a group interested in a discussion with a professor of Czech literature in Prague, please contact us.

When in Prague you could go in search of Franz Kafka. The house where he was born into a Jewish family does not exist today. However, a house built later on the same place is just off the Old Town Square, in what is now known as Franz Kafka Square. Not far away, in Dušní street, in the Jewish quarter, you will find The City’s official monument to Kafka. The statue depicts a suited Kafka on the shoulders of a huge headless man. This work of Czech sculptor, Jaroslav Rona was inspired by Kafka’s short story Description of a Struggle.

Although Kafka lived in noisy Dlouha street, he wrote a lot of his major works in the quieter house of his sister in Golden Lane, near Prague Castle. In the Lesser Quarter, close to Charles Bridge, you will find the Kafka Museum in the Hergetova Cihelna. Split in two parts, the Existential and the Imaginary Topography, the exhibition contains many first editions, letters and diaries along with audiovisual pieces. Kafka is buried at the New Jewish Cemetery in his family plot. A plaque there commemorates Kafka’s sisters, and opposite is another in memory of his best friend Max Brod. Kafka met Brod at Charles University where he studied law. Kafka entrusted most of his works to Brod, then a writer and publisher, and it is thanks to him that those works were not burned, as specifically requested by Kafka.

It is interesting to visit Franz Kafka bookshop located at Široká Street 14, between the narrow Maiselova Street and the luxurious Pařížská Avenue, in the very centre of the historical part of the city. The bookshop is in the centre of Kafka’s living space, surrounded by houses where he lived, the libraries where he studied and cafés where he was talking to his friends.

The bookshop is open every week day from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., weekends from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.

Check our Prague Reading List for some interesting books about Franz Kafka or featuring Prague.
You may also like: Mini guide to Kafka’s Prague on BBC or kafka’s Prague on Prague Travel Concierge Pinterest.

Franz Kafka (1883 – 1924)

It is impossible to talk about 20th century literature in Prague without mentioning Franz Kafka. For those who would like to penetrate the mysterious world of this Prague born Jewish German-language writer, their reading list should include:

  • The Metamorphosis
  • The Trial
  • The Castle
  • America

Only a few of Kafka’s works were published during his lifetime but the publisher, Max Brod, ignored Kafka’s wish to have the manuscripts destroyed, and published most of his works.

Prague Literary Tour

 

Have you seen our Prague lover’s reading list

Prague literary tour is about a 2-hour walk highlighting the German Jewish and Czech literary and cultural centers in Prague at the end of 19th century until half of 20th century, talking about writers, journalists, theatres, Prague Bohemian life of that time, including famous cafes of Prague.

The tour starts at Old Town Square in Prague, continues through the cultural highlights of the New Town and goes back to Old Town Square, highlighting names such as Franz Kafka, Max Brod (Kafka’s publisher who saved most of Kafka’s manuscripts from burning it – as Kafka wished in his testament), E.E. Kisch (Czech-German-Jewish journalist), Franz Werfel (writer and late husband of Alma Mahler) who died in Beverly Hills in 1945, Gustav Meyrink (Golem), Jaroslav Hašek (Svejk), Karel Čapek , famous political cabarets of the first Republic (1918 – 1939), Mánes exhibition hall – supported by President Havel’s uncle Miloš – founder and owner of the movie studios Barrandov in the first half of 20th century, of course Vaclav Havel showing his home theatre where he worked as a backstage worker, and more.

We may also glance into the famous Golden Tiger Pub, the second home of Bohumil Hrabal, author of award winning film Closely Watched Trains. You can also book a Bohumil Hrabal Tour in Prague. We can visit an old synagogue outside of the Prague center where Hrabal used to work as a stage hand of the theatre nextdoor. Have you read the Too Loud the Solitude, I served the King of England or Vita Nuova? Let’s visit the places that Hrabal describes in his books and a Tribute to Hrabal, a wall painted with all things that Hrabal loved, cats, his typing machine …. Check the English translations of Bohumil Hrabal books on Amazon

Finally, if you are a fan of The Seven Churches: A gothic novel of Prague by Milos Urban, we can follow the steps of Matyas Gmund and Kvetoslav Svach and visit Prague New Town and its churches.

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Book a Tour

 

 

 

 

 

Prague a la Carte

Stay away from usual tourist routes (of course you can see them, too).
Book an a-la-carte walk in Prague

Unexpected  discoveries, hidden gems, secret second hand book shop, cafés, little alleys and stories in Prague.

Interested in architecture or literary tour of Prague? Follow the footprints of Vaclav Havel, see the Bohumil Hrabal‘s art wall or sip coffee at cafes where Franz Kafka used to meet his friends. We will take you to the church where Mozart played organ or theatre where Mozart conducted the premiere of Don Giovanni. We know places in Prague that even some Praguers do not know about. Anything else…?

Take me for a walk