Prague Streets – Dusni

Prague Streets – Dušní

If you are on your way to see the official city memorial to Franz Kafka then next to it you cannot miss the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Spirit built in 1348. In Czech, Dušní means “Holy Spirit”.

signage for dusni street in prague
Dušní Street in Prague’s Old Town

Dušní runs from Dlouha Street less than 100 metres from the Old Town Square to the riverside. Before 1870 the street was divided into two parts. The upper part closer to the Old Town Square was called U SV. Ducha (at the place of the Holy Spirit) and the lower part closer to the river was named after the nearby U SV. Krize (at the place of the Church of the Crosses). That second church was later demolished and from 1870 the whole street was renamed to Dušní.

The Border

gothic church of the holy spirit in dusni street prague
The Holy Spirit Church in Dušní

It’s a common misconception that there was only one Jewish Quarter in Prague. In fact there were two. The older settlement was for the Sephardic Jews i.e. Spanish and North-African culture. The newer settlement was Ashkenazi and prior to 1848 these settlements were divided by Dušní. In 1848 when Emperor Franz Josef created the fifth district called Josefov he included both settlements but in today’s street plan you’ll see that Dušní is actually in the Old Town but the streets on either side are the Jewish Quarter i.e. Josefov. So Dušní still acts as a border between the two historic Jewish settlements even today.

Weird Trivia

On the junction of Dušní and Široka is a school but it was once the site of something called the New Synagogue. In the Reconstruction of the Jewish Quarter it was agreed with the Jewish Council to demolish that synagogue but the most important remnants can now be found at the Jubilee Synagogue which was constructed as a replacement for the New and two other demolished synagogues (Great Court Synagogue and Ziegener Synagogue).

Franz Kafka (aged 2) lived in an apartment in Dušní in 1885 and this was the same apartment where his younger brother Georg died in 1885 aged 6 months.

My Own Guided Tours – Cheaper Than You Think!

prague tour guide jason next to the vltava river
“Like being shown around by a knowledgeable friend” – Trip Advisor Review

Something Related or a Few Minutes Away

Districts – Josefov

Jewish Prague – Destruction of the Ghetto

Jewish Prague – Jubilee Synagogue

Jewish Prague – Spanish Synagogue

Memorials – Franz Kafka

Memorials – Stolpersteine Project

Famous Czechs – Franz Kafka

Streets – Paris Street, Rebuilding the Jewish Quarter

Streets – 17 Listopadu

Streets – Jan Palach Square

Cafes – Cafe No Stress

Services – Bloomest Self-service Laundry