PRAGUE - The Golden City


Home

Of course a visit of Prague cannot fail at your holliday. About Prague itself you can write a book with information. This is full of old buildings, churches etc. We will write down the most known sights of the town:

1.Prague castle
Prague Castle is the most popular sight visited in Prague. It is the largest ancient castle in the world (570 m long, on average 128 m wide, area 7.28 hectares).
Constructed in the 9th century by Prince Bořivoj, the castle transformed itself from a wooden fortress surrounded by earthen bulwarks to the imposing form it has today. Rulers made their own additions so there is a mixture of styles. Prague castle has had four major reconstructions, but it keeps its classical facelift it took on in the 18 century during the reign of Maria Theresa.
The castle has three courtyards and it has always been the seat of Czech rulers as well as the official residence. Allow at least half a day (it does not include time for museum visits) if you want to examine it in depth.

  2. St.-Vituskathedral (Katedrála Sv. Víta)
The cathedral's foundation stone was laid in 1344 by Emperor Charles IV. The first architect was Matthias of Arras, after his death Petr Parler took over and completed much of the structure in late-Gothic style. Over the following centuries renaissance and baroque details were added and the job was completed in 1929. The most beautiful of numerous side chapels, Parler's Chapel of St Wenceslas, houses the crown jewels and the tomb of “Good King” Wenceslas.

There are many superb exaples of 20th century Czech stained glass and marvellous pieces of art, for example a wooden relief by Caspar Bechterle that shows the escape of Frederik of the Palatinate from Prague in 1621, and wooden Crucifixion by František Bílek
The Royal Crypt contains the remains of Charles IV, Wenceslas IV, George of Poděbrady and Rudolf II.
There are excellent views from the Great Tower on a clear day.

The golden lane (Zlatá ulička)
Named after the goldsmiths who lived here in the 17th century, Golden Lane is popular with its tiny colourful houses built right into the arches of the Castle walls. In the 18th and 19th centuries they were occupied by squatters, later it was the home of the writer France Kafka (house 22) and the Nobel-laureate poet Jaroslaf Seifert. Most of them are souvenir shops today.

3.The jewish quater Josefov
Named after the emperor Josef II, whose reforms helped to ease living conditions for the Jewish, the Jewish Quarter contains the remains of Prague's former Jewish ghetto. As many of the Jewish died during the WWII and were forced by the communist regime to leave the country, the current Prague community numbers 5000 – 6000 people. There are two figures synonymous with this part of the city, Franz Kafka (1883 – 1924) and the mystical humunculus Golem created by Jehuda ben Bezalel, also known as Rabi Löw.

  4.Charles Bridge (Karlův most)
Named after the Emperor Charles IV in 19th century the Charles Bridge is Prague's most familiar monument. Designed by Petr Parler, it was completed in 1400 and it connects the Lesser Town with the Old Town. Although it is now pedestrianised, it withstood wheeled traffic for 600 years. There are thirty statues on the bridge, many of them have been replaced with copies. Originals are kept in the Lapidarium of the National Museum and at Vyšehrad. The magnificent Gothic Old Town Bridge Tower was designed by Petr Parler and built at the end of the 14th century. It is considered the finest Gothic tower in central Europe, mainly for its decoration. There are marvellous views of the Vltava river Valley, the Žofín, Střelecký Island, the Old Town and the Lesser Town.

Charles Square (Karlovo náměstí)
Originally a cattle market, the square was founded by Charles IV as the main centre of Prague's new side. It is the largest enclosed square in Prague and one of the largest in Europe. The New Town Hall (Novoměstská radnice), which served to its purpose up to the year 1784, was built between the years of 1377 – 1418. Renovated in 1905 the town hall today is used for administrative purposes, cultural and social events. Another attractions are the Baroque Cathedral of St. Ignatius (Chrám sv. Ignáce) completed in 1670 by Carlo Lurago and the Emause Monastery (Emauzský klášter) founded in 1347. Its extraordinary series of frescos in the cloister are the largest collection of medieval wall paintings outside Italy.
Since the mid-19th century the Charles Square has been a park. Today, it is surrounded by busy roads but with its many statues of Czech writers, scientists and artists, it is still a nice place to sit and relax.


  5. Old Town Hall (Staroměstská radnice)
Old Town's ancient town hall was established in 1338 after the agreement of King John of Luxemburg to set up a town council. Several old houses had to be knocked together over the centuries as the Old Town Hall expanded. A Gothic chapel and a neo-Gothic north wing were destroyed by the Nazis in spring 1945. The chapel has been reconstructed. The most popular part of the tower is the Town Hall Clock (Orloj). Originally instaled in 1410, the clock was rebuilt by the Master Hanuš in 1490. It consists of three parts – the procession of Apostles, the astronomical clock and the calendar. The main attraction is the hourly procession of the 12 Apostles. The height of the tower is 69,5 m and it offers a great view of the city.

Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí)
Being Prague's heart since the 10th century and its main market place until the beginning of the 20th century, the spacious 1.7 hectare Old Town Square has been the scene of great events, both glorious and tragic. There are beautiful pastel-coloured buildings of Romanesque or Gothic origin with fascinating house signs. Some of the most prominent examples include the Kinský Palace, the House of the Stone Bell and the Štorch House. Today, the Old Town Square offers visitors a tourist information office, number of restaurants, cafés, shops and galleries.

Prague is at a distance of 97 km. from Stupna and certainly worth a visit.
Furthermore Czeck Republic has a lot of places of interest, of which a lot of castles, which almost always are open for visitors.