Almost every house, street or square of Prague Old Town is associated with someone famous. Either born in the capital or not, the list of important people connected to Prague seems to have no end at all. Let us introduce you at least some of them.
Visionaries of a great impact on Prague’s appearance (king Karel IV.) and politicians giving the country its public direction (king Vaclav II., president Vaclav Klaus and Vaclav Havel – have you tried sitting on a Vaclav Havel’s bench located on Maltezke namesti yet?).
Some of them are talking to us through books (Max Brod, Erwin Kisch), movies (Lida Baarova) and pictures (Jan Saudek). Others were sport stars (winners of Wimbledon – Martina Navratilova and Jan Kodes, Olympic medals – Vera Caslavska or European football championship – Antonin Panenka).
And the list goes on: devoted to the city of Prague in his work – writer Jan Neruda. Famous for his original as well as understandable sense of humour – Zdenek Sverak. An inspiration for romantic souls – poet Karel Hynek Macha (buried at the famous Vysehrad cemetery). Symbol of personal brave and willingness for the highest sacrifice – student Jan Palach.
Prague’s Nobel Prize winners
Five of them made it to the the highest award there is – Nobel Price. The first one, Bertha von Suttner (1905) was a publicist and a writer. The last one was on the other hand poet Jaroslav Seifert (1984). Another Nobel Price, this time for physiology and medicine won Carl and Gerty Cori in 1947 and twelve years later Jarolsav Heyrovsky for chemistry.
Jiri Menzel was honoured with the famous Academy Award (Oscar) in 1965 which made him famous throughout the world. However, Gustav Macaty, the author of Ecstasy, was almost forgotten. A chamber cinema called Ponrepo still bears the name of Czech cinematographic pioneer. And almost thirty kinds of cactus plant owe its name to botanist and traveller Alberto Vojtech Fric.
Some of them are rather famous abroad. For example baroque engraver Vaclav Hollar or Franz Kafka the author of the famous Metamorphosis. We recommend you to visit Kafka’s museum on Mala strana.
Famous citizens and sights to remember them
Naprstkovo muzem is a place to visit as well as Saint Wenceslas’ monument on Wenceslas square (work of Josef Myslbek). Whereas some of the great Prague citizens had a chance to contribute to the city apparel (Kilián Ignac Dientzenhofer – Loreta, saint Mikolas’church), others were not that lucky. One example for all could be Jan Kaplicky and his never implemented National Library, which has supposed to be built on Letna.