Upon my arrival in the Czech Republic in 2002, I felt a bit like a foreigner in my native Prague and that was a turning point in my life: the only way to deal with this slightly schizophrenic feeling was by searching for my roots, for my identity. I found all that in history studies, got all the necessary certificates and reinvented myself as a dedicated guide. I still study history, specialize in Judaism and am one of the few guides licensed by The Prague Jewish Museum.
I am sought after for my extensive knowledge of Prague`s historical and architectural monuments and also for the fact that I can relate to you in terms of your perception of Bohemia as a foreign country whilst being a bona fide insider at the same time. Initially, my guiding activities were limited to Prague alone but my clients`queries regarding other places worth visiting prompted me to put together the `Renaissance Tour` and the `Bohemian Rhapsody Tour` shortly after. Right now, I am putting a finishing touch to the `Bohemian Paradise Tour` which covers a picturesque area not far from Prague.
Taking a walk with a knowledgeable, dedicated guide is fun. It`s fresh air. It`s relaxed, environmentally friendly “tourism”, a series of stunning discoveries, an enchanting stroll through history, architecture and whatever else is of interest, simply the most memorable event of your visit to this truly Kafkaesque city!
One more thing: I always try to steer away from the hordes of tourists and get off the beaten track as much as possible to show you the real Prague. It`s my philosophy and my clients seem to agree. There is about 300 monuments of the Jewish Heritage in Bohemia and Moravia including the Trebic Jewish Quarter which made it to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The itinerary of the` Under the Star of David Tour` includes the most interesting sites.
Being Czech and a certified guide on top of that, I can give you a unique and special insight into our culture, history, language and folklore. Another bonus is that having lived and studied abroad, I am fluent in English. As a private guide, I can provide you with a customized tour tailored to your individual requirements and interests, anywhere in this beautiful country.
Option 1: The Jewish Quarter.
Note: Duration 4 hrs. Before the Holocaust, Prague was one of the most important centers of the European Diaspora. That's why the world`s largest museum of Jewish ritual articles and culture is here, even though the fate of Prague's Jewish community became grim and tragic. This walking tour takes you past the Jewish Quarter`s six synagogues, including the Old-New Synagogue (one of the oldest monuments of the European Jewish heritage), the Old Cemetery and its Ceremonial Hall, and the birthplace of Franz Kafka. You can visit the interiors of the monuments if you wish to do so, because your guide is licensed by the Prague Jewish Museum.
Option 2: Prague Intro - Half Day.
Note: Duration 4 hrs. Do you have only a half day to explore Prague? This exciting, carefully selected walk covers all the most important and glorious sights of the city in approximately 4 hours. We will reach the Strahov Monastery by public transportation or taxi and enjoy the most spectacular view of the historic center. Crooked lanes lead us past the Loreto and on to Prague Castle, one of the biggest fortresses in Europe, where we can marvel at the Old Royal Palace, the Basilica of St. George, the presidential office and the treasure of the architecture of the St. Vitus Cathedral. Walking down the narrow streets of the Little Quarter, we will admire the old buildings, churches and palaces which have made Prague world famous. The Charles Bridge takes us across the Vltava River to the Old Town. We will stop in front of the Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Square and walk through the Jewish Quarter to the bottom of Wenceslas Square where our tour ends.
Option 3: The Left Bank (Castle Area) - Half Day.
Using public transportation, we will begin by touring the Strahov Monastery which overlooks the entire city. We will then explore the Loreto pilgrimage site and a picturesque neighborhood of the New World, discovered by Prague artists in the early 1900s. These narrow, cobbled lanes take us to the Archbishop`s Palace and, eventually, to the Prague Castle. This “city within the city” hides the St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, Basilica of St. George, Golden Lane and Royal Garden. Looking down from the Castle terrace, we cannot wait to visit all the sites below us: the dome of St. Nicholas Church and the Church of Our Lady Victorious where the statue of Infant Jesus of Prague is on display, the Wallenstein Garden with its mysterious grotto and peacocks walking around and the streets of the Little Quarter leading to the Charles Bridge.
Option 4: The Right Bank (Old Town, New Town Area) - Half Day.
Old Town Square, the heart of Prague`s historic center, includes numerous memorable sites, most notably the famed Astronomical Clock, the pure Gothic Tyn Church and the Jan Hus memorial. From the square, we will head past the old building of Charles University, one of the oldest in Europe, to the Estates Theatre where Mozart`s opera Don Giovanni was first performed. The Jewish Quarter is situated between the river and the square and its well preserved synagogues, old cemetery and Franz Kafka`s birthplace make it one of the most interesting areas of the city. The New Town was founded in the 14th. century but most of it was modernized. The main attraction here is Wenceslas Square, Prague`s former horse market. This historic boulevard with its numerous stalls, restaurants, Art Nouveau hotels as well as quaint parks and arcades in its vicinity is the very center of the modern city.
Option 5: Prague Tour.
This tour covers all highlights of the historic center and it combines our Left Bank and Right Bank tours. There is lots of walking on cobbled streets but if you want a comprehensive view of the grandeur of Prague, this is the tour for you. Optional 1 hr. boat cruise at noon to relax and to recharge. Duration 8 hrs.
Option 6: 1000 Years of Architecture.
Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Art Nouveau, Cubism, Bauhaus, Art Deco, Frank Gehry sounds familiar? Do you know that Bohemia is the only region in the world where Cubism found its expression in architecture? No? Never mind, you'll be treated to the finest examples of all of the above and much more!
Option 7: Terezin and Melnik.
Terezin, one of the most bizarre sites of World War II, was deceptively showcased by the Nazis as an autonomous Jewish district. Built as a fortress in the 18th century to protect Bohemia from Prussian expansion, the town of Terezin was turned into a Gestapo prison and a Jewish ghetto (which the inmates called "the waiting room to hell"). Even though Terezin was only a holding camp with no gas chambers or mass executions, nevertheless about 25% of the Jewish prisoners died due to terrible living conditions, starvation, disease, and despair. The rest were sent to Auschwitz and other extermination camps in Poland. On the way back from our visit to Terezin - in an effort to shake off the numbing sense of horror--we`ll stop for lunch in Melnik, a cheerful medieval town situated above the confluence of the Labe and the Vltava rivers. We can sample wine from the local cellars while enjoying the view from the gallery of the castle.
Our first stop on the way to Kutna Hora is Kolin, a town on the banks of the Labe River. Even though its medieval center around the town square is well preserved and its 16th century synagogue was recently renovated and opened to the public, Kolin is unjustly not on the itinerary of most visitors to this country. Kutna Hora once was the second most important town in Bohemia (after Prague) because of its rich silver ore deposits. A UNESCO listed protected town, it has a well preserved medieval core with more than 300 national heritage sites, the most famous of which is St. Barbora Cathedral, the Royal Mint and an ossuary where a vast number of human bones were used by a Cistercian monk to create works of art: pyramids topped by a crown, candle-holders and monstrances. A 25 mile drive will take us to Cesky Sternberk, a fairy tale castle perched on a cliff overlooking the valley of the Sazava River. We can partake in a guided tour of the castle or just enjoy the spectacular view of the valley. In spite of the tumultuous history of this part of Europe and all political upheavals, this castle has not changed hands for some 700 years! Duration: 8 hrs.
Option 9: Karlstejn.
Karlstejn belongs to the most remarkable and picturesque Gothic castles in Bohemia. Founded in the 14 century by Charles IV, this fortress housed the Crown Jewels and Charles' collection of Holy Relics, was several times under siege but never fell. No wonder, its walls are up to 9 m thick! Karlstejn was rebuilt in Renaissance style in the 16 century and then completely renovated in the late 1800s. Its beautiful romantic setting and proximity to Prague makes it a popular destination. Duration: 6 hrs.
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