Prague was once called the "city of 1000 towers "and today the sky of Prague is dotted with beautiful domes of churches and exquisite pointed towers, coming out of castles and cathedrals. The Czech capital is an architectural jewel in the heart of Europe, and the intertwining of the Renaissance, Baroque, Gothic style and Art Nouveau gives a unique atmosphere to the city, against the backdrop of the dignified Prague Castle, which rises on the hill Hradchany. Prague has one of the best preserved old cities in Europe, where you can immerse yourself in a lively fairy tale. Historic buildings and streets are shrouded in a variety of legends and are just waiting for you to discover them and experience your own history in them.. The Charles Bridge over the Vltava River has stood with dignity for centuries, to transport you between two worlds, the curious Dancing House is a landmark, recognizable worldwide, although it has nothing to do with distant history. No matter how you prefer to travel and which attractions you are more interested in, you will see, that Prague is a lot, very beautiful. And it deserves a place as one of the most remarkable cities in Europe, although it is not a metropolis like London and Paris, nor the capital of the ancient world like Rome or Istanbul.
Prague Castle on Hradčany Hill is the largest palace complex in the world and is a real city. Its area is almost 70 000 sq.m. and there are a number of buildings in it. Among them are the Old and the New Royal Palace, Queen Anne's Summer Palace, Lobkowicki Palace. Within the complex is the impressive Cathedral of St.. Vit, Basilica of St.. Rust (George), All Saints Church, former monastery. The complex also has a presidential villa, playpen, greenhouse, the royal stable, obelisk, other buildings, gardens, sculptures, etc.. The complex has been home to Czech kings for centuries, and today the tradition continues as the residence of the president. Visitors can visit the palace with an organized tour or walk the streets and buildings on their own., some of which have been turned into museums.
Prague Castle has a long history. About 870 r. a fortress wall was erected on the site, is then upgraded and expanded many times, in different architectural styles. Within the complex are some of the most important sights of Prague, about which we will tell separately. Be sure to take a walk in the Royal Garden, dating from 1534 r. Various cultural events are organized on the territory of the castle during the summer.
This is one of the most recognizable bridges in Europe, main attraction of Prague and full of visitors all day, admiring the nearly 700-year-old construction. The bridge is long impressive 621 meters and along its entire length you can find an exquisite gallery of over sculptures, created between 17 and 18 century. The oldest statue is that of St. John of Nepomuk, which is from 1683. The legend tells, that St.. Jan Nepomucki opposed the oppressive style of King Wenceslaus IV, for which he was thrown into prison along with three other priests. Even with torture they failed to break him and make him obey the king's will, so he was chained and thrown from Charles Bridge, where he drowned. The statue was erected at the site of his drowning, and legends of miracles hover around it. According to beliefs, touching the statue will provide you with great luck. The latest sculpture on the bridge is by St.. St.. Cyril and Methodius, placed through 1928 r.
The bridge itself, erected through 1357 r. in the time of King Charles IV, it is also the subject of legends and superstitions. According to legends, its construction was extremely difficult, as what was built during the day was destroyed during the night. One of the anecdotes is, that the builders advised the king to build eggs in the masonry of the bridge for greater stability. He ordered residents across the country to send eggs, but for fear that the eggs would break during transport, most sent them hard boiled.
Another legend reads, that after throwing the remains of the body of St.. John, one of the bridge arches collapses. Any attempt to fix it mysteriously fails. One of the builders decided, that this is God's punishment and he has made a covenant with the Devil. So he can fix the bridge, the builder promised the soul of the first man, who stepped on the bridge.
The Roman Catholic Cathedral "St.. Vit "is located on the territory of Prague Castle and is the largest and most important church in the country.. It houses the tombs of numerous saints and bohemian rulers. Construction of the cathedral began in 1344 r. in place of an old rotunda, and its completion takes 525 years. As a result, The building is a mix of modern neo-gothic and gothic styles from 14 century, together with baroque and renaissance influences. The interior is richly decorated, the most remarkable are the painted windows, the mosaic from 1370 r. of the Last Judgment and the chapel of St.. Wenceslas, whose altar is decorated with over 1300 gemstone. You can also climb the 97-meter tower, to enjoy the stunning panorama of the city.
The square in the Old Town of Prague is probably the best place to start your tour and certainly a place, in which you will return many times. The area is home to beautiful old churches, cozy streets and ancient architecture, as some of the buildings are from 11 century.
On the square one of the most interesting attractions is the Astronomical Clock, built in 15 century. Every hour a procession of the 12 apostles and other figures passes over the dial, which you definitely want to see. The Old Town Hall building will offer you exhibitions of works of art and museum exhibits, and you can climb the tower for a beautiful view of the city.
Clementium is a complex of beautiful old buildings, home of the National Library of the Czech Republic. Once these buildings, located in the Old Town, were part of a Jesuit college, and later housed a Jesuit library. Eventually, the buildings became the property of the state and by 1782 r. the Clementium complex is a public library. It stores over 6 million books, including a copy of each book, once issued in the Czech Republic. The interior of the building is incredibly beautiful and it is no coincidence that it has the fame of the most beautiful library in the world.. You can visit it with an organized tour, and cultural events such as concerts and festivals are held periodically on its territory.
Wenceslas Square is the heart of modern Prague and a witness to important events in the city's recent history. In the central place in front of the National Museum is the statue of St.. Wenceslas, patron of Bohemia. The square was created in 14 in. during the reign of Charles IV as a market for horses. Since then it has been one of the most important public places in the city, witnessed important historical events - from the founding of Czechoslovakia in 1918 r. until the fall of communism 80 years later.
Two of the buildings on the square today house the National Museum, collecting exhibits from various fields - archeology, history, zoology, mineralogy, anthropology, arts and music.
The neighborhood is located near the castle and to 19 century was considered a ghetto. In the end, however, he underwent a transformation, after most of the old buildings were demolished and new Art Nouveau buildings were erected. Today the neighborhood is pleasant for a walk, and except the lined streets and buildings, you can also visit the Jewish Museum, within which are several remarkable synagogues. The old Jewish cemetery is also an interesting landmark with old tombstones, many of which inclined to different sides under the influence of time.
Although the historical sights in Prague seem endless, the Czech capital has many more faces, to show to your visitors. For lovers of views from above, The Petrzhina Tower is an attractive place. Some call it the Prague Eiffel Tower and it probably has some resemblance. Indeed, the iron 63.5-meter structure is reminiscent of that in Paris, although one-fifth of its size. But its location on Petrzhinsky Hill creates the illusion, that you are at a greater height, as soon as you get on top of it.
The tower was built in 1891 r. for the Prague Railway Exhibition, obsolete. In the 30s of the XX century it was moved to the hill and since then it has been an important tourist attraction in the city.. You can reach it by walking up the hill for about 30 min. or with the existing funicular. They lead to the top of the tower 299 steps, but there is also an elevator.
One of the unusual, but a very popular attraction in Prague. It has existed since the 1980s. and was created in honor of the assassination of John Lennon. And although several times the drawings and writings on it have been erased with paint, soon after repainting, they are restored by other fans of the musician. In recent years, the wall has also been used to express opinions on political and other public issues.
This architectural landmark is another favorite attraction of tourists. It houses an office building, cafes and restaurants, but most attention-like is its architecture, resembling a dancing couple. It was built in between 1992 and 1996 r. The authors of the project are the Croatian architect Vlado Milunic and the Canadian architect Frank Gehry.
Late spring and early autumn are excellent seasons to visit Prague, if you want to avoid the crowds of tourists, but still enjoy the good weather. In May and September you will probably find cheaper deals for hotels and attractions, than in the summer. If you are not afraid of low temperatures and find some romance in the winter, Prague will surely welcome you still charming. Dress well and enjoy the Christmas lights or the deserted streets of January, when you don't have to share the sights with many other visitors.
This article was written with the assistance of BulTravel and Agent Express EOOD.
Author : Ivan Rashkov