Synagogues, Old Town Square and the Opera

On our second day in Prague, we explored the old town and learned some more about the history of the city. We visited some beautiful and impressive synagogues and checked out the highlights such as the astronomical clock and the týnchurch.

Our student trips always had to be somewhat educational and visiting synagogues was something we often did. Prague has some very pretty ones that tell you some of the history of the city. For instance, the Maisel synagogue has an exhibition on the history of the Jews in bohemia and Moravia.

More Jewish history can be found in the ceremonial hall, which is right next to another synagogue, namely Klausová synagogue. However, what most impressed me was the Pinkas Synagogue. It wasn’t as bright and colorful as other synagogues I’ve seen and it doesn’t look that impressive, but it’s one you must visit. It’s a museum, a remembrance. The names of 80 thousand holocaust victims are handwritten on the blank walls. It’s shocking and tragic but also really moving that the people will be remembered in this way. I found it really impressive.

I walked in silence, tears pricking in my eyes, I can’t really describe the feeling I got when walking here. It’s all really sad. Besides all the names, there’s also an exhibition on the first floor that moved me. It’s an exhibition of pictures that were drawn by children in concentration camp Theresienstad. The pictures were drawn during art lessons, during which the children could express themselves, their hopes, their dreams and their fears.

After the synagogues and the museums, we wanted to do something a little less… intense. So we had lunch somewhere and then decided to explore the Old Town Square.

I really liked old town square, for its diversity in architectural styles. I loved the quaint colorful houses that somewhat contrasted the older buildings that are highlights of Prague, such as the gothic Church of our lady before Týn. The church was built in the 14th century and is a pretty dominant building in the skyline of Prague.

Another highlight that can be found in the Old Town Square, is the clock tower with the Astronomical Clock. The clock was installed in 1410 and is the oldest working astronomical clock in the world. And it’s pretty cool. Not only is it amazing to look at, with all of it’s details, every hour it performs a little show called The walk of the Apostles, and little figurines (including one depicting Death) come out to set the hour.

It was an amazing day already and it would only get better by night. I have no idea what the rest of our group had planned for the night, but Boyfriend and I went out, just the two of us. We started by having an amazing dinner at Restaurant Cafe Svatého Václava where we had this amazing soup that wasn’t served with bread, but inside it (how cool is that?!) and was absolutely delicious. And after dinner, we went to the opera.

I’ve mentioned a couple of times now that Boyfriend and I have this tradition whenever we go on a citytrip, namely: to see a show. So one of the first things we did when we had booked the trip to Prague, was looking for some show that interested us, and found a cool opera house. We had never seen an opera before but what would be a better time than on a trip to Prague? So we bought tickets for Il Trovatore in the State Opera.

And all of it was so fancy! It was such a gorgeous building, with red velvet chairs and chandeliers hanging from the painted ceiling. All of it was beautiful. And the opera itself really was something. It was in Italian, a language that we don’t speak, but there were screens displaying the translated texts, so we could understand what it was about. It was an amazing night and certainly a highlight to our trip!

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