Prague is a city that impresses with its cultural, historical and architectural richness. It is one of Europe’s most beautiful and most visited cities and has much to offer art and nature lovers. What is worth visiting in Prague?
Let’s start with Prague Castle, the largest castle in the world and a symbol of the Czech capital. Prague Castle is a vast palace complex with several buildings, churches, gardens and museums. It was founded in the 9th century and has been the seat of Czech kings, Roman emperors, and presidents of Czechoslovakia and Bohemia. Prague Castle is impressive not only in terms of its size but also in terms of its architectural style, which combines elements of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classicism. Among the most important sights of Prague Castle are:
- St Vitus Cathedral, is the largest and most important church in the Czech Republic. It is a magnificent Gothic building that is 124 metres long, 60 metres high and has a 96-metre-high tower. The cathedral contains the tombs of Czech kings, saints and bishops, magnificent stained glass windows, sculptures and paintings. St. Vitus Cathedral is also the repository of the crown jewels of Bohemia, which are only shown to the public once every few years.
- Golden Street – is a picturesque street with colourful houses that once housed goldsmiths, guards and writers. The most famous resident of the Golden Lane was Franz Kafka, who lived here between 1916 and 1917—the cottages now house gift shops, museums and galleries.
- Basilica of St George, is the second oldest church in Prague and an example of Romanesque architecture. It was built in the 10th century and rebuilt in the 12th century. The basilica contains the tombs of Czech princes and princesses, Baroque altars and paintings. St George’s Basilica is also a venue for classical music concerts.
Another Prague attraction is Charles Bridge – the city’s oldest and most famous bridge. The Charles Bridge connects the Old Town with the Lesser Quarter and is part of the Royal Road that leads to Prague Castle. Charles Bridge was built in the 14th century on the initiative of Emperor Charles IV and is decorated with 30 statues of saints from the Baroque period. The Charles Bridge is a beautiful monument and a meeting place for artists, musicians, vendors and tourists. The bridge offers a magnificent view of the castle, the cathedral and the Vltava River. We recommend a walk there after dark when the
Old Town Square
The Old Town Square is the heart of Prague and one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. The Old Town Square is surrounded by historic houses, churches and palaces, which create a unique atmosphere. On the square, you will find such attractions as:
- Old Town Hall, is a Gothic building from the 14th century with a 69.5-metre-high tower with a clock. From the tower we will enjoy a panoramic view of the city and every hour there is a display of moving figures of the astronomical clock, which shows the time, the position of the sun and moon, the signs of the zodiac and scenes from the life of Christ and the apostles.
- Church of the Virgin Mary in front of the Tyne, is an impressive Gothic church from the 15th century, with two towers 80 metres high. The church contains the main altar, which features a painting of the Madonna and Child, and the tomb of Tycho Brahe, the famous astronomer and mathematician.
- St Nicholas Church – a baroque church from the 18th century, has a dome 75 metres high and a tower 65 metres high. The church features richly decorated altars, frescoes and sculptures, and the organ on which Mozart played. St Nicholas Church is also a venue for classical music concerts.
The Jewish Quarter, also known as Josefov, is a historic part of Prague that Jews inhabited from the 13th to the 20th century. The Jewish Quarter is one of Europe’s most authentic and preserved Jewish ensembles, consisting of six synagogues, a cemetery and a museum. Among the most interesting sights of the Jewish Quarter are:
- Old Jewish Cemetery, which is the oldest surviving Jewish Cemetery in Europe. It was founded in the 15th century and was used until the 18th century. There are about 12,000 tombstones in the Cemetery, which are arranged in layers because several graves were buried here due to lack of space. Well-known rabbis and scholars of Jewish origin are buried in the Cemetery, among others.
- Staron Synagogue – is the oldest functioning synagogue in Europe. It was built in the 13th century and is an example of the Gothic style with Romanesque and Baroque elements. The synagogue houses the Ark of the Covenant, which holds the Torah scrolls, as well as the legendary flag with the Star of David, which was used by Jewish fighters during the Prague Ghetto Uprising in 1945.
- Maisel Synagogue – is a baroque synagogue from the 16th century, which was the seat of the Jewish community. The synagogue houses a Jewish museum, which presents the history and culture of Czech Jews from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. The museum features exhibits such as books, documents, coins, costumes, jewellery and objects of worship.
- Pinkas Synagogue – gothic synagogue from the 15th century, which is a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. On the walls of the synagogue are the names of more than 77,000 Czech Jews who perished during World War II. The synagogue also houses an exhibition of drawings by children from the Terezín concentration camp.
Hradčany is a district of Prague that lies on the west bank of the Vltava River and is situated on a hill on which Prague Castle is located. Hradčany is not only the castle, but also many other monuments that create a picturesque landscape. Among them are:
- Loreta, is a Baroque Marian shrine from the 17th century, a place of pilgrimage and prayer. Loreto consists of a chapel, a monastery, a treasury and a bell tower. The chapel houses the famous statue of the Black Madonna of Loreto, considered miraculous. The treasury contains valuable sacred objects such as a monstrance with 6,000 diamonds. The bell tower houses a clock with 27 bells that play the Ave Maria melody every hour.
- Wallenstein Palace is a Renaissance palace from the 17th century, which was the residence of Albrecht von Wallenstein, a powerful general and politician. Wallenstein’s palace is now the seat of the Senate of the Czech Republic but is partially open to the public. You can admire the richly decorated halls, frescoes, sculptures and paintings in the palace. The palace garden has ponds, fountains, pavilions and artificial caves with stone monsters.
- St Nicholas Church – is a baroque church from the 18th century, considered a masterpiece of architecture and art. St Nicholas Church has a 70-metre-high dome and a 79-metre-high tower. The church’s interior is richly decorated with frescoes, sculptures, gold and crystals. The church also houses the organ on which Mozart played.
Lesser-known attractions of Prague
Prague has famous and popular sights and many lesser-known but equally interesting places to discover. While in the Czech capital, head also to:
- Museum of Communism, is dedicated to the history and effects of the communist dictatorship in Czechoslovakia. The museum features exhibits such as propaganda posters, uniforms, documents, everyday objects, and a simulated prison and courtroom. The Museum of Communism is an educational and reflective place that shows how people lived and fought under the communist regime.
- Museum of Miniatures is a place that presents impressive works of art that are so small that they can only be seen through a microscope. The museum contains such wonders as a portrait of Anton Chekhov on a grain of rice, a panorama of Prague on a hair or a Bible on a sesame seed. The Museum of Miniatures is a fascinating and astonishing place that shows how great human imagination and creativity are.
- Museum of the Fly dedicated to the life and work of Alphonse Mucha, the famous Czech painter and graphic artist who represented Art Nouveau. More than 100 of Mucha’s original works, such as posters, paintings, drawings, photographs, jewellery and personal objects, are available to the public in the museum. The Mucha Museum is a beautiful and inspiring place that shows how the artist created his unique art..
Prague is one of the European capitals with much to offer anyone who visits it. It is a city full of history, culture, art and charm, stunning architecture and a unique atmosphere. It is a place worth seeing with your eyes and feeling its spirit.
One of the best ways to get to Prague is by coach, which has many benefits, which you can read about here. Don’t delay, and book your coach journey today!