The capital city of the Czech Republic, Prague, is a marvel of architecture and culture. Called the “City of a Hundred Spires” and “Mother of All Cities”, Prague has so much to offer its many visitors. In the local language, Czech, it is named “Praha” – meaning “Rapids” (as in a river). In a city where old Bohemia meets the modern world, beauty is never lacking. So join me on a short tour of Prague and maybe you’ll get the appetite to visit it yourself…
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This is the Charles Bridge, the most famous historical bridge in Prague. It spans the Valtava river and is adorned with many statues of Jesus and the saints, making it a pleasure to traverse.
Prague Castle is the official residence and office of the President of the Czech Republic. Located in the Hradčany district of Prague, the castle has been a seat of power for kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman emperors, and presidents of Czechoslovakia. It is also the largest ancient castle in the world. It's open to the public between 6am and 11pm, and you can see the changing of the guard every hour. The gardens are open to the public as well and are a sight to see!
Castle and Bridge at Night
An amazing view of Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge at night.
Spanning both banks of the Valtava River, Prague is home to many bridges – some old, some new, most built in the beautiful Bohemian style that is so characteristic of the city.
Wenceslas Square is one of the main city squares and the center of business and culture in the new part of Prague. Many historical events occurred here, and it is a traditional setting for demonstrations, celebrations, and other public gatherings. Named after Saint Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia, it is part of the historic center of Prague and a World Heritage Site.
The Dancing House
The Dancing House (Nicknamed “Fred and Ginger”) houses a Dutch insurance company. This non-traditional design (to say the least) was controversial at the time because it contrasts with the Baroque, Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings of Prague. The shape is supported by 99 concrete panels, each a different shape and dimension and at the top of the building is a large twisted structure nicknamed “Medusa”.
Saint Nicholas' Cathedral
The Saint Nicholas Cathedral is a Baroque church in Prague. Built between 1704-1755, it was described as "the most impressive example of Prague Baroque" and "without a doubt the greatest Baroque church in Prague". The belfry is directly connected with the church’s massive, 70-meter-high dome. With a great panoramic view, the belfry is unlike the church and was built in the Rococo style instead.
Gothic Church of Our Lady
The Gothic Church of Our Lady in front of Týn is a dominant feature of the Old Town of Prague. It has been the main church of this part of the city since the 14th century. The church's towers are 80 meters (262ft) high and topped by four small spires.
Wallenstein Palace is the home of the Czech Senate. It was built in the Baroque style between the years 1623-1630 by Albrecht von Wallenstein. To make space for the palace, Wallenstein razed 26 houses, six gardens, and two brickworks at the site. Built to rival Prague Castle, its complex includes period gardens, the Avenue of Sculptures, stables and the large Riding School. In 1994, a film about the life of Beethoven was filmed in the gardens.
Rich in lavish gardens, Prague enjoys plenty of green spots. Some have an entry fee but most of them are free and just as mesmerizing. Letná Park is a large park on Letná hill, built on a plateau along the Valtava River.
A small ornate square in Letná Park
The Botanical Gardens
Stromovka Park was originally founded as a royal game park in 1268. It was a place where knights battled and nobles challenged each other to duels. The park features restaurants, playgrounds and a picnic area. The park also boasts many kinds of plants, ponds, streams, meadows and a variety of trees.
Stromovka Park is a great place to just sit or lie down on the grass and enjoy the sun, or contemplate life.
The Czech Republic is famous for its wide variety of beers (with their own superior and older version of Budweiser - not related to the American brand). You can relax and enjoy a cold one here, and best of all – it’s incredibly cheap!
Petrin Hill has the best views of Prague as well as several more attractions: the 14th century Hunger Wall, the Strahov Monastery, Stefanik Observatory, and a memorial for the victims of the Communist regime. It rises some 130 meters above the left bank of the Valtava River and is almost entirely covered with parks.
How about a party in a Cold War nuclear bunker? In what was a 1950s nuclear bunker, this quirky nightclub welcomes revelers through a graffiti-covered door that juts out of a hillside.
Inside the bunker
The inside of the bunker might feel claustrophobic, but it's well ventilated and has several emergency exits.
One of the most notable landmarks in Prague, the Astronomical Clock, is a marvel of medieval craftsmanship. The clock was installed in 1410, making it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest one still working. Visitors get lost in its intricate details and splendid craftsmanship.
On October 2010, the Clock's 600th anniversary was celebrated with a light show on the face of the clock tower. The video shows the tower being built, torn down, rebuilt, and peeled away to show its internal mechanisms and the famous animated figures, as well as various events in its history.
If you'd like to know where the Czech Republic is located on the world-map, have a look below.
This is just a short list of Prague's amazing sites and sights, it's truly a remarkable city.