My name is Petr Prokopik, I have lived in Prague, a city I truly love, all my life. I was 14 at the collapse of communism, so I have memories of living under the communist Government and witnessing the velvet revolution. Things have changed a great deal in the past 30 years!
I have been guiding visitors to Prague since I was an undergraduate in 1995 - I went on to complete my PhD in Anthropology in 2008.
My special area's of interest are: LGBT+ History; Jewish History; 20th Century Architecture and Classical Music.
My previous guests have been kind enough to reward me with 100% 5 star reviews on Tripadvisor. You can read the reviews here.
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I look forward to welcoming you to the beautiful city of Prague.
You will see the Municipal House, a beautiful Art Nouveau building and a national cultural landmark, the unique 'At the Black Madonna' a ground-breaking Cubist building built in the early 20th century which houses a cubist cafe, museum and design shop. At the Old Town Square there are many more architectural delights like the Astronomical Clock, the elegant Gothic Church of Our Lady in front of Tyn and the pink Rococo Kinsky Palace.
Further along from the Old Town Square is the Estate Theatre, where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart performed the world premier of his opera 'Don Giovanni'.
You will see David Cerny's 'Upside down horse' and get an explanation to many more of the artists amusing but controversial work. The tour then continues across the famous 14th century Charles Bridge and onto the Lesser Quarter below Prague Castle which houses numerous Renaissance and Classicist palaces and gardens.
My ambition is to give you an interesting introduction to Prague's history and its architectural development as well as an insight into other social and cultural factors which influenced the way the city looks today.
It is said that Prague has been standing on 3 legs - Czech, German and Jewish. This tour will focus on the latter cultural influence, so often forgotten, neglected or marginalized, but so interesting and influential.
You will see the world-famous Old Jewish cemetery with thousands of clustered tombstones and pictorial symbols. The cemetery dates back to the Middle Ages and is also one of the most fascinating sites of the Jewish Quarter. It is also the final resting place of Rabbi Loew (Prague Maharal) the great Talmudic scholar, Jewish mystic, philosopher and perhaps the creator of the legendary Golem.
On the tour you will see the important Synagogues of the Jewish Quarter:
The Spanish Synagogue - the recently restored jewel of the Jewish Quarter. This synagogue, with lavish and intricate Moorish styled decorations and functionalist additions from the 1920's has been the centre of Prague's Jewish reform movement.
The Klausen Synagogue - once intended by the Nazi's to become "The Museum of an extinguished race".
The Maisel Synagogue - built by an influential philanthropist and communal leader in the Jewish ghetto, Mordecai Meisel.
The Pinkas Synagogue, which has been altered to a truly moving memorial to the Czech victims of the Holocaust. This memorial also houses a mesmerizing yet deeply disturbing collection of paintings by the Children interned in the Terezin concentration camp.
The tour then finishes at the Old-New Synagogue, a rare example of gothic architecture and the second oldest synagogue in this part of the world. Considered the centre of the Prague Jewish community for centuries, it is today, unfortunately, the only synagogue with regular services.
It is also possible to add a further Synagogue to your tour: the beautiful Jubilee Synagogue, built in 1906 in a unique combination of Moorish and art nouveau styles.
The tour focuses on the Prague Castle district.
On our approach to the Castle you will see the monumental Cernicky Palace and the opulent Baroque Loreto Church with it's tower decorated with 16 bells.
The tour then continues into Prague Castle, which encompasses numerous courtyards, gardens and a beautiful view of the city. The Castle courtyards are dominated by the St.Vitus Cathedral, which took a thousand years to build and is decorated with intricate stained glass windows ranging from old to modern.
From the Cathedral we continue to the Old Royal Palace with a masterpiece of Gothic architecture - the remarkable rounded rib vault. Then to the Romanesque St. George's Basilica and the Daliborka Tower which guards one of the oldest secrets of gay love in the Czech lands and of course the famous Golden Lane with it's miniature buildings, which at one time was the home of Franz Kafka.
The tour continues though narrow streets of the Lesser Quarter, a mysterious place with a magical atmosphere, we can visit the oldest traditional pubs of this specific part of old Prague where each building is named by use of a mystical symbol which follows a legend.
You can read my reviews on Tripadvisor here.