A beautiful city with an enchanting atmosphere, Prague will delight all the senses.
There are few cities worldwide that propagate an atmosphere that once experienced, will live with you forever. As the historic capital of Bohemia, Prague delivers a wonderful contrast of the old and the new, particularly in terms of architecture with well over 1000 years of styles represented. No wonder Prague ranks fifth in terms of European cities visited after London, Paris, Istanbul and Rome. Miraculously, the wars of the 20th century left little imprint on the many cultural attractions to be found in the UNESCO protected historic centre and beyond.
Highlights include the Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, St George’s Basilica, the epic Old Town Square and the Jewish Quarter. A school trip here might focus on history or the performing arts, with all kinds of music, opera, ballet and theatre being the fabric that knits the warm and welcoming people of the city together.
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Prague's most famous bridge crosses the River Vlatva and connects the Old Town with Mala Strana. Built in 1357, Charles Bridge is gothic in style and during its first few hundred years of being, was known as Stone Bridge. Its construction was commissioned by Czech King and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, hence its new name.
The bridge that used to stand in its place, Judith Bridge, collapsed after a flood in 1342 and so to increase the strength of Charles Bridge, it is reputedly said that egg yolks were mixed in with the mortar. Although, we do not know if the science of the egg yolk mix supports the idea that the bridge is stronger, Charles Bridge withstood the floods of 2002 which were the worst for 500 years, so perhaps they do work!
Hradčany Castle is supposedly the biggest medieval castle in the world; with its magnificent buildings and three courtyards, it covers an impressive 18 acres. The castle is a fantastic place to spend at least half a day exploring; the changing of the guard takes place every day at noon.hrad.cz
Close by the Castle is the Golden Lane, named so because of the Goldsmiths that lived there during the 17th century. It's an extremely popular destination for tourists because of the tiny colourful houses which are built right into the arches of the Castle walls. It is now the perfect street to complete your souvenir shopping.
St. Vitus Cathedral is in the centre of the castle and is the most important cathedral in all of the Czech republic. The oldest parts of the cathedral are from the 14th century. The Western portal and both Western towers were completed in the 19th and early 20th centuries from the original Medieval plans.
Things not to miss inside the cathedral include the stained glass windows, the silver tomb of St. John of Nepomuk, the Royal Crypt underneath the cathedral and the stunning St. Wenceslas Chapel with the relics of the saint, with walls decorated with gold and more than 1300 gems.hrad.cz
Founded by Prince Vratislav I in the 10th century, it is the best preserved Romanesque church in Prague. Inside are the tombs of Přemysl royalty, and today the acoustics make it a choice venue for classical concerts.
St George’s Convent is the oldest convent in Bohemia. It was founded in 973 BC by Prince Boleslav II and was given to the Benedictine order. The convent was abolished in 1782; part of it was converted into accommodation for Priests and the other part served as army barracks. Today it is home to the National Gallery's collection of Bohemian Baroque art.hrad.cz
At the centre of the Old Town is the Old Town Square, the main features of which are the Church of Our Lady of Tyn and the Town Hall.
The church was built in 1365 on the site of an earlier Romanesqsue church. Its main features are its 80 metre high steeples and the beautifully decorated entrance way depicting Christ's Passion. The Old Town is especially famous for its medieval and Baroque buildings and the Astronomical Clock, showing the movement of the sun, moon and the signs of the Zodiac.
The Jewish Quarter in Prague dates back to the 13th century when the Jewish community was ordered to confine themselves to one small area of Prague and were restricted from participating in certain trades. What we see today mostly dates back to the period between 1893 and 1913. You can still see the impressive Old Jewish Cemetery and six synagogues.
The Jewish Quarter is often referred to as the Jewish museum and as such requires only one ticket to see all the sights. The Old-New Synagogue is the only building which requires a separate ticket; it is the oldest preserved synagogue in central Europe and was built in the late 13th century style - all the interior furnishings are originals and it remains the main house of prayer for Jews who still live in Prague today. Many aspects of the ghetto are intact as Hitler intended it to become a museum to a vanished race. It was also the birthplace of Franz Kafka.
The Museum of Communism charts the history of Communism from 1921 to 1989 and the Velvet Revolution, but focuses on the Totalitarian regime which prevailed in Hungary from the coup that took place in February 1948 until the fall of Communism.
The theme of the museum is "Communism - the Dream, the Reality and the Nightmare." In order for visitors to understand as best as possible what life was like under the regime, guests are treated to a fully immersive experience: walk into factories, school rooms and interrogation rooms to see what they would have looked and felt like under Communism.muzeumkomunismu.cz
Terezin, located 48km North of Prague (outside the city itself), was initially set-up as a garrison town under Emperor Joseph II in the eighteenth century, before it was transformed into a ghetto and concentration camp by Hitler in the 1940's, when the Czech Republic fell under Nazi control.terezin.cz
Lidice is a memorial to the town that used to stand in its place before Nazi officials razed it to the ground on 10th June 1942, in response to the assassination of a top Nazi official. It is located 19km to the north-west of Prague and has an on-site museum as well as a multi-media exhibition.lidice-memorial.cz
Located in the Sternberg Palace, works include Picasso, Brueghel and Durer. It covers work from Baroque in Bohemia to the Art of the 20th and 21st Centuries.ngprague.cz
Originally, Villa Amerika was the summer palace of Vaclav Michna, but it is now home to a museum dedicated to the Czech Republic’s most famous composer, Antonín Dvořák. Dvořák was born near Prague, which was then part of the Austrian Empire and he became a composer of international renown influenced by Moravian and Bohemian folk music.nm.cz
The Staropramen Brewery dates back to 1869 and is the largest brewery in Prague, the second largest in the Czech Republic, and exports to 37 countries throughout the world. Take a 50 minute tour around the brewery and find out about the art of beer making and how it has changed through the ages.staropramen.com
Attracting musicians & composers for centuries, Prague makes a fantastic...
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