Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, is bisected by the Vltava River. Nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires,” it’s known for its Old Town Square, the heart of its historic core, with colorful baroque buildings, Gothic churches and the medieval Astronomical Clock, with a popular show. Completed in 1402, pedestrian Charles Bridge is lined with 30 statues of saints.
Prague Things To Know
Beer lovers will find plenty about Prague to keep them happy. They’ll certainly find plenty of like-minds: residents of the Czech Republic drink the most beer (around 143 liters a year per person). And when the beer is this good, and the brewing tradition this long, who can blame them? The Czech Republic is the birthplace of Pilsner (it comes from the town of Pilsen), and that’s the most popular style. But it’s recently expanded its palate to incorporate a variety of brewing styles – malty porters, hoppy IPAs, and more.
The city’s Old Town begs a postcard from almost every angle. On a crisp fall day, the flagrant yellows and reds of the autumn trees on the lesser bank of the Vltava gild the city’s already rich skyline. The Charles Bridge remains in a permanent tourist traffic jam almost year round. Commissioned by King Charles IV in 1357, Prague’s most stunning bridge spans 16 arches and is lined with 30 Baroque statues of religious figures. If you come at sunrise, you’ll not only beat the crowds – you’ll get spectacular photos.
Like dunes on a windswept beach, Prague’s fortunes have shifted and changed throughout its history. It was the seat of two Holy Roman Emperors and the capital of Bohemia. It also had a month-long siege in the 1700s, two historically significant defenestrations, and four decades of communist dictatorship. Additionally, it was occupied by Hitler’s armies in 1939, until the Prague Uprising in 1945. Prague was the capital of Czechoslovakia and, when Czech Republic and Slovakia dissolved their union in 1993, it became the capital of the Czech Republic.
Once the largest Jewish ghetto in Europe, Josefov is an integral part of the city’s riveting history. No other European city can lay claim to such a well-preserved Jewish Quarter. Ironically, this is largely thanks to Adolf Hitler, who supported this area’s preservation as a “museum of an extinct race”. The walking tour is a moving and informative way to see the area – and includes admission to all of the most important monuments and attractions. With six synagogues, a town hall and a cemetery, all of this extraordinary neighborhood feels like a living museum.
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