The Golden City of a hundred towers

Categories: Prague Czech Republic

Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic. It is located in the west of the country on the Vltava river. The river flows through the city for 30 kilometres. It forms a large loop in the north. In the southern curve is the historical city centre of Prague with the castle mountains Hradschin and Vyserad.
Prague - View of the Charles Bridge© Taiga / Fotolia

Further south, the Vltava flows around small islands before it flows into the Elbe. With 1.2 million inhabitants, the city belongs to Central Bohemia, one of the richest regions in Europe. Prague was once founded by the Bohemian ancestral mother Libuse. Today's cityscape is characterized by a closed ensemble of Gothic and Baroque buildings, which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. With 5 million visitors per year, Prague occupies a significant position among the most visited cities in Europe.

For a long time the metropolis was considered a centre for alchemists. Prague got its nickname Golden City because of its many sandstone towers, which shimmer in the evening light in fascinating shades of colour. The striking domes of Hradcany Castle are covered in gold. The world's largest castle complex is today the seat of the government. In the middle of the impressive area of Prague is St Vitus Cathedral. Works by Rubens or Titian are on display in the castle gallery.

A tourist attraction is the hourly changing of the guard in the courtyard of honour. Prague's imposing castle complex offers sights such as the Royal Palace, St. George's Basilica and the Chapel of the Holy Cross, as well as the Belvedere and the Golden Lane, where the writer Franz Kafka lived in 1917 in house No. 22. The castle is surrounded by magnificent gardens that form a green ring in Prague.

Travellers have a beautiful view of the Hradcany from the famous Charles Bridge. One of the oldest stone bridges in Europe connects the Old Town of Prague with the Lesser Town. One of the most famous figures of the landmark is St. Nepomuk. Today the statues are replaced by replicas. The originals are in the National Museum. It is worthwhile climbing up the Old Town Bridge Tower.

Those who want to enjoy a natural view over the roofs of Prague should visit Letnà Park. Adjacent to the Royal Gardens of Prague Castle, the hill is a popular destination for locals. The most beautiful view of the Old Town is offered by the garden restaurant Praha. In the park Michael Jackson opened his European tour and Pope John Paul II celebrated a mass. An absolute must on a trip to Prague is a visit to the medieval town hall clock.

The town hall is located on the Old Town Square, the market place of the Moldavian metropolis. Against the background of the Church of St. Tyn and St. Nicholas, the Kinský Palace and the House of the Stone Bell, Prague traditionally hosts the Christmas market. In contrast, the 700-metre-long Wenceslas Square looks more like a magnificent boulevard. Not to forget the Jewish Quarter Josefov with the oldest active synagogue in the world. To explore Prague from the water, a three-hour dinner cruise is a good option.
Prague - The Prague Cathedral (St Vitus Cathedral)© Still & Motion / Fotolia

For night owls there is a guided pub crawl with a party in an international club. Well-known Czech breweries invite you to a tasting. The capital's bestsellers include wooden toys and crystal. The most famous glass manufacturer is Moser. The best shops can be found around the Golden Cross, the Old Town Market and Wenceslas Square. Prague is one of the unique film sets.

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