Travel to Prague, the Beautiful City
Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, is simply beautiful. It is a unique experience to travel to Prague. The red-tiled rooftops above the ancient buildings are a wonder to behold. The city is simply incredible and will captivate you.
Hitler did not destroy or bomb Prague as it was one of his favorite cities. He had planned to turn the Jewish Quarters and the Synagogues into museums of the “extinct race” after his destruction of the Jewish people.
The Vltava River runs thru the city of Prague in the Czech Republic. The St. Charles Bridge, which crosses the river, (remember Jon Voight falling into the Vltava River from this bridge in Mission Impossible) is a pedestrian bridge lined with statues of Catholic saints.
The city is the largest city in the Czech Republic. It is also the capital of the geographical region known as Bohemia, which is the largest historical region of the Czech Republic.
The city is rich with history and the city planners have been careful to preserve the buildings, many of which date from the 10th century.
No one should miss the Medieval Astronomical Clock, constructed in 1410, and located in the Old Town Square. On the striking of every hour during the daylight hours, the clock comes alive as the Twelve Apostles appear in its windows.
The square becomes filled with people well before the clock strikes every hour. After the clock has been thru its paces, the crowd slowly wanders away to enjoy the city.
Not to worry, in another hour the square will again fill with people anxious to see the spectacle.
The clock is the oldest working astronomical clock in the world. Its main objective is to show the motion of the sun and moon in the sky.
The actual time is secondary to the location of the celestial bodies in the sky. The clock contains a calendar with the zodiac signs and of course with the current zodiac sign displayed most prominently. It tracks Central, European, Babylonian, and Sidereal times.
Sidereal time is time that is calculated from the motion of the earth relative to distant stars. It seems unreal that our ancestors 600 years ago could develop a clock so complex.
The Old Town Square, lined with colorful buildings, was the central marketplace for the city. The square is the same as it was in the 10th century, very large and with an open feel. The shops and restaurants on the perimeter have been modernized but the look and feel of the city appear untouched.
The Old Town Square is located between the St. Charles Bridge and Wenceslas Square. The statue of Wenceslas adorns one end of Wenceslas Square with the National Museum at the other end.
The Square is named after Wenceslas, the Duke of Bohemia. He became the leader of the country at the age of 18. History records him as a kind and caring leader.
The Prague Castle, on a hill not far from the Old Town Square. It can be seen from almost anywhere in the city of Prague. The complex is very large and includes the castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, as well as adjoining buildings.
The paintings and stained glass windows of the Cathedral tell the story of Wenceslas. His body is buried in St. Wenceslas Chapel in the Cathedral. The walls of his Chapel are adorned with semi-precious jewels.
At least four master builders contributed to the construction of St. Vitus Cathedral. Their different interpretations of the building are apparent in the Cathedral. However, it was all brought together as one unified building. The Crown Chamber is in the Cathedral and contains the Bohemian Crown Jewels, also called the Czech Crown Jewels. Once every eight years the jewels are displayed for the public.
A special mention goes to the Mucha Museum. It would not be one of the main items on your list for Prague but it is recommended.
The museum is dedicated to the life & works of Alphonse Mucha, a Czech artist. He was known for the posters he designed for Sarah Bernhardt, famous in the early 1900 for stage and film in France.
At that time no one had created posters like these and his interpretation helped to cement his status as a great artist. His last works were a series of 20 paintings depicting the history of the Slavic and Czech people.
The 20 paintings are displayed together in the museum. Some of the paintings are greater than 8 by 6 meters in width and length. It is overwhelming to see them and to imagine how the painter could paint such large paintings with so much detail.
Today many of the visitors and inhabitants of Prague meet at the Letna Beer Garden, located where else, but in Letna Park. It is easily accessible from the city and at the top of a hill so getting there is a bit of a challenge.
However, the view is more than worth the walk. The experience of having a cold beer on a warm afternoon while the sun sets over the city is delightful. Finding a spot like this one just to spend some time is part of the ambiance of going to Prague.
When or if you travel to Prague, plan for more than a day or two to enjoy the city and visit all of the sights. It will be well worth your time.