Franz Kafka

The world-famous existential writer and philosopher Franz Kafka (1883-1924) left many footprints across Prague. Kafka was born on July 3, at U radnice 5 (E-3), a house on the corner of Maiselova and Kaprova - a border between the Staré Město and the Josefov. There is a plaque there now and a small exhibition inside the house.

As a boy Kafka lived in the Minute House, U Minuty, (E-3), the black and white graffitioed building that is part of the Town Hall on Staromětské nám. For some time he lived in an apartment, by all accounts a pretty substandard place, within the building that now houses the American embassy over in the Schornbornsky palac at Tržistì 15 (A-2). He also lived for a time in another street off Staromětské nám, Týnska 3 (E-3).

Kafka went to school in a German language gymnasium in the Goltz-Kinský Palace (E-3). Later his father rented part of the ground floor for his haberdashery shop. Kafka's favourite sister, Ottla lived at Golden Lane 22 (B-1) and he is reported to have written his short stories in her front room. Ottla was later shipped to Theresienstadt (Terezín) concentration camp in northwestern Bohemia from where in 1943 she volunteered to accompany a trainload of children to a destination which later turned out to be Auschwitz.

Aficionados can make a pilgrimage to his grave, at Jewish Cemetery (Židovské hřbitovy; Želivského metro). Kafka's grave is N°137. 3 June is the anniversary of Kafka's death and fans flock to his grave to commemorate this day.

A bronze sculpture was unveiled in December 2003 in honour of Kafka. It is located next to the Spanish Synagogue (E-2) in Josefov.

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