History of Prague, Czech Republic
Prague has a long and interesting history that travelers get to experience up close when they visit. The area where Prague sits today has been the site of settlements dating back to 1300 BC, known as the Paleolithic age. Over the centuries, Celtic, Germanic, and Slavic tribes contended for control over the strategical location along the Vltava river, the longest river in the Czech Republic and once served as an important trading route.
When you visit Prague, you will undoubtedly see the influences of The era of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and the king of Bohemia. Reigning between 1346-1378, Prague flourished during this time and his kingship transformed Prague into an imperial capital. It was at this time, by area, the third-largest city in Europe, following Rome and Constantinople.
One of his key developments that formed Prague was the creation of the New Town. Laying on the opposite side of the Old Town, both stand as lovely areas of Prague to discover today. Charles IV designed the layout of the New Town himself and most notably the king is responsible for the construction of The Charles Bridge, Connecting the New Town and Old Town.
Following the fall of the Hapsburg Empire after World War 1 and a rise in national pride, the Czech people celebrated the birth of an independent nation. Sadly this honeymoon only barely lasted 20 years.
Prague experienced both the devastations and atrocities of World War 2 and later the military and political control of the Soviet Union. Starting in 1939, Hitler and Nazi Germany took control of Prague and from Prague Castle proclaimed Bohemia and Moravia a German protectorate. Over the course of the war, Slavic Jews were deported and killed by the Germans. Not until February 1945, with the help of the US Army, did the control of Prague under the Nazi banner loosen. Compared to other major cities in Europe, Prague took on considerable less damage. Today this is evident and as a traveler, you will surely appreciate not only the structural beauty of Prague but the reliance of her people as well.
Prague is one of our most popular and recommend the city to visit in Europe for our clients. With several must-see attractions to enjoy, you can easily and safely travel by foot when in Prague. You will also be pleased to know that compared to other western and central European capital cities, Prague is also very affordable!
The Charles Bridge
The Charles Bridge is one of the most pleasant strolls in all of Europe. The Bridges was part of the historic coronation called the royal way: which is the path the royal family would walk from their castle that sits above.
Its Construction started in 1357 under the direction of King Charles IV and was finished at the beginning of the 15th century. The bridge replaced a previous bridge, Judith Bridge, that was severely damaged due to a flood. The bridge connects the Old Town with the New town. Decorated with 30 statues and statuaries, most being placed on the bridge around 1700
Today, the bridge is an event in Prague with vendors, artisans, and musicians gathering which bring the bridge alive throughout the day and night. Never would you think going to experience and witness a bridge would be so enjoyable, but the Charles Bridge is certainly an unavoidable must-see while in Prague.
Old Town Square
Old Town square, which use to be a central market is now the heart of the city and is the center of tourism in Prague. You will easily stumble upon the Old Town Square. Once there you will find the recognizable, Gothic Tyn Church with its tall gothic style arrow-shaped arms reaching for the heavens. This is a reminder to visitors that the Old Town Square hosted a lot of religious history throughout Prague’s history.
From the Charles Bridge, you will run right into the Old Town Square and also venture onto the Royal Way. This is the path that the King and his family took from the Prague Castle, leading to the New Town
Today the Royal way is full of shops and restaurants. A great starting point to venture through Prague but be sure to make a point to go beyond the main drag to discover the charming lanes and vibrant farmers' markets.
One of the most fascinating attractions in Prague is the 15th-century Astronomical Clock. The face of the clock soars several meters and is outfitted with an extravagant design. The clock is unique providing different types of information such as the phases of the moon, sunset, current signs of the Zodiac, each day's special saint, and of course it even tells the time!
500 hundred years ago, everything revolved around the Earth as modern science believed in a geocentric universe. At the top of the hour, the clock comes alive as hatches open and miniature statues come alive. It's well worth checking out when the show begins!
Saint Vitus Cathedral
As large and complex Prague Castle is with all its halls, chapels, and noble palaces, we strongly encourage our clients to witness the soaring vastness of the St. Vitus Cathedral. It is a must-see! A Gothic church that began its construction in the 1300s but wasn’t finished until centuries later. Entering the cathedral you will be awed the tall Gothic lines and the natural light that illuminates its great space.
The most important part of the cathedral, both religious and culture, is the Wenceslas Chapel within the cathedral. This site has been the holiest place for the country for 1,100 years. St. Wenceslas tomb is here, the first Slavic saint and the patron of the Czech people. Kings were all coordinated for the past 1,100 years here as well. Truly an uplifting and incredible experience.
Czech Beer Fest
When in Prague do not leave without enjoying their famous beer, which many consider Europe’s best beer. I think they have a solid argument! Prague’s halls are an important part of the city and the social life for the locals. Affordable and thirst-quenching larger and pilsner sign us up!
But if Czech beer is something you really fancy, then you're in luck because they have a 17-day long festival that can surely fulfill your thirst! This festival features over 120 brands of beer, 70 being locally brewed in the Czech Republic. Keep your schedule open during May and contact on of our travel advisors to reserve your tickets! Cheers!
Travel Tips for Prague
Experience Live Music
Prague has long been famous for musicians, loved by Mozart. His opera, Don Giovanni, actually debuted. Today the love of music in the Golden City lives on with local musicians performing on the Charles Bridge and throughout the city. It creates a truly wonderful atmosphere!
If you wish to see a live performance such as the theater, opera, jazz, or classical you can find several box officers throughout the city to grab your tickets. Tickets are affordable, about half of what you would expect to pay in Vienna, Austria. For example, warm your heart by seeing a string quartet playing Vivaldi in the Chapel of Mirrors. Surrounding yourself with Baroque music in a Baroque chapel will leave you inspired!
Prague is truly one of a kind city that you can easily take in all of its beauty by strolling its winding alleys and absorb centuries of well-preserved history. Although we have named a few must-see while in Prague, there is still plenty more that Prague offers.
We at Connections by Avra highly recommended discovering all there is to enjoy in this vibrant city. Our travel advisors are here to help put together a trip that will be unforgettable.
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