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Prague

Prague

 

 

 

 

Location: Prague

 

 

 

 

Travel Destinations in Prague

Hradcany and Mala Strana

Prague Castle (Prague)

Prague Castle Aerial View

According to Guinness Book of records this the largest of the ancient castles. The most visible structure of the citadel is St. Vitus cathedral with its lookout tower that offers great view of the city. The stairwell is hard to climb however. Prague Castle also includes several museums, Royal Garden, palaces and other attractions. Presidential Guard is also changed regularly on the hourly bases.

Saint Vitus Cathedral (Prague)

Prague

Subway: Hradcanska, Malostranska

Open: Nov- Mar: 9am- 4pm Mon- Sat, 12pm- 4pm Sun

Apr- Oct: 9am- 6pm Mon- Sat, 12pm- 6pm Sun

Service: Mass 7am Mon- Sat, 8am, 9:30am, 11am Sun

www.mekapha.cz

Prague Cathedral is the seat of the archbishop of Prague. Full name is Cathedral of St. Vitus, St. Wenceslas and St. Adalbert. Initially a Romanesque rotunda on the present spot, build in 925 by Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia he also brought a holy relic from Emperor Henry I- arm of St. Vitus. It is possible, although not fully proved, that the name of Saint Vitus sounded a lot like Slavic Sun- God Svantevit thus it was chosen. In 1060 Spythinev II found a new Romanesque basilica once Prague became the seat of bishop. Present day gothic cathedral was found on November 12, 1344 once Prague’s status was raised to an archbishopric. It was intended for coronation of Bohemian king and Roman emperor Charles VI. In yearly 15th century the Great Tower was build, but  Hussite war soon brought an end to construction. Cathedral’s sculptures and dozens of pictures were destroyed. The fire in 1541 damaged building further. However it was restored. Today’s look the church acquired thanks to renovation in the middle 19th century and Rose Window that it got in 1929. Thus it took almost six centuries to finish this magnificent cathedral. The interior of the church has number of tombs of many Bohemian kings.

Prague Castle Picture Gallery (Prague)

Prague

Second Courtyard

Tel. 224 373 531

Subway: Malostranska, Hradcanska

Train: 22

Open: 10am- 6pm daily (10am- 4pm in winter months)

www.obrazarna-hradu.cz

Prague Castle Picture Gallery holds an extensive collection of art from Czech Republic as well as all of Europe.

 

 

Old Royal Palace (Prague)

Prague

Third Courtyard

Tel. 224 372 423

Subway: Malostranska, Hradcanska

Train: 22

Open: Apr- Oct: 9am- 6pm daily

Nov- Mar: 9am-4pm daily

www.hrad.cz

St. George's Basilica and Convent (Prague)

Prague

 

Prague  Prague

Jirske namesti

Tel. 257 531 644

Subway: Malostranska, Hradcanska

Open: 10am- 6pm

www.ngprague.cz

Golden Lane (Zlata Ulicka) (Prague)

Prague

Golden Lane one of the most popular and most visited parts of the Prague Castle. It is a small and narrow street with mostly one story houses built into the wall of the fortress from the Middle ages. It was hope to soldiers, goldsmiths and secretive alchemists who according to a local legend managed to create gold for their mad Emperor Rudolf II. In the 18th- 19th centuries the prestige of the street fell and it was turned into a slum for the poor. Among most famous residents of the Golden Lane is a famous writer Franz Kafka who lived in a house with a number 22 over it. Today Golden Lane houses many souvenir shops and a museum of torture. Watch the steps if you decide to go into a basement of some the the buildings. Although the exterior might look new, much of the interior is actually shaped by medieval walls. So steps might be slippery.

 

 

Royal Garden (Prague)

Prague

Subway: Malostranska, Hradcanska

Train: 22

Open: May- Oct: 10am- 6pm daily

May & Sep: 10am- 7pm

Jun & Aug: 10am- 9pm

www.hrad.cz

Sternberg Palace (Prague)

Prague

 

Prague Prague Prague

 

Hradcanske namesti 15

Tel. 233 090 542

Subway: Malostranska, Hradcanska

Train: 22 and 23

Open: 10am- 6pm Tue- Sun

www.ngprague.cz

Schwarzenberg Palace (Prague)

Prague  Prague

Hradcanske Square

Train: 22

Subway: Malostranska, Hradcanska

Open: 10am- 6pm Tue- Sun

Loreto (Prague)

Prague

 

Loretanske namesti 7

Tel. 220 516 740

Open: 9am- 12:15pm, 1pm- 4:30pm Tue- Sun

Service: 7:30am Sat, 10am, 6pm Sun

www.loreto.cz

 

Loreto is located in the eastern part of the Loreto Square (Loretanske namesti) with the church of Nativity dated to 1735- 37 and constructed by Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer. Most famous frescoes of Loreto include "Sacrifice of Jesus Christ" by Václav Reiner Vavrzhitsa in the presbytery of the church and "Birth of Christ" by Jan Jiří Gaynesha over the altar. The tower of the complex has musical bells that periodically play melodies. They were made in Amsterdam in 1683- 91. Inside the complex you can also find the hut of Holy Virgin Mary, a copy of Italian Loreto built in 1626- 27 by the architect Giovanni Battista Orsi. The hut is surrounded by a portico with seven chapels. Inside the hut is the silver altar, the walls are covered by frescoes from the 17th century.

 

Strahov Monastery (Prague)

Prague

Tel. 233 107 711

Train: 22

Open: 9am- 12pm, 12:30pm- 5pm daily

Church of Our Lady, Theological Hall, Philosophical Hall, Picture Gallery

Open: 9am- 12pm, 1pm- 5pm daily

Closed: Easter Sun, 25 Dec

www.strahovskyklaster.cz

 

Roman Catholic Strahov Monastery with the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is an integral part of Prague panorama. This beautiful Baroque church was constructed on the older medieval Romanesque basilica of the 12th century. Strahov Monastery is one of the most popular religious destinations in Prague as it contains the remains of Saint Norbert, the founder of the Premonstratensian Order. North side of the abbey courtyards is taken by a large Gothic Church of Saint Roch that was built in the early 17th century by an Italian architect Giovanni Mario Filippi. Its construction was paid by Emperor Rudolf II in gratitude for the miraculous sudden end to a devastating plague.

Strahov Monastery extensive complex is particularly notable for its Theological Hall Library created by another Italian architect Giovanni Domenico Orsi in the 18th century. The walls are covered by Baroque stucco and paintings of an artist Frantisek Christian Nosetskiy that date back to the 18th century. The ceiling painting "The History of Humanity" belongs to a painter Frantisek Antonin Maulbertsha. Another gallery is located in the inner courtyard of the Strahov Monastery. It contains a collection of Czech and European art of the Gothic and Renaissance periods.

Church of St. Nicholas (Prague)

Prague  Prague

 

Malostranske namesti

Subway: Malostranska

Tel. 257 534 215

Train: 12, 20, 22

Open: Mar- Oct: 9am- 5pm daily

Nov- Feb: 9am- 4pm

www.psalterium.cz

 

Wallenstein Palace and Garden (Prague)

Prague

 

Prague Prague

Valdstejnske namesti 4

Subway: Malostranska

Tel. 257 071 111

Train: 12, 18, 20, 22

Palace: Open: 10am- 4:30pm Sat & Sun

Garden: Open: Apr- Oct: 7:30am- 6pm Mon- Fri

10am- 6pm Sat & Sun

www.senat.cz

Cernin Palace (Prague)

Prague

Loretanske namesti 5

Tel. 224 181 111

Train: 22

Open: public holidays

www.mzv.cz

 

Charles Bridge (Prague)

Prague Charle's Bridge

Charles Bridge across Vltava river made only for pedestrians. Charles bridge replaced Judith bridge that was build in 1170, but collapsed in 1342. Its reconstruction began in 1357, July (seventh month) 9, at 5 o'clock 31 minutes with the first stone laid by king Charles VI himself. This date was specifically chosen as it represents a mathematical pyramid with the number "9" on top and 1.3.5.7.9.7.5.3.1 below. It was believed that this set of numbers is especially favorable for any undertaking including erection of the Charles Bridge. Its construction was later continued under supervision of architect Peter Parler. Its 30 statues were added later with inscriptions from the donors.

One of the statues has iron relief on its base. The material that makes this work got darker except the center due to a belief that once touched main wish will come true. Thousands of hands that touched polished the iron plate. Another remarkable statue is that of Crucifixion. It is the first statue on the bridge and stood here alone for 200 years since 1629. Hebrew letters are translated as "Holy, Holy, Holy Lord". They were added as a punishment of a Jewish man who spoke crap about Christianity. Obviously political correctness standards were different back then. He had to pay for his blasphemy with golden letters that were added here.

 

 

 

 

Staré město (The old place)

Stare Mesto is Prague’s old town. Its centre is Jan Hus square with a monument to a martyr. This historic centre of the city is most famous for its gothic- style Tyn Church, the mural- covered Storch House and famous Astronomical Clock (Orloj) added to the Old Town Hall. The last deserves attention on its own. Astronomical clock first appeared in 1410. The mechanical clock was built by by clockmaker Mikuláš of Kadaň and astronomical dial designed by Jan Šindel, professor of mathematics and astronomy at Charles University. The clock was repaired many times since then. A legend even exists that one of the clock masters Hanus was blinded by the council of the city to prevent any other city from copying the clock. It might be false, but it is certainly depicted the pride citizens of Prague put in their scientific wonder. The bottom part of the clock showing signs of the zodiac was added added in 1870. Another interesting sight in Staré město is Estate Theatre. Mozart himself performed here. His opera Don Giovanni was first played here.

 

Old Town Square

Old Town Square is situated in the historical center of Stare Mesto or Old Town of Prague. It covers 15 thousand square meters with colorful facade of houses constructed in Gothic, Rococo, Baroque and Renaissance architectural styles. Old Town Square was first mentioned in the 12th century as an ordinary small town market. It changed names repeatedly. Today it is simply known as the Old Town Square.

 

 

Old Town Hall (Prague)

Prague

Staromestske namesti 1

Tel. 724 508 584

Subway: Staromestka, Mustek

Train: 17, 18

Open: Apr- Oct: 9am- 6pm Tue- Sun

11am- 6pm Mon

 

Old Town Hall was constructed in Prague in 1338 after King John of Luxemburg ordered formation of a town council. Over next several centuries Old Town Hall was expanded with various buildings erected in Gothic and Renaissance architectural style. The most prominent part of the structure is the main tower that reaches a height of 69.5 meters (228 feet).

Municipal House (Prague)

Prague

 

Namesti Republiky 5

Tel. 222 002 101

Subway: Namesti Republiky

Train: 5, 8, 14

Gallery: Open 10am- 6pm

www.obecnidum.cz

 

Municipal House is most significant building constructed in Art Nouveau architectural style. It was erected in 1905- 11 as a cultural centre under supervision of architect Antonin Balsanek with help of Osvald Polivka.

Municipal House of Prague stands on a site of the former Royal Court palace that served as an official residence for the king between 1383 and 1485. After it was abandoned in the late medieval times it was briefly converted into a seminary and later transformed into a military college. Historic complex was demolished in the early 20th century after decades of being abandoned.

Municipal House became a logic site for the historic proclamation of the new independent state of Czechoslovakia on 28 October 1918 upon completion of World War I.

 

Church of Our Lady before Tyn (Prague)

Kostel Marky Bozi Ored Tynem

Tynska Stupartska

Tel. 6022 04 213 Subway: Staromestska, Mustek
Open: 10am- 12pm, 3- 5pm Tue- Sun

Service: 6pm Tue- Thu, 8am Sat, 9:30am, 9pm Sun

www.tyn.cz

Church of Our Lady before Tyn is a historic Christian church that dominates the complex around the Old Town Square. Its multiple steeples stand out with unique appearance. Its construction began in 1365 originally as a Roman Catholic Church, but soon it became involved in a Reformist Hussite movement in the early 15th century. The Hussite King George of Podebrady took his Ultraquist community in Church of Our Lady before Tyn. The Hussite movement was crashed in 1620 and in 1621 communion chalice of the church was melted down and made into a statue of the Madonna. Additionally Catholic armies removed letters of the slogan "Truth prevails" that hanged above the entrance. Church of Our Lady before Tyn is also famous as it is a final resting place of famous astronomer Tycho Brahe.

 

Kinsky Palace (Prague) Palac Kinskych

Staromestske namesti 12

Tel. 2248 10 758

Subway: Staromestska

Open: 10am- 6pm Tue- Sun

www.ngprague.cz

Kinsky Palace is a former aristocratic residence of Golz family that was designed by architect Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer. This beautiful Rococo building is has a white and pink facade crowned by several statues. In 1768 Kinsky Palace was bought by Stepan Kinsky, an Imperial diplomat who also gave his new residence its current name. Today Kinsky Palace is open to the public. It occasionally holds art exhibits by the National Gallery of the Czech Republic.

 

Carolinum (Prague) Karolinym

Ovocny trh 3

Tel. 2244 91 111

Subway: Mustek

Closed: to public

Carolinum is a national Czech monument and the oldest university building in Europe that is used for its original purpose to present day. Carolinum is the main building of the Charles University that was bought by Charles IV in 1348 from Jan Rotlev, manager of the Mint House. Original Gothic building was increased in the early 15th century after new Gothic wings were added. After 1620 Carolinum along with the University became the property of the Jesuits. Over next two centuries Carolinum lost much of its original Gothic architecture and acquired Baroque appearance. In 1945 the Carolinum underwent a new renovation project under supervision of architect Fragner. Two lions at the entrance of the main buildings were added about the same time period.

Estates Theatre (Prague) Stavovske Divadlo

Prague

Ovocny trh 1

Subway: Mustek

Tel. 224 902 231

www.narodni-divadlo.cz

 

Estates Theatre of Prague is a historic music hall that was constructed in 1783 by Count Nostitz. It is one of the most beautiful Neo- Classical buildings in Prague. It was the centre of the cultural life of the city. The most famous concert was performed on 29 October 1787 when Mozart's Opera Don Giovanni had its debut. Mozart himself conducted the concert. Another important concert occurred in 1834 when musical Fidlovacka was premièred. One of its songs "Where is my Home?" became an official national anthem of the Czech Republic.

Powder Gate (Prasna Brana) (Prague)

Namesti Republiku

Tel. 7240 63 723

Subway: Namesti Republiku

Trolleybus: 5, 8, 14

Open: Apr- Oct: 10am- 6pm daily

Powder Gate is a historical building on a site of much older medieval city gate that dates back to the 11th century. At the time it was one of 13 city gates of Prague. In 1475 King Vladislav II laid foundation stone to a new tower that became known simply as a New Tower. Its current name Powder Gate acquired in the 17th century as it served as a storage site for powder. Current statues date back to 1876 as original decorations were removed in 1757 during the Prussian occupation.

 

Jan Hus Monument (Prague) Pomnik Jana Husa

Staromestske namesti

Subway: Staromestska

Jan Hus Monument is a massive sculpture that dominates Old Town Square. It was constructed in 1915 during WWI as a patriotic move to commemorate death of Jan Hus, religious reformer and Czech hero. He started Hussite reform in the Catholic Church. The movement was crushed and Jan Hus was jailed. He was pronounced a heretic by the Council of Constance in 1415 and burned at the stake.

Jan Hus Monument was designed by Ladislav Saloun on a site where Jan Hus was burned alive. Sculpture consists of two groups. On is that of Jan Hus himself with Hussite soldiers who followed his cause. Another one is a group of Protestants who were exiled from Bohemia 200 years after his death. A young woman symbolizes national rebirth in a face of adversaries past or present. Present adversaries at the time of monument construction were massive casualties at the Eastern Front of the World War I.

 

Church of Saint Nicholas (Prague) Kostel Sv. Mikulase

Staromestske namesti

Tel. 2241 90 991

Subway: Staromestska

Open: 10am- 4pm daily

Service: 10am Sun

www.svmikulas.ca

Present Church of Saint Nicholas as constructed by architect Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer in 1735 as part of a Benedictine Monastery on a site of a destroyed Romanesque church of the 13th century. Today Church of Saint Nicholas is the main Hussite church of the Czech Republic.

Church of Saint Nicholas was closed in 1781 by Emperor Joseph II as it was deemed "socially useless" on behalf of the state. The interior was stripped bare from splendid decorations. During World War I Church of Saint Nicholas was used by the soldiers of the Prague's garrison. Restoration of the church began about the same time under supervision of the local colonel.

The facade of the building is decorated with statues of saints carved by sculpture Antonin Braun. The striking feature of the church interior is a magnificent crystal chandelier that was donated by the Russian Emperor Nicholas II. Today Church of Saint Nicholas is open to the public. It is commonly used for concerts and other cultural venues.

 

Church of Saint James (Prague) Kostel Sv. Jakura

Mala Stupartska

Subway: Mustek, Namesti Republiku

Tel. 2248 28 816

Open: 9:30am- 12pm, 2-4 pm Mon- Sat

Service: 6:45 am Mon- Fri, 5 pm Wed- Fri, 8 am Sat, 8:30am, 10:30am Sun

Church of Saint James is a Roman Catholic Church that once was part of a Minorite monastery, part of the Franciscan order. This religious order was invited to Prague by King Wenceslas I in 1232. However in 1689 original Gothic presbytery was destroyed by fire that some claim was in fact an arson ordered by King Louis XIV of France. It also contains the tomb of Count Vratislav of Mitrovice (18th century), one of the most beautiful Baroque tombs in Prague. Local legends claim that count was buried alive. His body is said to be found sitting during one of the reconstruction projects. Another notable feature of Church of Saint James is a mummified forearm that is over 400 years old. It is believed that this arm belonged to a thief who tried to steal jewels from the altar. Sculpture of Madonna is said to have grabbed thief's arm and didn't let him go until he was discovered by church guards. They couldn't remove man's arm so they had to chop it off. It is said that the hand was hanged at the entrance of Church of Saint James ever since.

 

 

Josefov (Jewish Quarter)

Josefov is a Historical Jewish ghetto of Prague that was originally found around 9th- 10th centuries. First Prague Jewish community came from two distinct backgrounds. One group came from the Byzantine Mepire and settled around the Old Shul near today's Spanish Synagogue. These were largely Greek speaking citizens. Another group of Jews settled around the Old New Synagogue. These Prague residents came from the Western European countries after these countries imposed harsh laws against the Jews and sometimes simply expelled them.

 

During the middle Medieval period Czech authorities along with other European countries began to impose discriminating laws against Jewish community. Many of its members were forcefully converted to Roman Catholicism. Prague government erected a wall within a city around Josefov quarters. Jews couldn't settle outside these walls and couldn't venture out after sun down. In the 16th century Jews were forced to wear a yellow circle as a sign of his or her religious and ethnic identity. Charles IV allowed Josefov Jewish Quarter to keep its own flag in 1357. The Golden Age of the Jewish ghetto is considered to be the 17th century. With 15,000 residents (approximately 30% of the entire population) this was one of the largest Jewish communities in the World. From 1597 to 1609 the Maharal (Judah Loew ben Bezalel) served as Prague’s chief rabbi. He is considered the greatest of Jewish scholars in Prague’s history as well as an endless source of various legends. Some claimed that he created Golem, monster made of clay that lived in the attic of the Old New Synagogue. His tomb is a pilgrimage site on the Old Jewish Cemetery.

 

Emperor Rudolph II eased some of the strict rules followed by another Emperor Joseph II (1741-90). In fact the Jewish Quarter is named after him due to his Enlightened views. After the revolution of 1848 Jews were given full civil rights including freedom to move to other parts of Prague. In 1850 Josefov was officially incorporate into the rest of the city. By the end of the 19th century most of Jews fled their former ghetto. Only most poorest members (about 20%) of the Jewish community stayed here and it quickly became the slum of Prague. Emperor Franz Joseph ordered demolishing of old buildings replacing them with newer better housing. Only few synagogues survived along with the Jewish cemetery.

 

Prague's Josefov- Jewish Quater  Prague's Josefov- Jewish Quater  Prague's Josefov- Jewish Quater

At the outbreak of World War II the Nazis rounded up all the Jews in Prague and sent them to concentration camps. Most of them were subsequently murdered. Jewish buildings of Josefov were turned into a "Museum of Exterminated Ethnic Group". Jewish religious and household items were gathered thus ironically creating an ethnographic collection.

 

Spanish Synagogue (Prague)

Spanish Synagogue is the largest and most decorated synagogue in Prague. It designed in a traditional Spanish- Arab (Moorish) architectural style. Small exhibition inside tells a story about Holocaust, concentration camps and a final fate of 75,000 of innocent people who perished during these tragic years.

 

Old New Synagogue (Prague)

Small and less impressive the Old New Synagogue is nevertheless the most interesting synagogue in Prague. It is the oldest surviving synagogue in Czech Republic and in all of Europe. The oldest part of the Old New Synagogue is a 13th century stone safe inside the lobby. The frontal wall was added in the 15th century.

Additionally it is rumored to be the home of the Golem. Mythical human- like monster created by the rabbi Maharal (Judah Loew ben Bezalel aka rabbi Loew) to protect Josefov from the anti- Semitic attacks.

 

Ladder to alleged Golem's hiding place

 

Maisel Synagogue (Prague)

Maisel Synagogue was constructed in the late 16th century by the Jewish Mayor Mordechai Maisel. It was reconstructed several times in the subsequent centuries. Today it holds an extensive collection dedicate to the most prominent figures of the Prague ghetto.

 

Jewish Town Hall (Prague)

Jewish Town Hall is the only building of its kind that survived outside of Israel. Clock dial on the main tower has "normal" arrows as well as "Jewish" arrows that move in the opposite direction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pinkas Synagogue (Prague)

Location: Siroka 3

Tel. 2217 11 511

Subway: Staromestska

Trolley: 17, 18 to Staromestska

Bus: 133

Open: Apr- Oct: 9am- 6pm Sun- Fri

Nov- March: 9am- 4:30pm

www.jewishmuseum.cz

Pinkas Synagogue is a historic building in the center of Josefov. It was constructed in 1479 by Rabbi (teacher) Pinkas. During archeological digs, Pinkas Synagogue revealed medieval ritualistic bath (mikva) that was used by Jews for physical and spiritual purification. Pinkas Synagogue was further increased in size by his great- nephew Aaron Meshulam Horowitz. In the 17th century women's wing was added.

Today Pinkas Synagogue is dedicated to former residents of the Jewish Quarter of Prague. Its walls are inscribed with names of more than 75,000 Czech Jews who died in Nazi concentration camps. Its backdoor leads to the Old Jewish Cemetery.

 

Old Jewish Cemetery (Stary Zidovsky Hrbitov) (Prague)

Location: Siroka 3

Tel. 2223 17 191 (bookings)

2217 11 511 (Jewish Museum)

Subway: Staromestska

Trolley: 17, 18 to Staromestska

Bus: 133

Open: Apr- Oct: 9am- 6pm Sun- Fri

Nov- March: 9am- 4:30pm Sun- Fri

Last admissions are 30 minutes before closing

Closed: Jewish holidays

Official site: www.jewishmuseum.cz

Old Jewish Cemetery  was founded in 1478 for traditional burial of Prague's Jewish. Over 100,000 residents of Josefov were buried here with 12,000 tombstones marking burial site. Due to lack of available space and difficulty with transporting bodies outside of the city many residents were literally buried on top of the other. In fact some places have 5 coffins stacked one on the other. Cemetery has small paths. Please, don’t leave these designated trails.

 

Some of the common signs on tombstones and their meanings

 

Nové město (The new place)

 

The new part of town started its construction in 14th century and presents more recent architecture. The centre of this part of town is Wenceslas Square with a statue of a king himself on horseback. The square starts at the National Museum and has many restaurants, shops, hotels, night clubs and others sights. Visiting National Museum is quiet interesting, but it is also time consuming. It is made of different sections and themes. The main building is dedicated to natural history and other parts are devoted to Czech composers, music, ethnography, archaeology and others. Nové město also has Henry Tower and beautiful Jubilee Synagogue (Jerusalem Synagogue) build from 1905 to 1906 by Wilhelm Stiassny.

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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