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Things To See in Prague, Czech Republic

Prague Things To See

A lot of Central Europe's cities are old but none have as much of the same architecture they had a millennium ago due to different wars and other factors which diminished so much other European architecture. This hasn't happened to Prague thankfully. You can appreciate all the buildings here just as they were when they were first built.

The city is divided into four quarters, each with their own characteristics. Star Mesto (the Old Town) is a maze of back alley, narrow roads. It's very easy to get lost in this part of the city so keep track of where you are going.

Nové Mesto (the New Town) is a lot more spacious than its older counterpart with wide boulevards and wide open squares. At 650 years old, having originated in 1348 by Charles IV, the Nové Mesto isn't exactly new, but it still is newer than the other part of the city and has kept its name.

The other two parts of the city are Mala Strana (the Lesser Town) and Hradeany (the Castle District). The first has been a popular hangout for criminals in the past but these days is a lot more civilised. Around the cobble stoned streets you will find St Nicholas' Cathedral, the area's biggest attraction.

Attractions in Prague

  • Old Town Square

    Stare Mesto, Prague, Czech Republic

    Situated in the heart Prague is the Stare Mesto, this one of the best-preserved squares in Europe. It is surrounded by eight towers and its beauty makes it a popular spot for tourists to recuperate during sightseeing. Street performers entertain the gathered crowds throughout the day.

    Another popular attraction is the 15th Century Astronomical Clock. Its skeleton turns the hourglass of time on the hour, every hour from dawn until dusk. It is said that the clockmakers eyes were put out so that he could not design another.

    Overlooking the square is the Church of Tyn. Amongst it is many spires are two main tower: the tower of Man and the slightly smaller tower of Woman.

  • Josefov (The Old Jewish Quarter)

    Josefov, Prague, Czech Republic

    This is Prague's historic Jewish neighbourhood and is the oldest Jewish settlement in Europe. There has been a Jewish community in Prague since the 12th Century when Prague’s citizens built a wall around the area.

    From 1540 many restrictions were laid upon the Jewish community and in 1744 the Bohemian Queen Marie Theresa displaced them. At the turn of the century the area became very poor after the revolution. Only 10% of the Bohemian Jewish survived World War II (about 10.000 people).

    Do not visit the area on Saturdays, as this is the Sabbath.

  • Charles Bridge

    , Prague, Czech Republic

    Without doubt this is Prague's most recognisable landmark. It was built in the 14th Century and was spared demolition during the communist invasion, as it was too narrow. From the 17th century the bridge was decorated with sculptures commissioned by various religious orders and produced by the finest sculptors of the day. These days you may have difficulty crossing due to the throngs of tourists and street vendors.

  • Mala Strana

    Mala Strana, Prague, Czech Republic

    This area is renowned as the district of criminals and counter-revolutionaries. It was destroyed by a fire in 16th Century and the town was rebuilt in the Renaissance style. Its centrepiece is the towering St. Nicholas Church which is open to the public and provides fabulous views of the surrounding streets. During the Communist occupation it was used as a watchtower to survey the nearby foreign embassies. The ceiling fresco inside is one of the largest in Europe.

  • Petrín Hill

    Malá Strana, Prague, Czech Republic

    Situated to the west of the Lesser Quarter, the slopes of Petrín Hill rise above the city to a height of 318m (960ft). The Petrin Gardens, the largest in Prague, provide some of the most spectacular views of the city. The southern side of the hill was planted with vineyards, but by the l8th century most of these had been transformed into gardens and orchards, which still blossom every spring.

    A cable car will bring you to the summit, where you can climb aPetrín Tower. Built in 1891, it’s about a quarter of the height of the original tower in Paris.

    At the top, you can see as far as Bohemia’s highest peak, Snezka in the Krkonose Mountains, 150km (100miles) to the northeast.

  • Prague Castle

    Mala Strana, Prague, Czech Republic

    Prague Castle has been the centre of the royal rule and the Bohemian government for the last 1000 years. Founded after 870, it was built on the former site of a pagan sacrificial ground. Within the castle are many attractions to explore including St Vitus’ Cathedral, The Old Royal Palace and St George’s Basilica.

    Open daily from 9am-4pm/5pm; admission free/350/250/150Kc.

  • St Vitus Cathedral

    Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic

    Although its construction began 600 years ago, the cathedral was only finished in 1929. Found within the castle walls, on the façade you will see medieval gargoyles side by side with modern socialist figures. Inside, the stained glass windows were created by some of Czech’s most gifted artists. One of the main attractions is St. Wenceslas Chapel, the walls of which are encrusted lined with precious stones.

    Open daily from 9am-4pm/5pm; admission free/350/250/150Kc.

  • The Old Royal Palace

    , Prague, Czech Republic

    The Old Royal Palace has been growing since it’s foundation in the 9th Century. The original wooden building was eventually converted into a stone Romanesque palace by Prince Sobeslav in the 12th Century.

    On the second floor is the lengthy Vladislav’s Hall, which was used in medieval times for jousting tournaments. Above is the Chancellery of Bohemia where, in 1618, two Protestants flung two Hapsburg officials through the window, triggering Europe’s Thirty Years War.

    You will find the entrance to the old palace to the right of the St Vitus’ Cathedral.

  • St. George's Basilica

    , Prague, Czech Republic

    Across the courtyard from the old palace, the basilica is one of the only remaining Romanesque churches in Central Europe. Chamber music concerts are now often held in the building. Its adjacent convent houses the National Gallery of Bohemian Art containing works from Gothic to the 18th century.

  • St Nicholas Church

    Malostranské námìstí, Malá Strana, Prague, Czech Republic

    Along with Prague Castle, this church is the other building which dominates the skyline on Malá Strana. Taking over 80 years to complete, it belongs among the leading baroque buildings in Europe and is undoubtedly one of Prague's most beautiful sights.

    Open from 9am-4.45pm; admission 50Kc.

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