Prague represents a unique collection of historical monuments dominated by Prague Castle which towers high above the city. The historical core of the city is situated on both banks of the Vltava river and consists of 6 parts - formerly independent urban units unified in the 18th century. They are as follows: Staré Město (Old Town), Josefov (the preserved part of the former Jewish Town - today part of the Old Town), Nové Město (New Town), Malá Strana (Lesser Town), Hradčany and Vyšehrad. Naturally, most of the historical monuments, museums and galleries are concentrated there. The most valuable part of the city’s centre was declared the Prague Heritage Reserve in 1981, which was included in UNESCO’s world cultural heritage list in 1992.
Prague is the political, administrative, economic and cultural centre of the Czech Republic. It has about 1,2 million of permanent residents. Population density per sq kilometre is 2,342. While acccounting for one tenth of the whole country´s population, the capital city generates one fifth of the gross domestic product of the whole country. The capital has the country's lowest unemployment and highest average income.
Interesting places to visit:
Prague Castle (Pražský hrad)
A castle was built in the 9th century. In the 14th century, during the rule of Charles IV, it was rebuilt in the Gothic style. The Castle is today the seat of the President of the Czech Republic and it serves as the historical and political centre of both the city and state.
St. Vitus Cathedral (Katedrála sv.Víta)
The Gothic cathedral is the spiritual symbol of the Czech state. It was founded in the late 9th century by John of Luxembourg and his two sons. It took nearly six centuries to build. The final stage of construction was completed only in the period between 1873 and 1929. There are underground tombs in the cathedral of Czech kings.
Golden Lane (Zlatá ulička)
Small houses built in the gothic fortification, the homes of 16th century castle riflemen and craftsmen. Between 1916 - 1917, Franz Kafka lived in No. 22.
This former place of pilgrimage with a copy of Santa Casa was built in 1626-31. The tower contains 27 Loreto bells which play a Marian song We Greet You a Thousand Times. The most valuable item of the liturgical treasury is the so-called Prague Sun, a monstrance weighing over 12 kg and embellished with 6,222 diamonds.
Petrin Lookout Tower (Petřínská rozhledna)
A reduced copy of the Eiffel Tower (60 m high) built in 1891 on the occasion of the 1891 Jubilee Exhibition. 299 steps lead up to the top platform.
Charles Bridge (Karlův most)
Started in 1357 by Master Otto and completed by Petr Parler, this is the oldest bridge in Prague. Its statues and sculptural groups date mostly from the 18th century. The most well-known are the works of Matthias Braun and Ferdinand Maxmilian Brokoff. The bridge is 515 metres long and 10 metres wide.
Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí)
Dating from the 12th century, the square has witnessed many a significant event. Beside the Old Town Hall and the Church of Our Lady before Tyn, the square has several other dominants - the baroque St. Nicholas church and the Master Jan Hus Memorial. The square witnessed the execution of 27 Czech noblemen on 21 June, 1621 - in memory of that event, 27 crosses are marked in the pavement.
The Old Town Hall with the Astronomical Clock (Orloj)
The Town Hall was founded in 1338. In 1364, the tower was joined to a chapel. The clock dates from the beginning of the 15th century; on the hour, a procession of the Twelve Apostles appears the window in the upper part. In the lower part, there are 12 medallions with the signs of the zodiac.
Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí)
Prague's centre of commerce. The upper part of the square is dominated by a statue of the main patron saint of the Czech lands, St. Wenceslas and four other Czech patron saints (St. Prokop, St. Adalbert, St. Ludmila and St. Agnes) by Josef Vaclav Myslbek. Erected in 1912.
The National Theatre (Národní divadlo)
A neo-Renaissance building of 1868-81, built to plans of J. Zitek. A fire destroyed much of the building in its first year of existence. It was rebuilt by architect Josef Schulz in 1883 and underwent a thorough renovation a hundred years later. The authors of both exterior and interior decorations are artists of the so-called National Theatre generation: M. Ales, F. Zenisek, V. Hynais, J. V. Myslbek, and others. The National Theatre is a major Czech stage and its repertoire includes drama, opera and ballet.
The ancient seat of the Premyslide princes built on a rock over the river Vltava. The oldest building there is the rotunda of St. Martin. The main landmark of Vysehrad is the St. Peter and Paul cathedral. In its vicinity, there is a residence for canons, casemates, a park, and a cemetery called Slavin with tombs of famous personalities of Czech culture. The Southern part of the fortifications offers a beautiful view of Prague. Vysehrad is open to public round the clock.
The Story of Prague Castle (April 2004)
People, events, art, crafts and architecture in the course of a millennium
new permanent exhibition in the Old Royal Palace presenting the importance and the historical development of this unique monument
Organizer: Sprava Prazskeho hradu, Praha 1 - Hrad, tel. 224 373 145, http://www.hrad.cz
Czech Songs & Dance Ensemble (11. 4. - 31. 10. 2004)
Folklor show at Pyramida hotel; every evening except Sundays
Organizer:Cesky soubor pisni a tancu, Soborska 8, Praha 6, tel. 603 213 213, http://www.czechfolklore.com
Book World Prague (6. - 9. 5. 2004)
International book trade fair; Prague Exhibition Grounds - 10th year
Organizer: Svaz ceskych knihkupcu, Fügnerovo nam. 3, Praha 2, tel. 224 498 234, http://www.bookworld.cz
Sightseenig near Prague
Castle of Karlštejn (about 30 km from Prague)
The castle which was founded in 1348 by emperor Charles IV., belongs by right to the best known Czech sights. It is set in a picturesque landscape in the basin of the river Berounka. Karlštejn served the King as a residence and simultaneously as a tresury of the imperial crown jewels and the relics of Saints. In the 19th century the castle was reconstructed in the neo-Gothic style.
Castle of Konopiště (about 30 km from Prague)
Originally a Gothic castle, which was founded in the 14th century, was reconstructed in 18th as well as 19th century. Its last and also the best known proprietor was the successor of the Habsburg throne Franz Ferdinand d´Este. In the year of 1914 Franz Ferdinand with his wife Žofie Chotková was assassinated in Sarajevo. In the castle there is a large collection of hunting trophies and old weapons.
What about fun?
Novoměstský pivovar - Praha 1, Vodičkova 20 (www.npivovar.cz)
Lví dvůr - Praha 1, U Prašného mostu 6 (www.lvidvur.cz)
La Provence - Praha 1, Štupartská 9 (www.laprovence.cz)
Modrá zahrada - Praha 1, Široká 18, off Pařížská (phone no.: 223 271 717)
Buffalo Bill’s - Praha 1, Vodičkova 9 (www.buffalobill.cz)
Barock Bar & Café - Praha 1, Pařížská 24 (phone no.: 222 329 221)
Rasoi/Bombay Café - Praha 1, Dlouhá 13 (www.rasoi.cz)
Roxy- Praha 1, Dlouhá 33 (www.roxy.cz)
Lucerna music bar - Praha 1, Vodičkova 36 (www.lucerna.cz)
Caffrey’s - Praha 1,Staroměstské nám. 10 (phone: 224 828 031)
U Zlatého tygra - Praha 1 ,Husova 17 (phone: 222 221 111)
U Fleků - Praha 1, Křemencova 11 (www.ufleku.cz)
Le Patio café - Praha 1, Národní (just before Tesco store)
Palace Cinemas Letňany
Veselská 663, Praha 9
Information and booking on phone no.: 257 181 212
Palace Cinemas Slovanský dům
Na Příkopě 22, 110 00 Praha 1
Information and booking on phone no.: 257 181 212
Village Cinemas Černý Most
Chlumecká 8, 198 19 Praha 9
Information and booking on phone no.: 266 790 999 (13.00 - 22.00)
Letňany Lagoon (swimming pool)
Tupolevova 665, 190 00 Praha 9
Information phone no.: 283 921 799, 283 921 797
HIT Fitness Flóra
Chrudimská 2B – Agora Flóra, 130 00 Praha 3
Information phone no.: 267 311 447
Sport facility Hamr (tennis, squash)
106 00 Praha 10
Phone: + 420 272 772 762, 272 773 809
Zimni stadion, Letňany (ice hockey)
19900 Praha 9 – Letňany
For another information about Prague visit the website www.pis.cz