Would You Dare to Visit Prague?
Legends include the master craftsman Mr Hanuš, who installed Prague’s infamous astronomical clock in the Old Town Square (Staroměstské Náměstí) in 1490 and later had his eyes burnt out with red hot pokers by local Councillors so that he couldn’t reproduce the same work for anybody else.
A fire in 1864 caused some damage to the building but worse was to come. The whole building was burnt down in 1945 by the Nazis, taking with it the city archives. After much effort, the damage was repaired and replaced to how it is seen today. Could all this destruction have something to do with Mr Hanuš?
“God is my witness that the things charged against me I never preached. In the same truth of the Gospel which I have written, taught, and preached, drawing upon the sayings and positions of the holy doctors, I am ready to die today”.
His ashes were later thrown in the River Rhine.
In 1422, Jan Želivský, a popular Hussite priest and a radical representative of the Hussite reformation, was invited to the Old Town Hall. When he arrived, the door was bolted and the executioner summoned, who then decapitated Želivský and 9 or 12 of his followers. Želivský’s followers outside saw blood begin to trickle out of the building. They forced their way in to get their leader’s head, which they then carried through Prague on a platter. Afterwards, they retaliated with equal violence.
Then of course there is the legend of Golem, a mythological creature created by a Jewish Rabbi to protect the people of Prague. As Golem became increasingly stronger, he also became destructive and instead frightened the residents of Prague. Golem could only ‘live’ when he had a clay tablet placed in his mouth, which was removed on Saturdays, the holy day.
One day people found him uprooting trees and destroying the Rabbi’s home when he was in the synagogue singing psalm number ninety-two. The Rabbi rushed to take out the tablet. This was the end of Golem – he was never re-vitalized. Afterwards the Rabbi continued with the psalm and because of the interruption Prague’s old – new Synagogue is the only place in the whole world where this psalm is sung twice.
So perhaps this is why many think Prague is so haunted? When so much death and destruction has occurred over the years in one place, it may be wise to look over your shoulder, should you dare to wander the Old Town streets alone at night in Prague….