Capital of Czech Republic
Prague the Imperial City

The Capital of Czech Republic, Prague or Praha is one of the Top Tourists Destinations nowadays.  With more than 1.2 million inhabitants is famous for its culture, sophistication, nightlife and …shopping.

It is the diamond on the crown of Czech Republic Tourism.

Beautiful image of Prague the Czech Republic Capital

Beautiful image of Prague the Czech Republic Capital

A city that compares to the Great European Capitals

We visited Prague in 1990 and it was still a grey city with grey people, just getting used to the fact that communism was over.

I remember then saying that this is an extraordinary city with an incredible architecture. We went back several times to discover a city that can compare with Paris, Berlin or any of the European Capitals.

Prague has been for many centuries the heart of the Czech Republic and for many years the Capital of Czechoslovakia until the country was divided into Czech Republic and Slovakia.

There are many landmarks in the Capital of Czech Republic, that I will describe shortly among them monuments, cathedrals, palaces and museum, most of them designated by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.

The Prague Castle has seen Emperors, Kings Queens and Presidents

The Prague Castle has seen Emperors, Kings Queens and Presidents

Capital of Czech Republic

Prague Castle

Prague Castle in Czech Pražský Hrad has been the residence and working offices of Czech rulers for centuries. It is the largest of the ancient castles of the world occupying and area of about 70,000 m²,

The history of Prague Castle dates back to the 9th Century when the first Bohemian Convent was founded in the castle, then the Basilicas of St Vitus and St George were founded by Vratislav son of Wenceslas in the 10th Century.  The Gothic Church was completed six centuries later.

It has been the residence of Holy Roman Emperors, Kings, Queens and Presidents. This huge complex is made of at least eighteen buildings of palaces, churches, halls and towers as well as eight gardens. When visiting Prague Castle make sure you allow enough time to this important site.

The National Museum

The National museum  in Czech  Národní museum, dates back to 1796 when it was founded by Kašpar Maria Šternberg and Historian František Palacký, and founded officially on April 15, 1818.

It houses at least 14 million items in the area of history, natural history anrts and music in tens of buildings with the purpose of the “the renewed promotion of art and taste”.

The facility located on Wenceslas Square is one of the best in Europe and shouldn’t be missed when visiting Prague.

For more information go to Prague Welcome

The Astronomical Clock in Downtown Prague is an amusement for all

The Astronomical Clock in Downtown Prague is
an amusement for all

Capital of Czech Republic

Astronomical Clock

The Astronomical Clock in Czech Pražský Orloj, in downtown Prague was originally installed in 1410 and is the only one in the world still working. The clock mechanism itself is composed of three main components: the astronomical dial, representing the position of the Sun and Moon in the sky and displaying various astronomical details like "The Walk of the Apostles", “The figure of Death and a calendar dial with medallions representing the months.

When you see it you’ll feel like a child with a new toy. There are so many characters, details and parts that will keep you busy looking for a while.

The Mucha Museum

This important museum in the Czech Republic Capital, houses the art of Alfons Maria Mucha (1860-1939) among them posters, paintings and other memorabilia. It houses some of the artist’s Paris studio pieces among them the “Trouserless Gaugin” playing the harmonium, as well as the 1894 poster of actress Sarah Bernhardt as Giselda, which shot him to international fame. For a glimpse of pure Prague culture, visit the amazing Mucha Museum.

Capital of Czech Republic

Wenceslas Square the most famous of Prague's squares

Wenceslas Square the most famous of Prague's squares

Wenceslas Square

Wenceslas Square in Czech Václavské Náměstí  is the main Square in Prague and the center of business and culture in the newer part of town. It is the traditional setting for demonstrations and meetings. Named after St Wenceslas the patron of Bohemia has seen many historic events including violent protests, especially during the Communism years.

It is called a square but it is actually a boulevard occupying a total area of 45,000 m² in the form of a rectangle. At the end you can’t miss the neoclassical building of the Czech National Museum.

The Lennon Wall

Originally a regular plain wall, since 1980 when John Lennon was murdered, the wall has become a monument to him with lots of graffiti and lyrics of John’s songs

In 1988 still during the communist regime of Gustáv Husák, young Czechs would write grievances on the wall and in a report of the time this led to a clash between hundreds of students and security police on the nearby Charles Bridge.

The wall continuously undergoes change and the original portrait of Lennon is long lost under layers of new paint. Even when the wall was repainted by some authorities, on the second day it was again full of poems and flowers. Today, the wall represents a symbol of youth ideals such as love and peace. It is located atGrand Priory Square or  Velkopřevorské.

Capital of Czech Republic

Charles Bridge one of the icons of the Capital of Czech Republic

Charles Bridge one of the icons of the Capital of Czech Republic

Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge in Czech: Karlův Most is a historic bridge that crosses the Vltava River in the middle of the Capita of Czech Republic.

The building started in 1357 under auspices of King Charles IV and finished during the 15th century. It is a stone bridge that replaced the older wooden one. It is a 621 meters long by 10 meters wide structure protected by three bridge towers, two on the Lesser Quarter side and one in the Old Town side.

Today it is mostly a pedestrian way full of stands with souvenirs for the delight of the tourists.

Petrin Hill and Tower

This tower was built originally as a mini version of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It is just 60 meters tall but you have to add to that the height of the hill it is built on which is 318 meters.

If you climb the 300 steps of the stairs leading to the top of the tower you’ll get the best reward as an incredibly beautiful view of the City of Prague.

Surrounded by gardens it can be reached by cable car which is part of the Bus and Metro system of the city. It leaves from Ujezd street in the Lower Town called Malá Strana.


The Old New Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Prague

The Old New Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Prague

Old New Synagogue in the Capital of Czech Republic

The Old New Synagogue in Czech Staronová Synagóga or in German Alt Neu Schu located in the Jewish Quarter of Prague is Europe's oldest active synagogue and one of the earliest Gothic buildings. It is still active today. We not only visited there for Shabbat, we also had lunch there.

Completed in 1270 in the Gothic style, the Old New Synagogue was one of Prague's first Gothic buildings. The older one was demolished in 1867 and gave way to the new one thus the name of Old New Synagogue.

According to legend, angels brought stones from King Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem to build the synagogue, and those same angels still protect the synagogue.

Famous author Franz Kafka had his Bar Mitzvah held in this Synagogue and he attended its services when living in Prague. The only time it was not used as a synagogue was during the Nazi occupation 1941-1945.

The historical fort of Vyšehrad Castle over the Vltava River in Prague

The historical fort of Vyšehrad Castle over the Vltava River in Prague

Vyšehrad Castle

It is a historical fort in the Capital of Czech Republic. It dates to the 10th century and is located on ahill over the Vltava River that crosses the city of Prague.

Located withing the castle is the Vyšehrad Cemetery and the Basilica of St Peter and St Paul. The cemetery contains the remains of famous Czechs among them Antonín Dvořák, Karel Čapek,  Alphonse Mucha and Bedřich Smetana,. It also contains Prague's oldest surviving building, the Rotunda of St Martin from the 11th century.

Legend says that this was the first settlement that gave way to the City of Prague. I recommend a visit to this castle.

The ultra modern building of the Dancing House in Prague

The ultra modern building of the Dancing House in Prague

Dancing House

Used to so many ancient sites in Prague, this one is a new one. Designed in 1992 and completed in 1996. I was designed by the cooperation of Canadian Architect Frank Gehry and the Croatian-Czech Architect Vlado Milunić.

The Dancing House in Czech Tančící dům is nicknamed the Fred and Ginger Hall for the famous Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

Te modern design was shock to all in the beginning because it stands next to all Gothic, Baroque and Art Nouveau structures. It was supported by the then President the very admired Václav Havel, hoping that the building would become a center of cultural activity.

image credits for the Capital of Czech Republic

view by estec
castle by diligent
clock by alvanbeem
wenceslas by peter schelik
chales by pedfro szekely
syngogue by jorge rayon
dancin house by pedro szekely
vysehrad by miaow miaow

all courtesy of wikimedia commons

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