PRAGUE – Ancient splendour and modern beauty

Image by Jan Blanicky

Prague is a jewel located in the heart of Central Europe. Since Middle Age, it has been playing an important role in the political, economic and cultural life of the region. Its epic history has led today to a majestic city, offering Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architectural beauties. So majestic and beautiful that the whole city centre, all 866 hectares of it, has been declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.

It is not a surprise then if in sunny summer’s days the Old Town gets quite crowded. But even the crowd cannot take you away from the magnificence of Prague’s bridges, hilltop castle and squares.

Strolling around, you can admire the city’s most famous spots and immerse yourself in the magic Bohemian culture, enjoying some delicious food and good beer.

The Vltava River is the soul of the city and creates picturesque panoramas with over thirty bridges and ten islands. The most famous and most visited is the medieval Charles Bridge with its Baroque statues. The Vltava embankment is an important part of Prague social life. Farmers’ and flea markets are held here. In the summer, people stroll, dance, take part in sports, and organise exhibitions, while in the winter, one of the boats anchored here is turned into a sauna.

 

UNMISSABLE SPOTS

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St Vitus Cathedral – Image by Kirk Fisher

Prague Castle – the largest ancient Castle complex in the world (according to the Guinness World Records), it was built as main residence for the Kings of Bohemia and it is still the official residence of the head of state. The complex is the most visited attraction in Prague and the most important national monument in Czech Republic. Within its walls lies an impressive collection of historic buildings, museums and galleries, home to some of the Czech Republic’s greatest artistic and cultural treasures. The most famous and recognisable building is St. Vitus Cathedral, the spiritual symbol of Czech Republic. Visitors can climb the Great South Tower (287 narrow, winding steps) and enjoy spectacular views over the city and the river.

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Image by USA-Reiseblogger

Astronomical Clock – Located on one side of the Old Town Hall Tower, this clock is one of a kind. Do not miss the opportunity to see it at work and fully appreciate its intricate structure. Join the crowd in front of the tower which every hour wait patiently to watch the procession of the Twelve Apostles: on the hour, a little trap door opens and Christ marches out ahead of his disciples, while the skeleton of death tolls the bell to a statue of a defiant Turk.

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Charles Bridge – Image by Caro Sodar

Charles Bridge – it is the oldest and more magnificent bridge in Prague, recognised as National Cultural Monument. Until 1841 it was the only bridge over the Vltava River in Prague, connecting the 2 sides of the city. Its beauty is due to the impressive Gothic towers on both ends and the 30 baroque statues of 30 different saints, symbolising the importance of art and religion for Prague people. When visiting the Bridge, look for St. John of Nepomuk’s statue, one of the most important saints in Czech Republic, and touch it while making a wish. The locals believe that it will bring you luck.

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Dancing House – Image by Norbert Pietsch

Dancing House – also known as Fred & Ginger, is one of the most significant landmarks and symbol of modern architecture in Prague. It is a highly original building inspired by the two famous dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. It consists of two parts, static and dynamic, which symbolize the transition of Czechoslovakia from the communist regime to the democracy. It is home to a restaurant, a gallery, and a conference centre. Most importantly, there is a sightseeing terrace on top of it, from which you can overlook the breath-taking panorama of Prague.

UNIQUE SIGHTSEEING

Petrin Hill – one of the favourite spots in Prague is the Petrin Hill with its lookout tower. Take the funicular until the top of the hill and admire the Hunger Wall, part of the medieval fortification. Then stroll around the park and visit some of the attractions, including the observatory and a hall of mirrors. And finally climb the tower: built as part of the Jubilee Exhibition in 1891, it is 63.5 metres high, and has got 299 steps to the top (same altitude as the Eiffel Tower). The view is simply amazing, overlooking the whole city and on a clear day nearly all of Bohemia.

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Image by Avinash Bhat – http://www.flickr.comhttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Visit to Glass Museum – Czech Republic is famous for its glasswork tradition and Bohemian crystal is one of the most finest and demanded crystals in the world. Just a short ride from Prague, in the lovely town of Karlovy Vary, you can visit the Moser Glass Factory and Museum. Discover the 160-year history of the Moser Glassworks and the traditional crafting processes. Watch the experienced glassmakers while they give shape to beautiful crystal objects.

Black Light Theatre – this form of theatre has become very popular in the last 50 years in Prague. The use of black curtains, a darkened stage, and “black lighting” (UV light), paired with fluorescent costumes, creates unique visual illusions. It is a visually rich presentation, very different from any other form of theatre that will take you to a magic world. Book a performance during your stay in Prague and you will not regret it!

FOOD & DRINKS

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Image by Freevarna

The traditional Czech cuisine is typical from Central Europe, and it shares most of it with other countries like Austria or Hungary – the goulash and the schnitzel for example. But we want to suggest some delicious dishes that are typical of Czech Republic and are must-tries if you are visiting Prague. The Kulajda is a creamy potato soup with mushrooms, dill, vinegar and a poached egg on top, usually served in generous portions. But something you have to absolutely try is the carp. Imported from China in the Middle Age, it now represents 9 out of 10 fish farmed in the Czech Republic. Marinated, fried or carp schnitzel with potato salad (classic Christmas Eve dish)…they cook it in so many different ways that you will not know what to try first!

 

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