Tag Archives: Prague

24 Hours in Prague – A Photoessay

These pictures were taken during a 24 hour time frame in Prague.  We’d love to hear about your favorite sights as well!

Our Top Three Vistas in Eastern Europe – Berlin, Prague and Budapest

By Rohan:

Every major city has that one vantage point that simply takes your breath away. Whether it be the top of Rockefeller Center in New York City to the Arlington National Cemetery overlooking “The Mall” in Washington, D.C. In a region rich in history and culture, it is easy to overlook the big picture and simply focus on the smaller details. Here are our top three views in Eastern Europe.

At number three is the observation tower at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. This stadium was once home to the infamous 1936 games, filled with triumphs, tragedies, and political undertones. It was here where Jesse Owens received the gold medal and became the first African American to accept the award. It was here where Hitler covered the games with Nazi propaganda, teasing his “Third Reich” to follow in the coming years. Now, it is a tourist attraction. The screaming fans and symbolic speech have been replaced by silence. At the top of the observation deck, your eyes are treated to a view of Berlin and the stadium where the games were held. On your way up, you receive a great history lesson that describes how these games were pivotal during the lead-up to World War II. If you want to make the view even more gorgeous, visit Berlin during the winter. The observation deck will be bone-chilling cold, but the snow covered building is a truly remarkable sight.
Olympic Stadium Berlin Source:  http://fc04.deviantart.net
Olympic Stadium Berlin
Source: http://fc04.deviantart.net
At number two is the view from Prague Castle, looking down on the Czech capital. Prague castle contains many of the country’s political headquarters, including the legislature and the executive branch. Many bureaucratic organizations call this palace home as well. From the top, you are treated to a spectacular view of Prague, easily one of our favorite cities in Eastern Europe. From here, landmarks like the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, and the Jewish Quarters can all be captured in one stunning photograph.
Rooftop View from Prague Castle, Czech Republic Source:  http://www.slrobertson.com
Rooftop View from Prague Castle, Czech Republic
Source: http://www.slrobertson.com
Finally, at number one, is the gorgeous Fisherman’s Bastion in Budapest. The drive to this wonderful vantage point is an experience in itself, as you cross from the heavily populated Pest district into the more serene, mountainous Buda region. Kids will have a blast navigating the catacombs of this old fortress. Up at the top of this hill is a stunning castle, a rugged military base loaded with cannons and other forms of medieval weaponry, and a gorgeous cathedral. If you can’t get enough of this gorgeous view of Budapest, featuring the old synagogue, the parliament building, and many of the city’s cathedrals, consider calling it your home away from home. The Fisherman’s Bastion after all wouldn’t be complete without a Hilton hotel, located within the palace quarters offering some of the most stunning views of Budapest. We recommend checking out the Fisherman’s Bastion both at day and by night, as it offers two different spectacular views of Hungary’s majestic capital.
View from the Fisherman's Bastion, Budapest Source: http://static.travel.usnews.com/
View from the Fisherman’s Bastion, Budapest
Source: http://static.travel.usnews.com/

Pinkas Synagogue, Prague – A Moving Tribute to Holocaust Victims

By Lakshmi:

Who?  Anyone who is visiting Prague and has an hour or more to spare and would like to understand the history of Jews in the area/pay tribute to victims of the holocaust.

What? The Pinkas Synagogue is a synagogue that has been turned into a memorial for holocaust victims.

How? The Pinkas Synagogue is located at

U Staré školy 1
110 00 Prague 1
phone:  +420 222 749 211

There is a variety of options and fees depending on whether you want to take in one or more sights in the Jewish Museum/Quarter.

Why?  I have to admit that prior to my visit to Prague, I had a vague picture of the Jewish communities that inhabited the area.  But close friends of mine  insisted that a visit to Prague would be incomplete without visiting the Jewish Museum/Pinkas Synagogue.  So one afternoon, a Jewish friend and I set forth to this area and spent several hours touring the museum and exhibits.  The most moving part of my visit was of course the Wall at the Pinkas Synagogue which was inscribed with the names of 80,000 or so residents of Bohemia and Moravia that perished in the holocaust.   Given that my visit to this memorial came many years before a visit to the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, this was the first full-scale impact of this chapter in history staring at me in the face.  Reading about a place like this does not prepare you in any way to the moving impact of seeing a wall filled with names of people and their origins and the sad end they met with.  I tried to follow the names, pausing to think about the untimely deaths of these individuals, all while gazing at my friend who was trying to trace family names with a tear in his eye.  If the wall moves you, then I cannot use any words to describe the impact of seeing the paintings left behind by the children who perished during this period as well.

A visit to the Pinkas Synagogue, just like visits to the Holocaust Museum in DC and the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam is a grim reminder of what mankind should have never encountered and should never face again.

To learn more about the Pinkas Synagogue, click here:

http://www.jewishmuseum.cz/en/apinkas.htm