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Prague

Prague

 

 

 

 

Location: Prague

 

 

 

Description of Prague

Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic, as it is included in the country's Constitution, formerly the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia and Czechoslovakia. It is also the capital of the Bohemian region. Located on the banks of the Vltava River, it has approximately 1.2 million inhabitants, which makes it the most populated city in the country and the seventh in Central Europe. The metropolitan area of ​​Prague has a population of 1.9 million inhabitants. Since 1992, the historic center of the city is a World Heritage Site. Its beauty and historical heritage make it one of the twenty most visited cities in the world.

Prague has been developed since the ninth century, becoming one of the most important capitals of Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. However, in the twentieth century he suffered the two world wars and, mainly, the Nazi dictatorship. After the second war, it was within the sphere of Soviet influence. After the Velvet Revolution and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the city has adapted to the market economy. Due to its characteristics, Prague is considered a global city of «Beta + class», at the level of Rome, Athens or Berlin.

 

Travel Destinations in Prague

Hradcany and Mala Strana

Prague Castle (Prague)

Saint Vitus Cathedral (Prague)

Prague Castle Picture Gallery (Prague)

 

Old Royal Palace (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)

 

Jirske namesti

Tel. 257 531 644

Subway: Malostranska, Hradcanska

Open: 10am- 6pm

www.ngprague.cz

Golden Lane (Zlata Ulicka) (Prague)

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)

 

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)

 

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)

 

Hradcanske Square

Train: 22

Subway: Malostranska, Hradcanska

Open: 10am- 6pm Tue- Sun

Loreto (Prague)

Loreto (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)

Church of St. Nicholas (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)

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)

 

Loretanske namesti 5

Tel. 224 181 111

Train: 22

Open: public holidays

www.mzv.cz

Charles Bridge (Prague)

 

 

 

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)

Old Town Hall (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). It was added in 1364 to a former private residence of Volflin of Kamen. Old Town Hall Chapel holds a bronze table on its wall. It commemorates names of the 27 Protestant leaders who were executed by Roman Catholic Emperor Ferdinand on 21 June 1621.

Municipal House (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)

 

Kinsky Palace (Prague)

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)

Estates Theatre (Prague) Stavovske Divadlo

Estates Theatre (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

 

Church of Saint James (Prague) Kostel Sv. Jakura

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

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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