Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague Information Guide

PraguePRAGUE – the capital of the Czech Republic, has always played an important role in the history of the  country and Europe. Since the Middle Ages Prague has been famous as one of the most beautiful cities of the world and has been attributed adjectives such as “golden“, “hundred-spired“,  “the crown of the world“.The unique character  of the city is also partly a consequence of its natural environment: Prague, similar to Rome built on seven hills, was built on nine hills along the Vltava river, which flows through the city for a distance of 31 km and forms a perfect unit with the city.The dominant features of the city architecture are reflected in the river: towers, church spires and cupolas, palaces and town houses, along with the greenery of gardens, parks and islands.Prague was founded on the cross-roads of ancient trade routes at a site where the most varied spiritual and cultural currents merged. The history of the city begins with the founding of Prague Castle in the 9th century. Of the original stone buildings in pre-Romanesque style, a basilica remains from the second half of the 10th century, and forms the core of St George´s church. Among the preserved Romanesque structures in Prague, three renovated rotundas can be visitedRead more

Location

Information on the city of Prague

 Top Sights in Prague

The historic centre of Prague (Hradčany with Prague Castle, the Lesser Quarter, Old Town including the Charles Bridge and Josefov, New Town and Vyšehrad) occupies an area of 866 ha and has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1992. The centre of Prague is characterised by winding alleys and constructions of all architectural styles – Romanesque rotundas, Gothic cathedrals, Baroque and Renaissance palaces, Art Nouveau, Classicist, Cubist and Functionalist houses and modern buildings.

Town Hall and Astronomical Clock

Old Town Hall and Astronomical Clock

Arguably Prague’s most identifiable icon, the Astronomical Clock built into the façade of the Old Town Hall on Old Town Square continues to draw crowds waiting to see the hourly chiming of this amazing mechanical structure that dates to 1410.

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Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague Castle is the largest castle complex in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Originally dating to the 9th century, this landmark, which surrounds St. Vitus Cathedral, bears the mark of each architectural and historical era that it has lived through. To this day, it serves as the seat of the Czech state.

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Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge

Prague’s oldest bridge, and one of its most iconic structures, is Charles Bridge, which connects Old Town with Malá Strana. Dating to 1357, it was originally called the Stone Bridge, or Prague Bridge, before being named Charles Bridge in 1870, after its founder King Charles IV.

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Malá Strana Bridge Towers

Malá Strana Bridge Towers

Flanking the entrance to Charles Bridge on the Vltava’s left bank, the Malá Strana Bridge Towers form an important part of the Lesser Town’s landscape. The towers were built about 200 years apart, and they served quite different purposes. Today, both are accessible to the public, and their uppermost levels offer good views of Charles Bridge and Malá Strana.

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Old Town Bridge Tower

Old Town Bridge Tower

The entrance gate to Charles Bridge from the Old Town river bank, One of the best examples of High Gothic architecture in all of Europe, the Old Town Bridge Tower forms the gate entrance to Charles Bridge from Old Town on the east side of the Vltava. The tower was completed in 1380 by the workshop of master builder Petr Parléř, who also designed St. Vitus Cathedral up at Prague Castle, and the foundations of the sandstone tower were laid together with the first stones of Charles Bridge.the most beautiful gate of Gothic Europe, was a masterpiece of the Court buildingworks. It was finished before 1380. It is richly adorned with sculptures.

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Josefov (Jewish Quarter)

Josefov (The Jewish Quarter)

Despite being only a fraction of its former self, Prague’s Jewish Quarter comprises the best current complex of Jewish historical monuments in all of Europe. The smallest of Prague’s districts was walled off as a ghetto in 1096, following a pogrom against its inhabitants, who were mainly Jewish immigrants.

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The Powder Tower

The Powder Tower

The Powder Tower is a one of the original medieval gates to the Old Town built by Matej Rejsek in the Gothic style in 1475. In the 18th century, it served as a gunpowder depot, giving it its current name. In the late 19th century, it was rebuilt by J. Mocker, and it remains one of Prague’s most important medieval monuments.

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Saint Nicholas Church

St Nicholas Church (Malá Strana)

An eye-catching part of the Malá Strana skyline, St. Nicholas Church is one of the most significant buildings from the Prague Baroque period, notably for its copper dome and belfry, making it one of the most stylistically pure examples of High Baroque architecture north of the Alps.

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Petřín Lookout Tower

Petřín Lookout Tower

Rising up from atop the leafy Petřín Hill, which forms a backdrop to Malá Strana, the Petřín Lookout Tower was inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, although it is not a scale model. Built in 1891 for the occasion of the Jubilee Exhibition, the 60-meter-high tower has 299 steps (as well as an elevator) leading up to the top viewing platform.

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Church of Our Lady Victorious

Church of Our Lady Victorious

This Malá Strana church is famous the world over for the Infant Jesus of Prague, or Bambino di Praga, which came from Spain and was given to the church by Polyxena of Lobkowicz in 1628. The 47-centimetre-tall wax-coated wooden figure is said to have once belonged to St. Teresa of Avila and to have worked miracles, making it a point of pilgrimage among many Roman Catholics.

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Loreto Prague

Loreto Prague

Loreto Prague is a complex of buildings that have become a Marian pilgrimage site. The central point is the Italian-style Santa Casa, or Holy House, which depicts in stucco and bricks the humble life of the Holy Family. The Our Lady of Loreta church was built by Giovanni Battista Orsi in 1626 – 1631.

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Vyšehrad

Vyšehrad

Vyšehrad comprises a sprawling, walled fortification dating to the 10th century and containing several interesting historical sights, such as the Romanesque Rotunda of St. Martin, the Gothic Church of Sts. Peter and Paul, and the Slavin Cemetery, where the nation’s most famous personages are laid to rest.

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Church of Our Lady Before Týn

Church of Our Lady Before Týn

The most important church on the right bank of the Vltava is unquestionably the Church of Our Lady Before Týn, also called Týn Church, which is also one of the most recognisable sights on Old Town Square.

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Palác Adria

Adria Palace

Adria Palace is an important cultural monument of the modern architecture. It was built for Italian insurance company Riunione Adriatica di Sicurtà, which had bought the original two-storey palatial residence at this place in about 1910. The palace here had been built 100 years earlier by Passau Bishop Leonard Leopold Count Thun. The building was decorated with statues sculpted by Josef Malínský. The insurance company demolished the old palace and in 1923 – 1924 carried out the construction of a new palace, spreading on the area of over 2,000 square meters. The building was designed by architect Josef Zasche; for the façade implementation a new colour scheme by architect Pavel Janák in the rondocubism style (Czech Cubist style using arcs) was selected.

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Golden Lane

Golden Lane

At about the middle of the Jiřská Street, there is a turning to the picturesque Golden Lane. In the past, it used to be called the Goldsmiths Lane, perhaps it served as dwelling for the goldsmiths. It was founded between the Romanic and the late Gothic fortifications at the Castle’s Northern side. Little houses were built in the fortification arches of the defence walls built by Benedikt Ried around 1500, and behind them, there are the peaks of the fortifications. Underroof is formed by a defence corridor connecting the White Tower and Daliborka. In the 16th century, there were distress houses here; in the era of Rudolf II it was a dwelling for the members of the castle guard

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Statue of Antonin Dvořák

Statue of Antonin Dvořák

The statue of Antonín Dvořák was unveiled on 4th June 2000 at the end of the famous festival Prague Spring in Jan Palach Square in front of the House of Artists. As early as 1949 the former Prague Municipal Authority decided that the statue would stand in the park near Rudolfinum and allotted its construction to sculptor Josef Wagner and architect Pavel Smetana. The former Minister of Culture, however, decided in 1951 that the statue of painter Josef Mánes would stand there.

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Basilica of the Assumption of Virgin Mary

Basilica of the Assumption of Virgin Mary

The Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary is in its core a three-aisle Romanic basilica with a Gothic transept, prolonged in 1627, and with a Renaissance chancel. The church was built in the 3rd quarter of the 12th century. It was rebuilt in a Gothic style in the years 1258 – 1263, and this appearance outlived centuries. Historical research in the 1950s did not find proofs of the devastating fire in the 13th century, or of the destruction of the church by the Hussites

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Basilica of St James

Basilica of St James

The church was built at the Minorite Monastery founded under King Wenceslas I in connection with the establishment of Prague’s Old Town. One of the most attractive churches in the town, the coronation feast for the royal couple, John of Bohemia (John the Blind) and Elisabeth of Bohemia, was held here in 1311, After a destructive fire in the monastery, in 1319 King John of Bohemia founded a new Gothic church which was completed by Emperor Charles IV in 1374.

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St. Vitus, Václav and Vojtěch – Prague Cathedral

St. Vitus, Václav and Vojtěch – Cathedral of Prague

On the 23rd April 1997, Cardinal Miroslav Vlk issued a decree on the basis of which the object acquired its original name again, Cathedral of St. Vitus, Václav and Vojtěch. The cathedral has been consecrated to three saints: Prince Václav (canonized later) established the third church at the Castle around 925 – Rotunda of St. Vitus. He did so because he received a precious relic as a gift from the Saxon Emperor Henry I the Fowler – a bone from St. Vitus’ arm, which was deposited in the built rotunda. When St. Václav was murdered, the rotunda became a place of his tomb, and he himself became a patron and saint of all Czechs. His sanctuary is still here today.

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Václavské náměstí

Wenceslas Square

Wenceslas Square – Václavské náměstí /Václavák, is one of the main city squares and the centre of the business and cultural communities in the New Town of Prague, Czech Republic. Many historical events occurred there, and it is a traditional setting for demonstrations, celebrations, and other public gatherings. The square is named after Saint Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia. It is part of the historic centre of Prague, a World Heritage Site

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The Dancing House

The Dancing House

The Dancing house was built in the years 1992 – 1996. The house that stood there before was destroyed during the American air bombing of Prague on the 14th February of 1945. In 1992 the land was bought by the Netherlander insurance company Nationale Nederlanden. They selected the building project from the architect Vlado Milunic and the worldwide acknowledged architect and designer Frank O. Gehry was invited to cooperate. This co-operation gave birth to a unique deconstructive building with plastic elements, which at the same time harmonizes with the surrounding buildings. It is one of the few Prague houses that dynamically enters the space of the street.

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State Opera

State Opera

The theatre’s new-Renaissance building had a plain predecessor. In 1858, the management of the Estates Theatre hired a land plot a little above today’s theatre, and architect Josef Niklas built a New Town Theatre there. It was also called In front of the Horses’ Gate, which was still standing back then. Czech plays were regularly staged here, with actors from the Estates and later also from the Provisional Theatre. On the 16th May 1868, when the foundation stone was laid to the National Theatre, New Town Theatre staged Smetana’s Dalibor for the first time, personally conducted by the composer. New Town Theatre was in operation until 1885 and then it was demolished.

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National Theatre

National Theatre

History of the National Theatre In 1845 an initiative of Czech patriots established the theatre cooperative that brought request for authorization of the establishment of Czech stone theatre to the Viennese government. The request has remained unanswered for the time being. In 1848 Josef Kajetán Tyl suggested organizing collections for the construction of the theatre building and in 1850 the establishment of the Commission for the establishment of the Czech National Theatre in Prague was permitted; the commission immediately issued a call to start a collections.

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John Lennon Wall

John Lennon Wall

Probably the most famous wall at Kampa in Prague. It is covered by graffiti with love poetry, philosophical texts and images that was once created by the supporters of the hippie movement. Young people used to meet there in the 1980s after the death of John Lennon to honour his memory by leaving messages on the wall

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Christmas in Prague

Christmas in Prague

The Prague Christmas markets – Vanocni trh – are open daily at the Old Town Square & Wenceslas Square. A ‘winter wonderland’ awaits, as visitors soak up the festive atmosphere, browse the stalls and enjoy Christmas carols, hearty food & hot wine. In Prague, the Christmas holidays – the most beautiful festive days of the year celebrating the birth of Jesus – are made special by the city’s charm and unique atmosphere. Come enjoy Christmas in Prague!

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Easter Time in Prague

Easter in Prague

Most Easter customs are based on the essence of a peasant’s life in the farming villages. These were celebrations of spring, when nature came back to life and various ceremonies were needed to ensure a good harvest and fortune in the upcoming farming year – in the folk tradition of Easter. The Christian and urban traditions of Easter were different. The Czech birch whip or pomlázka remained essentially untouched by the Christian Easter. The most popular traditions are colouring eggs and plaiting pomlázka.

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Prague Zoo

Zoological Gardens of Prague

Prague Zoo had predecessors in the form of various menageries. The Lion’s Court at the Prague Castle at the time of Rudolf II was probably the most famous, It did not only breed lions as heraldic animals (a lion, a symbol of strength and courage was adopted as an attribute of the Czech state), but also other unique species such as orangutans and allegedly now extinct Dodo

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