Prague is a jewel within Eastern Europe. It is the largest city and also the capital of the Czech Republic. Prague is one of the most visited cities in Europe. The great cultural feel and the many cultural events throughout the year make for a perfect city break destination. The city is cut in half by the Vltava river and sits in the middle of the Bohemian Basin. Known as the ‘City of a Hundred Spires’ the city has had great influence from its Gothic and Baroque past.
The Prague Castle dates back to the 9th century and is the current office to the President of the Czech Republic. It is also said to be the largest ancient castle in the world. This impressive structure sits close to the Vltava River and dominates the skyline of this fascinating city. The castle contains the Romanesque Basilica of St George and the St Vitus Cathedral. There are also monasteries, palaces, gardens and museums all within its confines. There many architectural styles on display here from Gothic to Baroque.
Cruise the Vltava River
What better way to see a city than a river cruise, and the Vltava river cruise is no exception. Admire most of the cities sights while relaxing away from the hustle. You will see many of the famous landmarks all while enjoying lunch or a three-course dinner should you choose. Discover more canal tours and river cruises in European cities.
The Astronomical Clock, or the Prague Orloj as it is otherwise known, is located on the side of the Town Hall in Prague’s old town. It is something that you must certainly see. The special mechanisms and dials display positions of the sun, moon and planets. In addition to this, every hour, on the hour (between 9am and 11pm) the giant clock comes to life and provides a display for the crowds which are always waiting in anticipation.
The Charles Bridge has been in place since the mid 14th Century. The bridge crosses the Vltava River and has been linking the old town with the new ever since. While crossing you will see some breath-taking views of the city. The bridge also fills with street entertainers and artists. There are many baroque style statues which add to the medieval aura. A word of warning though, it can become extremely crowded especially during daylight hours but do not let this stop you from experiencing this famous landmark.
No trip to Prague is complete without exploring the old town or Stare Mesto. Many visitors are drawn to this area all year round and it is clear to see why. There are many famous buildings here including the old town hall which proudly boasts the Astronomical clock, the Church of Our Lady before Tyn and the Baroque church St Nicholas. The architecture within the area is simply spectacular so be sure to take your time to look around.
Map of Prague
History and Culture of Prague
The history of Prague is known to go back to 5000 BC where tribes settled in the area. It was known then as Bohemia, although the building of the Prague Castle in 870 AD was the foundation of what we see today. The Czech Duchess Libuse is said to have been attributed to its creation along with her husband, Premysl, who was the founder of the Premyslid Dynasty which ruled over the area until 1306.
During the reign of the King of Bohemia, Roman Emperor Charles IV, in the 14th Century, Prague developed, and became one of the largest cities in Europe. During this time is when some of the iconic buildings in Prague were constructed such as the St. Vitus Cathedral.
The Habsburg era followed from 1526 – 1918. During this period there was much turmoil, such as threats of attack from the Ottoman Empire and from religious factions from within its own region. There was also the 30-year war, of which the infamous ‘Battle of White Mountain’ took place. This day is still considered as one of the worse in the history of the country.
In the 20th Century World War I ended, and Czechoslovakia was created. Prague was selected as the capital city of this new state.
Then during World War II Prague suffered bombings from the US Army but only a few landmarks were destroyed in comparison to many other cities during this time.
The Velvet Revolution followed, as recently as 1989, which brought an end to communism in Czechoslovakia. The region split into two in independent countries in 1993, which are known today as the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Pictures of Prague
Hotels In Prague
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