Prague lies in the middle of Bohemia on both banks of the river Vltava, not far from its confluence with the Elbe. It has been a capital of a country since 1918. It has a population of 1.2 million people. According to foreigners, this old town with a long history is one of the most beautiful towns in the world. It is seat of President, the Czech government and all political institutions and offices. It is centre of political, cultural, social and university life.
The city was founded by the Slavs. It became a seat of Premyslid princes and Czech kings.
With the king Charles IV. came the Golden Age of the city. Reichprotektor Reinhard Heydrich was assassinated there, which led to huge and cruel prosecution. The WWII. ended with liberation of Prague on 8th May.
The “Prague spring” in 1968 was a year of political relief, which was interrupted by Soviet invasion. The Velvet revolution ended the communism.
Prague is sometimes called “Prague of Hundred Spires”, “Golden Prague” or “Mother of Cities”.
Old town square is surrounded by many historical building for instance Old Town Hall with an astronomical clock by Master Hanuš, or Tyne Church, baroque St. Nicholas Church and Kinsky palace. There is also the monument of Master Jan hus by Ladislav Šalaoun. 27 of Czech lords were executed there.
Gothic entrance to Old Town is Powder Tower.
Nearby is Bethlehem Chapel, where Jan Hus preaching in Czech language.
There is also important centre of jewish community – Old Jewish town, Old-new Synagogue and Jewish Cementary.
Charles Bridge is the most famous of 15 Prague bridges. It was built by Charles IV. and allegedly to the mortar were added eggs to made bridge firm. It is an open-air gallery 31 gothic statues designed by Petr Parléř and Brokoff. It connects Lesser Town with Old Town.
Lesser town is historical centre with narrow and crooked street. Jan Neruda was born there. There is also famous religion icon – Prague Infant Jesus.
Prague Castle is a bloc of palaces, secular and religious buildings. It has been a seat of Czech princes and kings and since 1918 it has been a seat of President. Dominating the place St. Vitus Cathedral was designed by Petr Palréř and Matthias of Arras. Important is St Wenceslas Chapel with tombs of Czech kings. There are also 2 tall towers: Mihulka and Daliborka.
Wenceslas Square is the heart of the city. There is St Wenceslas statue by Myslbek. In the bottom there is pedestrian zone. Gothic entrance to Old Town is Powder Tower.
National theatre was built thanks to money of poor people. Decorations are made by M. Aleš, F. Ženíšek, V. Hynais, J. V. Myslbek and others. It is a place, where dramas, operas and ballets are shown.
Vyšehrad Castle is the oldest seat of Czech princes, for example legendary princess Libuše. Well-known is also Vyšehrad Cemetery, where famous Czech personalities has been buried.
Petřín Tower is 60 meters tall with 299 steps and it is a copy of Eiffel Tower.
Prague is also important transport junction. There is an airport Ruzyně too. To avoid traffic jams it is better to use public transport.
Would you like to live in Prague? Which historical sites do you consider most beautiful and why?
How often do you visit Prague and why? Compare living in Prague and in your town.
Do you know the tale about how Prague was founded? Do you know some facts about Prague Spring Festivals?