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.