European Quartet One Melody

 
Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic has been dubbed the ‘city of a hundred spires’, and praised as ‘magical’ or ‘golden’ Prague for its beauty. It boasts many magnificent Gothic and Baroque churches, a preserved Jewish town, unique Art Nouveau style buildings, functionalism and also Cubism. Prague has so many faces that everyone can find precisely the one for them.
Prague castleCharles bridgeSt. Vitus cathedral
PragueAstronomical clockDancing House

Prague is not however merely a superb open air museum, but also a lively centre of modern architecture. You will, for example, find the famous Dancing House here, designed by the architects, Vlado Milunić and Frank O. Gehry as well as many distinct art centres converted from old factory buildings. The unique thing about Prague is how well preserved its historical centre is – a walk through the romantic corners here thus becomes a journey through history.
 
Prague’s picturesque appearance is in part due to its location on the banks of the River Vltava, which is crossed by fourteen large bridges. The most famous and oldest of these is the Charles Bridge built in 1357 and named after the Czech king and Roman Emperor, Charles IV. If you walk along the most famous tourist trail through the centre of Prague, the so-called Royal Way, you cannot miss it. It offers a beautiful view of Prague Castle with the dominant Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral and also of Petřín Hill, which is a popular place for romantic walks.
 
The famous Royal Way starts on the picturesque Old Town Square, lined with Gothic and Renaissance houses. The square boasts the Gothic Old Town Hall with one of the most famous astronomical clocks in the world. This dates back to the beginning of the 15th century and crowds of people gather in front of it every hour, on the hour to see the 12 apostles peering out of the little windows, as well as the moving figures of Vanity, Greed, Death and a Turk.
According to legend, the astronomical clock was created by the master craftsman Hanuš who was blinded immediately afterwards so that he could not build an astronomical clock as beautiful as this anywhere else in the world. The master craftsman did however get his revenge on his lords by stopping the clock with one intervention and allegedly nobody was able to repair it for a hundred years. But there is no need for you to worry, the astronomical clock has been working like clockwork for decades now and is the only one in the world so far to also measure Babylonian time – the ideal variable for those stressed by the traditional sixty minute hour. According to the ancient Babylonians, although time does have two times 12 hours in the day, these are fitted in from sunrise until sunset, and this is why a Babylonian hour in summer could for example correspond to 81 minutes of a present-day European inhabitant’s time.
 
You will find many similar myths and legends every step of the way in Prague, and this is why it is no surprise that this city has inspired such writers as Franz Kafka or Gustav Meyrink. His novel, Golem, about an animated clay giant is set in the area around the mysterious Old Jewish Cemetery which you can visit to this very day and place a small note with your wish. It is said that it will come true. From the Old Town Square, follow the Royal Way over the Charles Bridge to the Lesser Town, where you can cross the Lesser Town Square with the monumental Baroque Church of St. Nicholas and follow picturesque lanes right up to Prague Castle. In Prague Castle complex, you will find the tombs of Czech kings and the precious Czech crown jewels. The historical centre of Prague including Prague Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
 
Prague has been the cradle of Czech, German and Jewish culture since time immemorial. But World War II interrupted this symbiosis, and the forty post-war years under communism isolated the whole country from global development. Over its twenty years of democracy however, Prague has become a modern city with several cultural and sporting events. You will find top class galleries of old and modern art here, many designer shops and shopping centres as well as first class restaurants. Two of them even boast a culinary Oscar, a Michelin star. These are the Allegro restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel and the Maze restaurant which is housed in the Hilton Prague Old Town hotel.
 
Wenceslas Square has become a shopping artery and popular “city promenade”, a place where horses used to be sold in times long past. The nearby Národní třída was the scene of the so-called Velvet Revolution in 1989, when students and members of the public led by Václav Havel achieved the fall of the communist regime through their protest. Their bravery is commemorated by the monument on Národní třída. The Czech Republic has been a free and democratic country since 1989.
 
Points of Interest
We recommend lovers of gastronomy and modern architecture take an evening cruise along the Vltava with a superb dinner and views of some gems of modern architecture in Prague, which include the Dancing House, also nicknamed Ginger and Fred, which was designed by the architects Vlado Milunić and Frank O. Gehry. You can also see the ancient Vyšehrad from the boat, shrouded in many legends and below this, Cubist houses designed by the architect, Josef Gočár.
 

Czech Republic

Prague: Location

GPS latitude/longitude: |50.0853 , |14.4140

 

European Quartet Countries

PolskaCzech republicSlovakiaHungaryEuropean Quartet Map 
 
Discover Central Europe
Watch our Channel on
 

Newsletter

Would you like to receive news?
 

 
 
Copyright © 2010 CzechTourism | Created by: Sprinx System