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Prague Historical Sights

 

The capital city of the Czech Republic prides itself in having one of the largest and most significant conservation areas in the world. There are about 1,300 unique sights over an area of 860 hectares.

From a historical point of view, the most valuable parts of Prague can be found in today’s Prague 1, which is where the medieval city core was situated. Since 1992, the historical core of the city is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Here you can find almost all major tourist places of interest – Prague Castle and the Castle District Hradčany, the Lesser Town together with the Charles Bridge, the Old Town and Josefov (a unique preserved part of the Jewish Town), the New Town and Vyšehrad.

Prague is often called the ‘City of a Hundred Spires’. The reason is that if you have a look at Prague from above (e.g. from the Petřín Lookout Tower), you will see that the centre is full of spires and domes of churches and other historical buildings.

Do you feel like getting to know Prague more? Prague City Tourism  organises guided walks around Prague and education cycles about history and presence of the city for professional as well as non-professional public. Have a look at the Prague City Tourism website to find the current offer.  naleznete aktuální nabídku.  The tourist information centres are listed at Prague.eu, the official tourist website for Prague. Below you will find tips for interesting places in Prague. If you want to read about them in detail, look them up at Prague.eu.

Historical and Architectural Sights

Castles

Prague Castle

From the 9th century, Prague Castle was the seat of Czech princes and later kings. Since 1918, it has been the seat of the President of the Republic. Twice throughout its history it became the main residence of the Holy Roman Emperor. According to the Guinness Book of Records, Prague Castle is considered the largest ancient castle in the world – it occupies an area of 570m in length and 130m in width. The castle also comprises a complex of historical buildings, dominated by the St. Vitus Cathedral, which is where coronation jewels of Czech kings are kept.

All entrances to Prague Castle are protected by castle guards.

Learn more at Prague.eu, the Official Tourist Website for Prague.

 

Prague Castle Gardens

The Royal Gardens are historically the most valuable of all the castle gardens. Founded in 1534 by Ferdinand I. Habsburg, they were inspired by Italian designs; the current form of the garden, however, follows the English adaptation of the 19th century. One of its greatest treasures is the Singing Fountain, one of the most beautiful fountains in Renaissance Europe. The southern gardens (Paradise, Ramparts and Hartig Gardens) spreading along the southern facade of the Prague Castle offer striking views of the Lesser Quarter, Old Town and nearby Petřín.

Learn more at Prague.eu, the Official Tourist Website for Prague.

 

Vyšehrad

According to ancient legends, Vyšehrad is the oldest seat of Czech princes. However, the fortified settlement appeared no sooner than in the mid-10th century. Situated on a rocky promontory above the Vltava River, it offers stunning views of the city, and the park area holds hidden architectural treasures including the rare Romanesque Rotunda of St Martin, the neo-Gothic Church of Sts Peter and Paul, the national cemetery Slavín, and the underground casements housing the some of the original Baroque statues from the Charles Bridge.

Learn more at Prague.eu, the Official Tourist Website for Prague.

 

Bridges

Charles Bridge

Prague is situated on the longest Czech river, the Vltava. Its source is located in South Bohemia from where it flows to Prague and then on to Germany. In Prague there are more than 30 bridges, the most famous of them being of course the Charles Bridge.

The Charles Bridge is the oldest preserved bridge over the Vltava River in Prague and the second oldest preserved bridge in the Czech Republic. The bridge is named after the most famous Czech king, Charles IV, who commissioned its construction. There are a lot of legends about its construction, one of which states that eggs were used as a material for building the bridge. To this day, the Charles Bridge connects two parts of the city – the Old Town and the Lesser Town. The historic royal route also went across the bridge.

Learn more at Prague.eu, the Official Tourist Website for Prague.

 

Squares

Old Town Square

The Old Town Square, formerly also known as the Great Square and today colloquially called “Staromák” is situated in the centre of the Prague Old Town. Several significant historical objects are located there. What is definitely not to be missed are the Old Town Hall with the Prague Astronomical Clock and the Týn Church. The Prague Astronomical Clock is a medieval masterpiece with beautifully carved figures of Death, an angel and twelve apostles, announcing every hour. Throughout its history it has become a popular venue for civil wedding ceremonies.

Learn more at Prague.eu, the Official Tourist Website for Prague.

 

Malostranské Square

The square is located under the Prague Castle and features many historical builduings dominated by the Baroque church of St Nicholas. It is a part of the Royal Route and it is frequently visited. Since 2016, there have been held meetings, gatherings, projections and exhibitions. There is also the Church of St. Nicholas, the most famous Baroque church in Prague and one of the most valuable Baroque buildings north of the Alps. The dome has an impressive diameter of 20 m and the interior height to the top of the lantern is 49 m, which makes the church the highest interior in Prague. It is also a great example of high Baroque decoration. The historic organ from the 18th century is used for year-round concerts.

Learn more at Prague.eu, the Official Tourist Website for Prague.



Churches

St. Nicholas Curch – Lesser Town

The most famous Baroque church in Prague is one of the most valuable Baroque buildings north of the Alps. The dome has an impressive diameter of 20 m and the interior height to the top of the lantern is 49 m, which makes the church the highest interior in Prague. It is also a great example of high Baroque decoration. The historic organ from the 18th century is used for year-round concerts.

Learn more at Prague.eu, the Official Tourist Website for Prague.



Houses

National Theatre

The National Theatre is the Czech Republic’s representative stage. Built with funds from nationwide collections, it was first opened in 1881 and then in 1883 for the second time after a devastating fire. The spectacular exterior and interior decoration, richly embellished with gold, consists of masterpieces of 19th century Czech painters – Aleš, Ženišek, Hynais, Myslbek, and others. Seeing a drama, opera or ballet performance here together with the beautiful spaces of the theatre is an unforgettable experience.

Learn more at Prague.eu, the Official Tourist Website for Prague.

 

Municipal House

This Art Nouveau building, built from 1905 to 1911, is proof of unprecedented artistic and craft skills and quality. The café, the French and the Pilsner restaurants, the American bar, the Lord Mayor’s Salon and the Smetana Hall are all examples of perfectly executed Art Nouveau interiors, decorated by leading artists and sculptors such as Alfons Mucha, Jan Preisler, Ladislav Šaloun, and others. Lovers of Art Nouveau can take a guided tour of the whole building.

Learn more at Prague.eu, the Official Tourist Website for Prague.

 

A lot of tourist agencies offer their services in Prague but some of them may be fraudulent or overpriced. If you wish to get information FOR FREE, see the contact points of Tourist information centres (Turistická informační centra), which fall within the Prague Information Service of the Capital City of Prague. They also sell tickets for some cultural events.

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