In case you plan to visit Prague, I am sure you are getting all kinds of guide books, maps and tips what to do and what to skip. I suggest you get A Traveller’s Companion to Prague, a book written by a Prague born Jan Kaplan, a Czech filmmaker and writer living in London since 1968. You will read about the turbulent history of the golden city in the heart of Europe from the very beginning when the Princess Libuse predicted the future of the Czech nation through the dark dates of Nazis in Czech and Moravian Protectorate up to the date when a former dissident Vaclav Havel became the first President of Czechoslovakia (today Czech Republic).
Literary Tour of Prague 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.