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You must add beautiful Prague to your bucket list!
It is far beyond me to write a history of Prague, but I must mention a few things about the City of a Hundred Spires. The beauty of the city is undeniable, but let me say this: I didn’t see a tenth of what I wanted to see, there just wasn’t time. And, here is a travel tip: don’t go in summer! I will go back to this city and explore, but it will not be in the summer crowds. It was so busy there were moments I felt panicky! But, Prague, don’t worry, I shall return!
One of the most popular sights in Prague is the Charles Bridge, built in the early 1400s to honor Charles IV, or Karol Quatre. On the day we visited the bridge was so crowded, that when we crossed the street to get to it I could have lifted my feet off the ground and the press of the people would have carried me through. So, I really do not have fantastic photos of the bridge, but I did photograph some of the statues of the saints.
Hopefully most of us know the story of the Assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, architect of “the Final Solution” and Reichsprotektor of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia which were handed to Germany as part of the Munich deal of 1938. The Czech government in exile decided to assassinate Heydrich, who was known as the “Butcher of Prague”. His iron rule and cruelty won him the additional names of “the hangman” and “the blonde beast”. He went to Prague to “strengthen policy, and carry out countermeasures against resistance”. The British and the Czech government in exile developed Operation Anthropoid, a plot to assassinate Heydrich. Jan Kubis and Josef Gabcik were two of the parachutists flown in to complete the operation. They were successful in that Heydrich did die at their hands, but they were hunted and killed at the Church of St Cyril and Methodius. After that, the Germans murdered their relatives, and the families of the other parachutists. The reprisals were of unbelievable violence against civilians. There are still bullet holes in the church, showing where they were killed. If you don’t know the story, you should buy or rent ANTHROPOID, the recent movie about the event. It is an intense film, and brings Jan Kubis and Josef Gabcik to life.
There is a tour in Prague about Operation Anthropoid, and I didn’t have time to take it. Next time I am in Prague, it is one of the first things I am going to do!