Prague's must-see attractions
Few capitals leave this impression of having been bewitched rather than charmed by such beauty and romanticism. Prague has an astonishing cultural and historical richness that can be seen in the old stones of its palaces, bell towers and facades with their colourful styles. The historic centre registered with UNESCO, the Charles Bridge and the Royal Castle are the city's tourist ambassadors, but the strolls lead to many more treasures and curiosities. Let yourself be carried away by the nostalgia of Old Europe and listen to the myths and legends that are known as the "Mother of all Cities".
N° 1- Stare Mesto
Stare Mesto, Prague's historic centre, is an absolutely charming district that combines the city's most beautiful buildings. It has kept the stigmas of its medieval past in the tangle of biscornues alleys, nowadays animated by many shops, cafés and restaurants. We like to lose ourselves in it to discover palaces, churches and old residences, each one bearing on its facades different architectural styles ranging from Romanesque to Art Nouveau. All the strolls lead to the immense square of the Old City, lined with ancestral buildings and punctuated by the incessant ballet of passers-by.
N° 2- Royal Castle
Seat of political and religious power since the 9th century, the Royal Castle is a vast complex that includes palaces, churches, museums, gardens and courtyards on nearly 7 hectares. It is similar to a small town crossed by alleys, including the attractive "Golden Alley" and its colourful shops. He will spend half a day visiting St. Vitus Cathedral, the basilica of St. George's Monastery, the Powder Tower, the Imperial Stable and the flamboyant Vladislav Hall, in which the presidents still take the oath of office today, among other places.
N° 3- Charles Bridge
An iconic symbol of Prague, the Charles Bridge is an architectural marvel that is both Gothic and Baroque. It was built between 1357 and 1402 at the request of Charles IV to connect the Royal Castle to the Old City by crossing the Vltava River. It boasts about thirty statues and sculptures erected between the 16th and 20th centuries, making it a true open-air museum. The Charles Bridge offers some of the most beautiful views of the city and a bohemian atmosphere enlivens its cobblestones thanks to musicians, painters and artists of all kinds.
N° 4- Saint-Guy Cathedral
Culminating within the walls of the castle, Saint-Guy Cathedral is certainly the most important and impressive monument in the city. It took nearly a thousand years to build this masterpiece, imposing in size and delicate in the finesse of its adornments. Its portal, its stained glass windows, the walls encrusted with precious stones, the magnificent frescos and mosaics illuminate its already skilfully carved baroque drape... a pure wonder! The cathedral houses the crown jewels, the crypt of the Bohemian kings, the tomb of Saint John Nepomuk and the remains of the mythical Wenceslas.
N° 5- The Lobkowicz Palace
The Lobkowicz Palace is also located within the walls of a castle, and is the only privately owned building here. It houses the Lobkowicz family's collection of paintings, one of the most important private collections in Europe. Works by Velázquez, Brueghel, Veronese and Rubens are on display, as well as a unique collection of musical instruments and original scores by Mozart, Handel, Haydn, including one written by Beethoven. It should also be noted that chamber music concerts are held every day in the Palace.
No. 6- The Jewish Quarter and Cemetery
The arrival of the Jewish community in Prague dates back to the 10th century, so the history of the Czech capital is closely linked to that of the Ashkenazi. To measure these connections, one must go to Josefov, the former Jewish ghetto that has since been razed to the ground, but whose legacy remains. We will start by visiting the Jewish Museum in Prague, before greeting the Maisel, Klausen and Pingas synagogues, the most moving since it houses the Holocaust Memorial. Last stop at the Jewish cemetery, which has nearly 12,000 tombstones, including Rabbi Löw's, associated with the legend of the Golem.
N° 7- The Astronomical Clock
This is the most prominent curiosity of the Old Town Square! The astronomical clock, built in the 15th century, is a medieval masterpiece with a mechanism and technology that were highly developed for the time. It is composed of 3 elements: an astronomical dial that indicates the time and position of the Sun and Moon, a dial with medallions representing the months and a mechanism that triggers the parade of the twelve apostles every hour. It is also possible to climb into the Clock Tower to enjoy a bird's eye view of the square.
N° 8- Strahov Monastery Library
The Strahov Monastery is located on the heights of the city and certainly enjoys the most beautiful views. But it is for its magnificent Baroque and Neoclassical interiors that it is so popular, especially for its historical library. Its rooms are topped by sculpted ceilings and decorated with frescoes that guard a collection of 200,000 works. Books and manuscripts from the Middle Ages are carefully preserved, including the Strahov gospel from the 9th century. Don't miss the strangeness of the curiosity cabinet in the hallway leading to the library.
N° 9- Wenceslas Square
With its shops, its great hotels, its theatres, its cafés and discos, Wenceslas Square looks like Champs-Élysées, bubbling with life day and night. The statue of King Wenceslas stands in the centre of this square, which is bordered by beautiful Art Deco and Art Nouveau buildings. In addition to its tourist attractions, the site has played important roles in the city's history: it was here that the Republic was proclaimed in 1918, Ian Palach immolated himself there in 1969 and began the first manifestations of the Velvet Revolution on his esplanade...
N° 10- The John Lennon Wall
The French Embassy faces a very special wall, entirely dedicated to John Lennon. Although he never came to Prague, the artist was a symbol of freedom and peace for Czech students during the communist regime. Thus, when he died in 1980, a first graffiti was painted on this wall, followed by several others and although they have been erased many times, they are constantly reinventing themselves again. For almost 40 years, the John Lennon Wall has been pursuing its vocation: to be a space of free expression and a symbolic place of street art.
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