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THE SQUARE OF FRANZ KAFKA

Old town - Prague 1

GPS: 50°5'16.08"N, 14°25'9.1200000000001"E

Indisputably the youngest square in the historic centre of Prague is the Square of Franz Kafka. It rose 2000 out of the part of not wide U Radnice Street, where the native house of Franz Kafka used to stand earlier, as it is reminded by the relevant memorial tablet. U Radnice, Maislova a Kaprová Streets run into this mini-square.

Franz Kafka (1883-1924) is perhaps the most published Prague writer abroad at the present. After his school-leaving examination he studied law and then he started to work in an insurance company in 1907, at first in the Prague branch of Italian Assicurazioni Generali and a year later in the Labour accident insurance company for Bohemia, where he was working until his early retirement in 1922 due to expanded tuberculosis. However, his main interest was literature. Objects of the highest attention are his two novels The Trial (Proces) and The Castle (Zámek).

Even in the close surroundings of the Square of Franz Kafka we can find tokens of this famous Prague native. On 6th April 2000 there was unveiled a memorial tablet in the passage of the Kinsky Palace in the Old Town Square, saying: „There used to be a store with haberdashery of Hermann Kafka, father of Franz Kafka.“ On 4th December 2003 his memorial, work by sculptor Jaroslav Rón, was unveiled between the Old Town church of the Holy Ghost and the Spanish Synagogue. The bronze sculpture is 3,75 m high and it weighs 700 kg. The figure is standing with its legs apart and thus it symbolizes two worlds. It is standing with one leg in the previous Jewish Town and in the Old Prague Town with the latter, as the boundary is running just there.