Are you a fan of history? Do you want to get out of Prague and explore somewhere different? There’s a place not too far out where you can learn about some history and hear a few tales about what happened in a certain area called Terezin.
Terezin (also known as Theresienstadt) was a concentration camp during the second world war where Czech-jews were rounded up and taken to work about 30 miles north of Prague. Many jews from Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Denmark were also held there totalling more than 150,000 (15,000 including children). Less than 150 children survived.
The conditions of this concentration camp were very extreme and majority of those who have worked there died from the external factors as well with not getting the humane treatment they deserved. Majority of the inhabitants were malnourished and sick.
What makes things more unfortunate is that many of the inmates in this camp were highly educated individuals. There were scientists, artists, musicians, writers, scholars and philosophers. It is said that there were so many musicians in this camp that there could have been two symphonic orchestras performing daily.
Usually this camp only held around 5,000 inmates, but during the peak of the war there were more than 55,000 at one time. You can begin to get an idea of how overcrowded it got and why the inmates didn’t get proper care or even food. Many times there were 6 people lying horizontally across a single mattress.
If you get a chance to take a trip down to Terezin, you can walk through the barracks and see where the inmates were housed. You will see their bedposts and even marks that were carved into the wood of the bed frames. It’s an eerie feeling for sure, but it’s always good to open your mind and educate yourself about the history that went on there as well.
How to great there? You can take a bus from the main bus station in Florenc. If you want to check the time tables online, check it out here: http://florenc.cz/
There are 10 buses that leave each morning from Florenc and it will take less than an hour to get there — perfect right?
You can buy the tickets directly from Florenc and wait at platform 16 and 17 for the bus.
To get back, keep in mind that they will become less frequent as the day goes on so it’s best to return early (around 4 or 5pm). You can catch the bus back to Prague at the main central square near the large fortress. Enjoy your trip!