The city of Prague is one of the nicest cities in the world. Prague is said to be the city lying right in the heart of Europe. Others call it “hundred-towered Prague”. Prague is the capital and the largest city in the Czech Republic, which is situated in the middle of Bohemia on the longest Czech river, the Vltava. It´s interesting to know that Prague is the seat of the president, parliament and the government. Prague has been the centre of culture, and education, and has also been an important business and financial center. It´s interesting to say that Prague has the biggest stadium in the world, Strahov Stadium.
It´s necessary to say that Prague is a city with a rich history. The first settlement of this area was in the Early Paleolithic Age. The first notes about Prague come from the 5th century. The first kings, who built their throne here were the Premyslids in the end of the 9th century. They had their throne on Vysehrad, which is the oldest part of Prague. Later, the Premyslids built a new fortress, the Prague Castle.
In the Middle Ages it was a big important city. Prague´s most important period of development was the reign of Charles IV. He invited famous architects who founded a lot of buildings like Charles Bridge, and the New Town with Horse Market. Charles University was founded by Charles IV in 1348. The reign of Rudolf II. was also very important. Prague became the centre of his empire and one of the most important cities in Europe. Rudolf II. was also famous for having big painting collections which we can see today in Rudolph´s gallery in Prague castle. In 1618 the Czech estates rose up against the Hapsburgs and Friedrich of the Palatinate was elected king. The insurance was defeated however and Friedrich ran away from the country. For our country, it was the most difficult period of history, because our language as well as the culture declined. It was the time of Germanization. In the 19th century, Prague became a center of the Czech National Revival. It was the time when the official language was German and Czech was used only in the countryside. Czech people wanted to have their own theatre where Czech operas, dramas, and plays could be performed. People collected money and built the National theatre. The National theatre stands on the Vltava embankment. It was opened in 1881, but it caught fire and it was opened again two years later. In 1918, Prague became the capital of Czechoslovakia and the seat of the first President – T. G. Masaryk. Since 1993, Prague has been the capital of the Czech Republic.
Prague is famous for having a lot of historic sites, which are worth visiting. Above all, the historical centre is visited by many tourists.
The historical quarters which are the oldest and most important are the Old Town, Hradčany with Prague Castle, Lesser Town, Josefov with the Jewish quarter, and Vysehrad.
It´s necessary to say that the best place to start our trip in Prague is the Powder gate. It was founded in 1475 and it is the first gate of the Old Town´s fortification. Next to the Powder Gate is the Common house. It was built in the secession style and now it is used as a representation place for many meetings or exhibitions. Opposite the Powder Tower and the Common House there is the Palace of Hyberns where the exhibition hall is.
From this place you can go through Celetna Street, which is named from the pastry that was baked there, to the Old Town square.
The Old town is visited by tourists for its narrow crooked streets where a lot of historical sites are situated. The Old Town square is the most frequently visited place in Prague where a large number of monuments are worth seeing. It is dominated by the monument to Master Jan Hus and Old Town Hall. At the edge of the square, there is the other dominant of the Old Town Square, the Týnský Church where Tico de Brahe was buried. The bell house is situated next to the Tynsky Church. The Old Town Hall was built by John of Luxembourg in 1338. It was built in the Gothic style. The Old Town Hall is famous for having the Astronomical clock with twelve apostles going around beyond two little windows every hour. The Horologe was created by Mikolaš from Kadaň and was rebuilt by the clockmaker master Hanus. Later he had his eyes taken out. Under the horologe, there is the calendarium which was built by Josef Manes in 1865. The Old Town Hall has witnessed a lot of historical occasions. It was here when George of Podebrady was elected King of Bohemia. On the east facade of the temple, a mosaic commemorates the tragic execution in 1621 of 27 Czech noblemen, knights and brothers. Also on the square worth seeing is the Kinsky Palace with a beautiful baroque facade and renaissance vaults inside, and St. Nicolas Church.
The Old Town Square is famous for having typical medieval streets. It is narrow and crooked. From here we can go through beautiful streets like Michalska, Jílska, and also along other to the Charles Bridge. Charles Bridge was built by Charles IV when Judita´s Bridge was torn down by a flood. On both sides of the bridge there are arranged statues which were built by M. Braun and J. Brokoff. Charles Bridge has two towers. Lesser Quarter´s tower was founded in about 1180, and the Old Town´s tower is younger, it was founded in about 1380.
After crossing Charles Bridge, we are in Lesser Town. Lesser Town was founded by Premysl Otakar II. In this town, there is the famous Nerudova Street which is famous for having beautiful baroque palaces like U dvou sulcu” or “U tri houslicek”. The Lesser Town is a poetic quarter with very nice streets, stylish taverns and the most charming place in Prague, the famous area of Kampa along the Vltava River. Many people go there for walking. We known many legends about non-human creatures from Kampa. In the Lesser Town Square, there is St. Nicholas Church. It is the most important high-baroque church in Prague. It was founded by K. Diezenthofer. From the square, we can easily get to Charles Bridge over the river of Vltava. It´s a favorite place for walks and tourist attractions. Walking along the river, we come to Vyšehrad, once the seat of Czech Princes. The oldest construction on Vyšehrad and in Prague is the Rotunda of St. Martin built in the 11th century.
I was pleased at seeing Prague castle. Prague Castle is situated above the Lesser Town and it is a part of Hradčany. It was built as a fortress in the 9th century and later it became the seat of Czech kings. In the 14th century, Charles IV rebuilt the castle. In the second half of the 18th century, Maria Theresia ordered the completion of the castle. Since 1918 it has become the residence of our presidents. Prague Castle has a few gates. The changing of the guards takes place in front of the main gate of the castle every day. Opposite the main gate, there is the statue of the first Czechoslovak president, T. G. Masaryk. At the castle you can visit the Golden Lane. Several centuries ago, royal alchemists lived and worked in the little houses of this narrow lane. They tried to make gold but they never succeeded. Another place which is good for visiting in the Prague Castle is the Old Royal Palace which is famous for having Vladislav Hall. In the Middle Ages it was the largest hall in Prague. Here, many ceremonies such as the coronation of the king took place. Now, in this hall, Czech presidents are elected every five years. The dominant of the castle is St. Vitus cathedral, which stands near the Castle. I was shocked at seeing it, because it is very large and beautiful. Charles IV started building it in 1344. The building lasted 6 centuries and was finished in the 20´s of this century. The cathedral is in the Gothic style.
The district of Hradčany, which is situated on the same hill next to the castle, is famous for having some of the best-preserved historical monuments. You can find there the Renaissance Schwartzenberg Palace, which houses the collection of military antiques, and the Archbishop´s Palace. In Hradčany, there is also the famous Loretanske square with the Loreta and Černin Palace. Loreta is the work of the brothers Diezenthofer and it is famous for its chime which plays every hour. Cernin palace is the seat of the ministry.
The South and the West of the Old Town and the New Town were founded by Charles IV in 1348. They are the business and commercial centers. The heart of this district is Wenceslas Square. The Neo-Renaissance National Museum is worth seeing in this square. It is situated on a hill. Just below the museum is the famous statue of St. Wenceslas on a horse. He is the patron saint of the Czech lands.
The Royal Route is a famous way through Prague. The route was used by Czech kings for the occasion of their coronations. The way begins at the Powder Tower. The way continues through Celetná Street, which named by bakers, crosses the Old Town Square and Charles Bridge, which perhaps symbolize Prague, and along Nerudova Street to Prague Castle.
Prague is a very famous city in Europe and it is a place to visit. Prague is really the mother of cities. I visit Prague often but I never forgot our trip to Prague because it was unique. We were at a lot of interesting places like The Old Town Square, Prague Castle, Golden Lane, and Charles Bridge. We experience a lot of fun and I look forward to the next trip.
If I were to say which place I like the most in Prague, then it would be a very hard task. I think a lot of places in Prague are very beautiful and interesting. The narrow, crooked streets in the Old Town have their unforgettable charm, or the beautiful little houses where the alchemists lived in the Golden lane is also of interest. Somebody likes to visit the sights and they often visit them and prefer them to such as walking the beautiful streets with stylish taverns or walking or doing sports in parks like Petřin or Stromovka.
However, for me the place which I like the most in Prague is the famous island, Kampa. It is situated along the river Vltava and it is separated by Certovka. We know many legends about non-human creatures from this island. I like go there for walking and from Kampa there is a beautiful view of Vltava´s weirs. Although it is very expensive, sometimes I have something small to eat in these beautiful restaurants.