A ghostly walk through the haunted streets of Prague

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A ghostly walk through the haunted streets of Prague.Looking for a special gift or a fun family night? If you said yes, then Amazon Explore might be for you! Many options are available. Below is my tour experience: A ghostly walk through the haunted streets of Prague. About Amazon Explore: Each session uses real-time communication with local hosts through one-way video & two-way audio to give you a true sensation of "being there" as you visit vibrant destinations and participate in bucket list activities.

You can walk down a street of your choosing, getting a panoramic view of your surroundings, and ask questions about anything you see. When a shop catches your eye, your host can enter, browse items, show you an item from all angles, and ask questions directly to the shop owner. You can then purchase the items (even those not available on Amazon.com) and receive them at your home as simply and securely as if you were shopping on Amazon. There is something for everyone!

UPDATE: Sadly Amazon is no longer offering these tours. They end 10/31, however if you didn't have one scheduled, they are no longer scheduling new tours.

Curious yet? The good news is you can try your first experience for FREE! The experience must be $50 or under, enter code EXPLOREFREE at checkout and give it a try! --->Click here to give it a try!<--- or keep reading to find out more about some of the available experiences.

Meet our guide for this tour: Mark. An American, who used to live in MA (small world). This tour was the first that we had other people join us. There were 2 other couples.

I am guessing this is why Amazon may do away with this program, just not enough people doing it. I would have sooner BUT I didn't know it existed until a few weeks ago.

is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic, and the historical capital of Bohemia. On the Vltava river, Prague is home to about 1.3 million people.

Throughout the city there are references to Golem. "The story of the Golem is one of the most famous stories of Jewish history. Tradition recounts that when persecutors rose up to attack us, the Maharal Yehudah Loew, chief rabbi of Prague 500 years ago, created the Golem, a manlike creature made from the dust of the earth, endowed with “life” by means of a secret Kabbalistic formula. Through the Golem, the Maharal brought about miracles for the protection of the Jews."(Source) More about the Prague Golem.

Prague is a city of many layers and just as much of its history lays under the streets as well. For example, in the 19th century, many streets in Prague were raised by one full story from their original level as a way to avoid constant flooding from the Vltava River, which was a frequent problem for anyone living along its banks. At that's just the beginning. Keep reading to learn more.



The Withered Arm and Buried Alive

One of the stories Mark shared with us was about the withered arm hanging from the ceiling in Kostel Sv. Jakuba Vetsiho <--- click here to learn more.

Kostel Sv. Jakuba Vetsiho (St James the Greater) is a beautiful example of baroque architecture. Originally, the church was built in the 13thcentury but was destroyed by a fire in 1689. All was lost, however, it was later rebuilt.

And the arm ... no one really knows when it got there but the story of how it got there is legendary in Prague history ... in short, a thief was stealing jewels from an icon of the Virgin Mary and the statue seized his arm and wouldn't let go. Some people found him in the morning and could not free his arm from the statue's grip. Since destroying the statue was not an option, they cut off the thief's arm and hung it in the back of the church as a warning. This occurred sometime in the 16th or 17th century and it still hangs there today.

Then a century or so later, Count Jan Václav Vratislav of Mitrovice died and a great memorial was built for him inside the church. The problem was the Count was not really dead. After his funeral noises could be heard coming from the memorial. People thought it was his "restless soul" and prayed for his salvation until the noises stopped.

In a later renovation of the church, workers opened the Count’s tomb and found his body outside of his coffin. The Count had been buried alive and escaped his coffin, but was trapped inside the stone monument.


A Little Prague History

A settlement was first established in the area of Prague Old Town around the 9th century and became a town in the 10th century. The town was most notable for its marketplace with a healthy trade in leather and beer. (My kind of place!)

Because of the constant flooding by the Vitava, they raised the city about 13' so that the former street level now became cellars. Raising the street was a gradual process and took decades to complete. In some places the 13' was inadequate and the level had to be raised again to around to as much as 22'.

Under the House of the Two Golden Bears there is a labyrinth of chambers and cellars. Some of these join up with the cellars of surrounding buildings. Some of these basements have been traced back to the 14th century.

Also, legend has it that there were secret tunnels once used by the criminal fraternity of Prague, and these were said to lead all the way to the Church of Our Lady Before Týn and the Old Town Hall.

It wasn't until about 1784 that Prague was recognized as a city. Prior to that it was really a group of 4 towns: OId Town, New Town, Lesser Town (Malá Strana), and Hradčany (the area surrounding Prague Castle).Each town had its own governance, legislation, parish churches, etc. In 1784, Emperor Joseph II combined the 4 towns with the Old Town Hall responsible for all of Prague’s administration.


Below The City Streets

Sections of the Old Town Hall date back to the 12th century. The original use of this foundation is not fully known because most of the records were lost in the great fire of 1689.

Researchers have found some evidence that some of the rooms below the Old Town Hall were originally used as dungeons or torture chambers for religious prisoners while others were likely used as kitchens, tanneries and breweries.

Many of these tunnels and chambers are now 6 -22 feet below the present street level. Around the 13th century the street level was raised due to flooding by the Vitava. The old houses below ground became underground areas and were used as cellars.

There are also underground chambers beneath the House of the Stone Bell. According to legend there is a chapel beneath the house, dating to the 10th century when Christians were a minority and afraid of persecution from the pagan rulers of Bohemia, particularly Princess Drahomira, the mother of Saint Wenceslas.

There are many more legends and stories of secret tunnels beneath many of the city's famous landmarks just waiting to be discovered. As new areas are excavated, who knows what other mysteries will be uncovered.


Josefov (The Jewish Quarter)

One of Europe's oldest cemeteries is located in Prague. It is located the Josefov, the Jewish Quarter. Josefov was established in the Middle Ages when two Jewish communities in the region merged. This area became a part of Prague in 1850.

The name Josefov is a tribute of the Jews to Joseph II, the ruler who integrated this community into the Czech society.

The cemetery holds around 12,000 visible tombstones in a small yard. Underneath these tombstones are thousands of other graves. From the 15th century to 1787, the rulers of Prague forbid the Jews to bury their dead anywhere else. Because of the lack of space, the graves had to be stacked on top of each other.

In the above photo you can see the wall surrounding the cemetery and if you look closely you will see the tomb stones on top.

There are two significant graves located in this cemetery: the oldest, which belongs to one Avigdor Kara (a poet), who died according to the records in 1439 and the well-known grave of Jehuda ben Bezalel who is known for creating the “Golem of Prague”.

Click here to learn more: Documentary evidence reveals that Jews have lived in Prague since 970 C.E. By the end of the 11th century, a Jewish community had been fully established.


Check out my tour: The Ghosts of Philadelphia  (Note: Sadly Amazon is no longer offering these tours.)