Some famous people, some famous places

What do Leibniz, Zwingli, Brahe, Kepler, Kafka, and Neruda have in common?

Note: all the links open to the Wikipedia entries.

In Vienna, I wandered into this square after getting turned around with my directions.

The plaque attributes the establishment of the Austrian Academy of Science to a suggestion made by Gottfried Leibniz in 1713 while residing in Vienna. Among his many accomplishments, he is considered a founder of Calculus along with Isaac Newton.

Apparently, Zwingli, lived near this square when he studied in Vienna in 1498-1502. Later, in Switzerland Zwingli led religious reform.

Austrian Academy of Sciences
Commemoration Plaque


In Prague, one can follow the life of Franz Kafka, and wander the lesser town neighborhood of the writer Jan Neruda.

I have read a number of Kafka’s books and stories.  It was not until Daughter went to the German-American Institute in St. Paul, MN that I realized he wrote exclusively in German. The Chilean writer, Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto, derived his pen name from Jan Neruda, whose name he found in a literary magazine. The compilation of Pablo Neruda’s travel writing in Confieso que he vivido (Memoirs) inspired me to travel as much as possible.

Franz Kafka Square


Jan Neruda Street

Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler standing in front of the Gymnázium Jana Keplera (Jan Kepler High School).

They worked together in Prague in 1600. Kepler used Brahe’s observations to identify astronomical principles of the planets.

Pohorelec Neighborhood overlooking Prague Castle

I have walked the same streets and marveled at the ideas of these luminaries.