Prague – Lovely Compact City
Many will describe Prague as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. As the historic heart of Czech Republic, Prague is a well-preserved, vibrant city with stunning sites and architecture that visitors can fall in love with.
The city centre of Prague is divided into five areas, on two sides of the Vltava River with Charles Bridge as the main pedestrian connection between the two. Originally a wooden structure it got washed away during a bad flood and was replaced by a stronger stone structure. This glorious bridge spans 16 arches and is lined with 30 Baroque statues of religious figures. In the afternoons you will see painters, performers and vendors line along the entire length of the bridge. To miss the insane crowds walking on this bridge everyday, ensure to take a walk later at night or early in the morning for sunrise and see the amazing views of the surrounding area including the view of the Prague Castle.
Dominating the city’s skyline is Prague Castle, which is the largest ancient castle in the world. The complex roughly the size of seven football fields, includes churches, gardens, statues, ornate gates, courtyards, alleyways and royal residences. Don’t miss the dominating St. Vitus Cathedral. The beautiful Gothic architecture will capture your attention. Massive pillars and beautiful, large stained glass windows allowing natural light in make the inside look majestic. The chancel, built by Peter Parler, is also one of the highlights of the St. Vitus Cathedral. In the cathedral you will also find the tombs of saints, kings, princes and archbishops, the most important of which are the resting places of St. John of Nepomuk and King Charles IV. You can conclude your visit to the cathedral tower balcony offering amazing panoramic views of the surroundings. Next, within the walls of the castle is a cobble stoned street called Golden Lane which was home to servants, smiths and soldiers. It is neatly lined with gift shops, antique shops worth seeing. Other highlights within the complex include the Old Royal Palace, one of the original buildings in the entire complex with excellent historic and architectural displays and the Lobkowicz Palace, home to one of the biggest collections of artwork in Europe and a host of classical concerts.
From here, you can continue to walk onto the other side of the river into one of the busiest parts of the Old Town, the Old Town Square. This area is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Prague with buildings dating back to the thirteenth century, you can easily spend a day going through this area, it’s narrow cobble stoned streets and admiring the architecture. The square used to be one of the favorite market places and now it is filled with terraces, restaurants, cafes, shops, galleries and vendors. Historical buildings and magnificent churches such as the Rococo Kinsky Palace, the Gothic Tyn Cathedral and the Baroque St. Nicholas Church make the area one of the most beautiful in the world. You can also find musicians, protesters, dancers putting on shows to entertain the visitors.
The most famous building at the Old Town Square is the Old Town City Hall, built in the 14th century. Its Gothic tower, built in 1364, is one of the most recognizable buildings in Prague. The tower is famous for its magnificent astronomical clock, built in 1410. Gather around the clock on any hour and you will witness a show and procession of the apostles. Next make sure to buy a ticket and climb the Old Town Hall Tower for a stunning 360 degree view over the square and the city.
Another attraction, is the Petrin Hill which is one of Prague’s greenest spaces comprised of gardens, a tower, as well as the Church of St. Michael, a 17th century wooden building relocated here from a village in the Ukraine. The Petrin Lookout Tower is a 63.5 meter high steel tower with two observation areas with amazing views of the city. You can combine a trip here with a visit to the Strahov Monastery/library as you walk through the park. Strahov Monastery is a large, impressive building located at the back of Petrin Hill and Prague Castle. It’s library over 800 years old is one of its most important features and has one of the oldest monastic collections in the country. This surrounding area here offers a calm serene environment.
Continuing on, walk around Wenceslas Square which is the commercial, business and cultural centre of the city. The square was called the Horse Market, as it was intended for trading horses, now it is a popular area with many hotels, shops and restaurants around the square. The long, pedestrian friendly square leads towards the National Museum, which is one of Prague’s most iconic buildings built in 1890 and its dome dominates the surroundings. In front of the museum stands an equestrian statue of Saint Wenceslas.
Visiting this city is a must for people planning a trip to this area. The historic small capital city will provide you with some of the best attractions and sites along with great food and the famous Czech beer.
For more pictures of Prague and other destinations visit http://payammontazami.tumblr.com/