Posted by: RasmaSandra | August 18, 2022

Prague On the Nitava River

Prague is the capital and the largest city in the Czech Republic. It’s amazing to glance at its skyline and see all the church spires. Therefore, the city has been nicknamed the “city of a thousand spires.”

Prague Castle is located in the Hradcany neighborhood. It was formerly home to the kings of Bohemia. Today it is the official residence of the President of the Czech Republic. The castle was built as a walled fortress around 870 AD. Inside the castle walls are many popular tourist sites like St Vitus Cathedral, St George’s Basilica, the Powder Tower, the Old Royal Palace, and the Golden Lane.

Prague Castle is the largest castle complex in the world. Among the highlights is the Old Royal Palace’s main hall, the Vladislav Hall, which is so large it was used for jousting tournaments. Take a walk in the lovely Royal Garden dating back to 1534 with many old buildings, including the Ball Game Pavilion, the Royal Summer House with its singing fountain, and the Lion’s Court. To see it all, it is best to take a Prague Castle Walking Tour. At nighttime, you can enjoy the illumination of the castle.

The Roman Catholic St Vitus Cathedral is the largest and most important Christian church in the Czech Republic. It is the Seat of the Archbishop of Prague and home to the tombs of many saints and three Bohemian kings. It took over 525 years to complete the cathedral. On the exterior are impressive gargoyles. Among the interior highlights are stained glass windows that depict the Holy Trinity, a mosaic from 1370 – The Last Judgment, and the St Wenceslas Chapel with a jewel-encrusted altar of over 1,300 precious stones. Climb the cathedral’s 97-meter main tower for awesome views over Prague. Cathedral mass is held.

The impressive Charles Bridge is one of the most recognizable old bridges in Europe. Along its 621-meter span, there are 32 unique points of interest. The bridge was built in 1357. The bridge was constructed in perfect alignment with the tomb of St Vitus and the setting sun on the equinox. It is known for its fine old statues like those of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV and John of Nepomuk, the country’s most revered saint. Other highlights are the awesome views over the River Vlatava and the Gothic gates.

Wenceslas Square is the highlight of New Town. It was named after the patron saint of Bohemia, and a statue in his honor stands here. The square was created in the 14th century during the reign of Charles V as a horse market, later becoming one of the city’s most important public spaces. Celebrations and demonstrations are held here.

The National Museum is spread across many locations and has collections on various topics like archeology, anthropology, mineralogy, and zoology, as well as the arts and music. It is the oldest museum in the Czech Republic and moved to its current location in 1891.

The Clementinum, one of the largest collections of historic buildings in Europe, is home to the National Library of the Czech Republic. There are over six million books in the collection, among them every book published in the Czech Republic. Among the highlights is the Baroque Library Hall with lovely ceiling artwork, the 68-meter-tall Astronomical Tower offering fantastic views over Prague, and the Mirror Chapel. Guided tours in English are available. The Clementium is also used as a venue for classical concerts, jazz events, and festivals.

The Old Town is the historical center of Prague with its Old Town Square. Here you’ll find the Tyn Church and the Clementinum, as well as many other old churches.

The highlight is the Old Town Hall, home to the early 15th-century Astronomical Clock. Each hour as it comes to life, the 12 Apostles and other figures appear and parade in procession across the face of the clock.

The Gothic doorway takes you into the interior with its art exhibits and displays. There is a chapel dating from 1381 and an old prison. For great views, take the stairs or elevator to the top of the Old Town Hall Tower.

The Church of Our Lady is often just referred to as Tyn Church. It is recognizable by its twin 80-meter-tall spires, each supporting four smaller spires. The church was completed in the 15th century but altered many times. There are many fine tombs, the superb Gothic northern portal with its Crucifixion sculpture, early Baroque altarpiece paintings from 1649, and one of the finest 17th-century pipe organs in Europe.

Of interest is also the 11th-century Ungelt Courtyard behind the church with fine restaurants and cafes.

The National Gallery is one of the most important architectural landmarks in the city. It is home to some of the most important art collections in Europe. Most artwork is in the Veletrzni Palace, built in 1925 with 19th to 21st-century artworks. You can enjoy art from Czech artists and works by Monet and Picasso. The art forms covered are sculpture, applied arts, fashion, and photography.

Other artworks can be found in the Kinsky Palace, home to Asian art, art from the ancient world, and the Baroque collections of the gallery.

European art from the Middle Ages can be found at the Convent of St Agnes of Bohemia.

The 17th-century Stemberg Palace is home to some of the gallery’s most famous art pieces focusing on European art from the Classical era to the end of the Baroque period, including important ancient Greek and Roman pieces; 14th- to 16th-century Italian masterpieces; and 16th- to 18th-century works by artists such as El Greco, Goya, Rubens, van Dyck, Rembrandt, and van Goyen.

Dating back to the 12th century, the Strahov Monastery and Library is the second oldest monastery in Prague, It has two impressive Baroque libraries. The Philosophical Library has extraordinary furnishings and a ceiling painting by Franz Anton Maulbertsch titled Enlightenment.

The Theological Library consists of a Baroque room with an ornate painted ceiling by Siard Nosecky, a Strahov monk. There are impressive ceiling frescoes framed by detailed stucco work.

Of interest are also the cloisters with a religious art collection and treasury. There is also the Strahov Cabinet of Curiosities with displays of historical artifacts from science. Tours are available in English. You can dine and relax in the Great Monastery Restaurant.

Petrin Lookout Tower stands on a hill by the same name. It is 63.5-meters-tall and is kind of like a smaller version of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. It offers panoramic views across the city. The tower was built in 1891 for the Prague Exhibition and moved to Petrin Hill in the 1930s. It has become a major tourist attraction. You can take the 30-minute climb to the top of the hill or ride on the funicular railway before climbing the 299 steps to the top of Petrin Lookout Tower or ride the elevator to the top.

The Prague Zoo opened in 1931 and ranks among the world’s top zoological parks. Just a short distance north of the city center, the zoo is in the Troja suburbs. There are over 4,200 animals and a petting zoo with pony rides. Kids can also enjoy a large adventure playground. Among the highlights are a huge giraffe exhibit, a great salamander display, and the steamy indoor tropical jungle. Guided tours in English are available, and the zoo offers educational workshops.

The Lennon Wall has been standing since the 1980s and is a tribute to former Beatles John Lennon. This wall near the Charles Bridge has become a place for fans to demonstrate their grief and paint pictures, lyrics, and slogans attributed to Lennon. The site has become a symbol of peace and hope. There are gatherings on the anniversary of his death.

The Dancing House is Prague’s most outstanding modern architectural creation, It was built between 1992 and 1996 and designed by Frank Gehry. The building has two adjoining towers, and the structure features unique curves that make it seem like two figures dancing. One of the towers is shaped like a woman wearing a skirt. They have been nicknamed “Fred and Ginger” after the famous American dancers Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. The building houses mostly offices and a hotel. You can get great views of the city from the top-floor restaurant.

The Vysehrad Fortress literally translates to the “Upper Castle” or the “Castle on the Heights” and stands up high above the Vltava River overlooking Prague. It dates back to the 10th century. At one time, it was the royal residence of Vratislav II. It also played the role as part of the original Royal Route that kings took to be crowned, and they would stop here to pay tribute to their predecessors. This is a nice place to take a walk or have a picnic viewing the city. In the summertime, the open-air theater hosts musical and theatrical performances. Guided tours in English are available.

Kampa is a small island in the Vltava River at the Mala Strana end of Charles Bridge. You can get some of the best views of Prague from the shores of the island. As the sun sets, swans come to shore here to sleep.

At Kampa Park, you can see giant baby sculptures by famous Czech artist David Cerny. More sculptures can be seen in the Kampa Modern Art Museum, housed in a converted mill. There are amazing artworks by 20th-century European sculptors.

Na Kampe is the island’s only square and is home to a traditional Christmas Market every December. In the summer, you can see the Certovka Canal, also known as the Devil’s Stream separating the island from Lesser Town. Water wheels are the only things remaining from the many mills that were once here. You can take a boat tour on the canal to see the colorful old houses lining the shore.

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  1. Reblogged this on Calculus of Decay and commented:
    In 2003 I spent some time in Prague … incredible city

    • Thank you for reblogging. It’s appreciated.

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