This post is part of the series Prague
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Prague: this city is so beautiful that it hurts! The city of Prague has a good place on the list with “non-heavily bombed countries” during the WWII and therefore it stands out with its best-kept architecture and the largest, and probably the best, the old town in Europe. The streets of Prague – just walk and wonder! The city is magical and without being hammered by the tourist it would be a modern variation of a classic fairy tale.
Prague is a place where you can spend a whole week, month or year and you’ll probably still have something new to explore. The Capital of the Check Republic shares a great compilation of museums, historical buildings, places, attractions, restaurants, bars and everything you could wish for from a city and it is absolutely impossible to undertake everything during a long weekend. I’m able to contend that a long weekend is enough to take a free walking tour, to find random restaurants and markets, to visit some churches and beautiful places to be, to feel the atmosphere, to drink a beer, to have a second one, to enjoy the Czech Cuisine.
Conquering the streets of Prague! Today I’m sharing with you some essential sights from my first day after arriving in the city.
The Old Town (Staro Mesto)
The Old Town in Prague is the largest old town in Europe and nowadays is part of Prague 1 and is surrounded by the New Town (Novo Mesto). There is so much to see here: the Old Town Square and Astronomical Clock, the Powder Tower, various churches, the former Jewish town called Josefov, the oldest university in Western Europe (Carolinum ), and of course the famous Charles Bridge (Karlův most) which connects the Old Town with the Lesser Town of Prague (Malá Strana).
The Powder Tower of Prague is one of the 13 original city gates, which have survived during the history. The gothic tower still remains the main entry which separates the new from the old city and its history began somewhere in the 11th century.
The Old Town Square
A really busy place to visit in Prague! Thousands of tourist, streets artists, cafes, restaurants and famous buildings are competing for your attention. The main buildings are the Gothic Church of Our Lady before Týn, the St. Nicholas Church, the Old Town Tower, an art museum, and the most famous Pražský Orloj (astronomical clock)
Prague Astronomical Clock (Pražský Orloj)
The Prague astronomical clock is one of the oldest astronomical clocks in the world that is still functioning. Nowadays, the clock is still one of the greatest treasuries of Prague in front of which, every hour some hundreds of people are waiting for the cult mechanical performance of the twelve Apostles (statues).
Interesting Fact: The Master Hanuš (Orloj Clockmaker) was blinded by a piece of iron right after constructing the unique clock for the city of Prague. Why?! The city council got scared that Master Hanuš would design and build a similar clock for another city. But the “good news” – there was a revenge! Master Hanuš could stop the clock and it took more than 100 years till someone was able to repair it.
The first university in Western Europe was founded by Charles IV (1348) is also located in the Old Town. Carolinum was one of the top World Universities during the early years.
Charles Bridge (Karlův most)
The bridge is one of the real town’s landmark and probably the most photographed place in Prague. The iconic bridge was built in the year of 1357 from Charles IV and nowadays is an alley where you can find a collection of more than 30 gothic and baroque statues.
John Lennon’s Wall
Ah! The John Lennon’s wall <3 I’m definitely one of those people who respect and appreciate the surrounding street art. This place is not only a piece of art but also a rebellious symbol against the communist regime in the ’80s. The student movement, known as “Lennonism”, had its greatest detractors in the face of the communists, who were against the western influence. During the years John Lennon’s Wall became an icon of peace, freedom and love and even nowadays, numerous street artists and just normal people are repainting the wall day by day.
Pražska Čokoládová Manufaktura – Kavárna
Josefov was one of the largest Jewish quarters in Europe outside Israel. The history goes back in the years of 10th century when the first Jews have settled in Prague. Here you can find the Jewish Museum, synagogues, the old Jewish graveyard, and of course (for me) the great architecture and design.
Letenské Sady (Letná Park)
Letná is a park located on the opposite site of Josefov across Vltava. Well, Letná is one of these locations where you can feel the communistic spirit for sure! In the years between 1955 and 1962, a huge Stalin monument was here to remain the communist dominance. Now the park tries to be something more than former dictator’s arena. The monument was replaced by a gigantic red metronome, which looks not less communistic than the Stalin’s art. Anyway, Letná is now home to all skaters in the city, perfect place to have a beer and is absolutely worth the visit because of the outstanding view over Vltava and the Old Town of Prague … Especially during the autumn …
Have you already been to Prague?! I’ll be really thankful if you share your experience and tips with us!
Continue reading this series:
Long Weekend in Prague ~ Day Two