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Prague, Capital of Czechia

#Prague Visit Prague It wasn’t that long ago that there were two reasons to go to Prague: to drink cheap beer and to get a glimpse...

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Sights in the city

Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge is the 14th century stone bridge linking the two sides of Prague. This is one of the city’s finest attractions, and is the main pedestrian route connecting the Old Town with the Lesser Town (Malá Strana) and Prague Castle

Built in the 14th century, it was believed at the time, that odd numbers were lucky and Emperor Charles IV was a strong believer in superstition. The builders started work at 5:31 on the day 9/7/1357. The start of the work are making the numerical palindrome 135797531 and the time was selected by astrologers. Very odd, but maybe effective, as the bridge is still standing today!

The Charles Bridge is marked at both ends by towers, the Old Town Bridge Tower and the Malá Strana Bridge Tower.

Prague Castle

Now the home of the president, it was previously the seat of the Czech royal family. The Prague Castle stands tall over the city, dominating the view. The history of Prague Castle dates back to the 9th century, when the first known building was erected on the site. In the 12th century it was replaced by a Romanesque palace. And in the 14th century it was rebuilt in the Gothic style, under the reign of Charles IV. A further reconstruction of the Royal Palace then took place under the Jagellons at the end of the 15th century.

St. Vitus Cathedral

Katedrála svatého Víta is the spiritual symbol of the Czech state, and a Gothic masterpiece. Work on the cathedral was commissioned by Charles IV and began in 1344 upon the site of an earlier 10th century rotunda. In all, it took nearly six centuries to complete.

St. George’s Basilica

St. George’s Basilica is the oldest church building within the Prague Castle complex. It is also the best-preserved Romanesque church in Prague. Entrance to St. George’s Basilica is included as part of the admission ticket to the Prague Castle complex.

Powder Gate

Can trace its origins back to the 11th century, when the original gate was one of 13 entrances to Prague’s Old Town.

Changing of the Guard

The changing of the guard takes place every hour and, as with some other European Capitals it is quite a spectacle.

St.Nicholas Church

When building work finished in 1756 Prague had one of the finest Baroque churches in Europe and it still retains that position today. There is a huge painting of St. Nicholas in the nave and a wonderful bell tower. Mozart gave a recital here and there are still frequent classical concerts throughout the week.

The Astronomical Clock

Built in to one side of the Old Town Hall Tower, dates from the 15th century. To fully appreciate the clock’s intricate construction, join the crowd in front of the tower to observe the procession of the Twelve Apostles: on the hour, every hour, a small trap door opens and Christ marches out ahead of his disciples, while the skeleton of death tolls the bell to a defiant statue of a Turk.

Vhsyrad Castle

Over a thousand years old and a former home of the Czech nobility, this castle has an impressive pedigree. Take a stroll on top of the ramparts for a great view of the city and river. There is a wonderful gothic church, a museum and a cemetery, where the composer Dvorzac the Author of the “New World Symphony” is buried.

Loreta Monastery

Was built in 1631 and the entrance to the monastery is a stone railing is decorated with a lot of small stone angels (nice nice). It was constructed after the battle of the White Mountain, where the Czech Protestants were defeated and the Catholics took control over Prague.

At the Loreta monestary you will also see (hear) a carillon of 30 bells which was casted in Amsterdam in 1691. The Loreto plays on the hour and attracts a lot of tourists. When inside the monestary complex there is large area with beautiful chapels and chambers.

Santa Casa

A copy of Santa Casa Chapel in Italian Loreta. The house where Virgin Mary was told the she will give birth to Jesus, the Son of God.

The Loreto Treasury

Originates from the 16th – 18th centuries and consists of a collection of valuable liturgical items. The world famous “Diamond Monstrance”, which is decorated with 6,222 diamonds.

Chapel of the Holy Family

Built in Baroque style, you will see a Rococo altar of Saint Felix of Cantalicia, decorated with beautiful sculptures.

Chapel of St Anne

Built in 1687 with the support of public collections and the support of Katerina of Lobkowicz.

Chapel of St Francis Seraphinus

In this chapel you will see a Baroque altar and an impressing painting of the Stigmata of St. Francis Seraphinus.

Chapel of the Holy Rood

Pictures of the Purgatory and a sculpture of the Crucified Christ.

Chapel of St Anthony of Padua

Here you can see a painting of St. Anthony from the beginning of the 18th century.

The chapel of our Lady of Sorrows

Here you can see the Gothic Pieta from the 15th century. This chapel is also dedicated to St. Wilgefortis.

Strahov Monastery.

This is a calm oasis from where you can enjoy views over the Lesser Town (and the whole of Prague), and where you can visit one of the city’s finest churches. Strahov Monastery, and its surrounding area, has a serene, meditative quality, however its library is its most important feature, which comprises one of the oldest monastic collections in the country.

Memorial: Victims of Communism

On 22 May 2002, the controversial Memorial to the Victims of Communism was unveiled in Prague. The monument is situated in the Lesser Town under Petrin Hill.

It is a line of scary statues by Olbram Zoubek, representing different phases of a human body’s destruction, depending how you look at it. At first one part of the body is missing, than another and another until the figure seems to totally disappear. One of the statues has been destroyed during a bomb attack in 2003.

This monument must be an absolute MUST SEE in Prague. It simply gives you the spooks looking at it. Why are the monument controversial? Some artists say the momument are kitschy, while feminists are angry because all the figures are male and they (quite rightly) claim women were persecuted under the communists regime too.

National Theatre

This is a neo-Renaissance building dating from 1868-83. It is instantly recognisable from the river, its golden roof gleaming in the sunshine on fine weather days. For Czech people, the National Theatre is one of the most important cultural institutions in Prague.

Jilji Church

Is one of the most beautiful churches in the Old Town, set amongst the narrow streets and quaint old buildings that make up this area of the city. It is located just a few minutes walk from the Old Town Square.

St. Clement’s Cathedral

Forms part of the outer wall of the Klementinum, the largest and most historic complex of buildings in the Old Town.

Museums in Prague

The National Technical Museum

Although unimaginatively (though accurately) titled, this is a fascinating collection of all things technical. With everything, from a railway carriage belonging to the Archduke Ferdinand, (whose assassination sparked the outbreak of the first world war), to a working reconstruction of a working coal mine.

The National Museum

Národní Muzeum is made up of two buildings: The Main Building is the original, the interior of which is closed for renovation until June 2015. The other is the New Building, which became part of the National Museum in 2009. This remains open, and is the dark building to the left of the Main Building as you face it fromWenceslas Square.

Prague Districts & Parks

The Royal Garden

Is located just outside the castle area and when you’re tired of tourists you can go into the garden and enjoy a little peace and quiet while admiring the old over-decorated garden with its buildings. The Royal Garden was designed around 1500 as an Italian garden. Cedar and Fig trees thrive and also tulips have grown here since 1554.

It is the most beautiful garden of Prague Castle and is known for the singing fountain standing in front of the summer palace. The water, flowing out of heads of the numerous figures and animals, falls into the bronze bowl and sings, if you press your ear to the fountain very closely you can enjoy the concert in full.

Belvedere is the jewel of the Royal Garden and an example of Italian Renaissance with its arcades, columns and reliefs. The building is considered to be the best preserved example of Renaissance north of the Alps. In the Royal Garden you will also find the Ball Game Hall from 1569, the Ball Game Hall used to serve as a place for many games. At first, people enjoyed playing games there, but it gradually became out of fashion and the hall was transformed into a stable.

Petrin Park “Eiffel Tower”

One of the hidden gems of Prague There is a rose garden, a maze and a gate to a well cultivated garden, but the real sight is from the tip of the hill. Take the short cable car ride to the top and the Observation Tower for a beautiful view over the city. A small version of Paris’s Eiffel Tower, Petrin Observation Tower was built in 1891 for the Jubilee Exhibition. The view is magnificent and well worth the 299 step climb to reach the viewing platform. On a clear day it is possible to see the highest peak in the Czech Republic, Snezka, which is 150km from the tower.

Kampa District

Here is fantastic area with houses that lies down to a small channel area called the Venice of Prague. Square area called Na Kampe and it is a nice and cozy place. The square surrounded by the houses used to be a pottery market for centuries.

Banks of Kampa Island have the Vltava river on one side and on the other side Devil’s Stream, which was created in the 12th century as a millrace which makes Kampa an artificial island. 2 of the buildings still have their mill-wheels of which the most famous is the Grand Prior’s Mill with a wheel measuring 8 metres.

Malá Strana (Lesser Town)

Lesser Town is set on the banks of the Vltava river, across the river from the Old Town. It is almost too picturesque for its own good, with ancient burgher houses and quaint side streets, the Lesser Town is a favourite setting for movies and commercials.

Malostranské náměstí lies at the heart ofthe Lesser Town. All around are a mixture of restaurants, quaint old pubs, small shops and a host of international embassies housed in the wonderful old Baroque buildings. At the centre of the square is the magnificent  Nicholas Church. Construction of St. Nicholas Church Lesser Town Square began in 1703 on the site of the former Parish Church of St. Nicholas, the records for which date back to 1283.

Wenceslas Square

This is really a boulevard, measuring 750m long by 60m wide. It was originally laid out as the Prague horse market 650 years ago.

The Old Town Square

Built before the 12th century this is the oldest and most historic square in Prague. It is made up of many interesting buildings including many from the baroque period. Many of the buildings are brightly colored and there are many pavement cafes, where you can relax and watch the world go by. The most notable sights on the square are the Old Town Hall Tower & Astronomical Clock, Tyn Church and  Nicholas Church.

Josefov (Jewish Quarter)

Is located between the Old Town Square and the Vltava River. Its torrid history dates back to the 13th century, when the Jewish community in Prague were ordered to vacate their disparate homes and settle in one area.

Vysehrad

This is a quiet and peaceful area in Prague. Take a walk through the landscaped gardens, and admire the fine views over the Vltava River from the remains of the castle walls. The two dominant spires seen from all around belong to the Peter & Paul Church. Other attractions are the huge statues depicting figures of Czech Mythology and the Rotunda of St. Martin.

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