Sometimes bad weather is a blessing in disguise; allowing you to get chores done, or serving as an excuse to just be lazy. Rainy, dreary Prague caused us to try something we had not yet done on our trip, spend the day at a museum. We know it must sound crazy, no museums in two months of travel? If you know us well, you know that we are not museum people. However, we were pleasantly surprised by the Jewish Museum in Prague.
The Jewish Museum is divided into several buildings throughout Prague’s old Jewish neighborhood, including four synagogues, a cemetery and ceremonial burial hall.
We learned that Prague held one of the largest Jewish populations in Europe, which was unknown to us before visiting the museum. During their occupation of Europe, the Nazis destroyed many Jewish monuments and neighborhoods but chose to leave Prague’s Jewish Quarter relatively untouched for the purpose of creating a “museum of an extinct race.” It is chilling to think back to those times. They even shipped Jewish artifacts from across the continent to Prague. Many of these remain, giving the modern Jewish Museum one of the world’s largest collections of Judaic art.
After the clouds lifted, we set out exploring the city by foot. The picturesque buildings, castle and bridges that span the Vltava River give Prague a fairytale feel. Adding to this whimsical atmosphere is the city’s Astronomical Clock. A clock may not seem too cool, but take our word for it; this one is. Not only does it tell the time, date, season, and current zodiac sign, it also gives a really fun show every hour.
After checking out the old town and watching the clock strike noon, we headed for Prague Castle, crossing over the river on the Charles Bridge. The bridge and castle are said offer great views of the city, and while worth a visit, were a bit too touristy for our liking. We didn’t stick around too long.
While searching for an elusive beer garden (turns out these are more of a summer thing), we discovered that the real place to get a great view of Prague is from the bluffs of Letna Park. About a 10-15 minute walk from Prague Castle, this park was a perfect place to peacefully soak in the beauty of the city, bridges, and far off hills.
Our original itinerary for the Czech Republic only included Prague, but on a recent flight we had read an article about the Czech Beer Route in a magazine. As beer lovers, we were intrigued to learn more, so we did some research and decided to depart from Prague in the direction of Czech’s famous beer towns of Plzeň, České Budějovice and Český Krumlov.