North and Western Suburbs
This area is mainly residential and parkland, which encompasses Stromovka, the city's largest park. Originally a hunting ground, Stromovka is now filled with many top attractions including the Vystaviste Exhibition Grounds, the Prumyslovy Palace, the Planetarium, and the Lapidarium....
North and Western Suburbs
This area is mainly residential and parkland, which encompasses Stromovka, the city's largest park. Originally a hunting ground, Stromovka is now filled with many top attractions including the Vystaviste Exhibition Grounds, the Prumyslovy Palace, the Planetarium, and the Lapidarium.
A walk to the west of the park brings visitors to the Royal Summer Palace (Letohrádek královny Anny), a neo-Gothic building where the National Museum stores some of its treasures.
To the south of Stromovka lies Letna Park. A walk farther south brings one to a plateau overlooking the main city and river. Here, you will see the large Metronome that replaced the monument to Stalin—the largest in the world, which was destroyed on the orders of Krushchev in 1962. Other places of interest are the National Technical Museum and the National Gallery Collection of Modern & Contemporary Art. Walks through the residential areas will expose you to many styles of architecture here.
Situated on the hill overlooking Prague, Hradcany is made up of Prague Castle, St Vitus Cathedral and the Strahov Monastery—all places that are steeped in history. The Army Museum, the Royal Gardens and the Toy Museum are also nearby.
St Vitus' Cathedral was commissioned by Charles IV (1316-1378) and its foundation was laid in 1344. However, work on it went on for nearly 600 years before being finalized in 1929, which means that the architecture is from many different periods and in different styles. Attractions inside include the crown jewels, the crypt and the South Tower. The Strahov Monastery was founded in 1140 by the Premonstratensian Order, although its present day baroque appearance dates from the late-17th and 18th centuries.
Covering the area just below Hradcany and bordering the river, Mala Strana is just across Charles Bridge from the main city. Now home to many foreign embassies occupying a number of buildings built by the Catholic nobility, the area is full of palaces, gardens and baroque churches including the Church of St. Nicholas (Sv. Mikulas). Open daily, this is an example of Prague baroque architecture; it was built between 1702 and 1753 by Christoph Dientzenhofer and later also worked on by his son. Frequent concerts and recitals (both at lunchtime and in the evenings) are held here featuring the works of Mozart.
Prague's Jewish Quarter can be reached by a short walk from Wenceslas Square or by taking the metro to Staromestska, Line A.
Dating back to at least the 13th century, this area is rich in history. Places to visit include the Jewish Cemetery, its five synagogues, the Jewish State Museum and the Jewish Ceremonial Hall with its Hebrew clock dating from the 15th century. The narrow cobbled streets lend a unique atmosphere to the area, especially at night. The Kafka Museum is located on the border of Josefov and Stare Mesto.
Prague's Old Town is centered around Old Town Square, the Jan Hus Monument and the Old Town Clock Tower featuring its astronomical clock dating back to the 15th century. The Old Town Hall is open daily. It is only a short walk away from Wenceslas Square.
There are several churches of note here including the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn as well as courtyards and numerous cafés, bars and restaurants catering to every taste.
This is Prague's main commercial and business district. It is based around Wenceslas Square at the top of which is the National Museum and the two main commercial streets—Na Prikope and Narodni. Running from these streets are many smaller streets and courtyards. Hotels, bars and restaurants abound in this area.
Walking along Legerova or Ke Karlovu (where you will find the Dvorak Museum) will bring you to the Police Museum from where you can take a walk along the top of the Botic Valley towards the river.
Vysehrad and the Eastern Suburbs
Centered upon the ancient rocky fortress of Vysehrad (the Republic's most-revered landmark) and containing the Vysehrad Cemetery, a Romanesque rotunda and the Gothic church of St. Peter and Paul, this area stretches to the working-class suburb of Zizkov. It is home to the TV Tower (from which you can enjoy panoramic views of Prague) and the ancient Zizkov Hill, atop which stands a statue of Jan Zizka (a 15th century army general) and the mausoleum in which the remains of the three Communist presidents of the Republic and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier can be found. The suburb of Vinohrady contains Prague's most modern church, the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord (Kostel Nejsvětějšího srdce Páně), which was built in 1928.
Interesting Facts About Prague:
2. Weird fact: The Old Kladbury Horse is considered a Living Work of Art and listed on UNESCO's World Heritage List. It's the only horse bred for ceremonial purposes at royal courts.
3. Random fact: Czech pucks do not leave black smudges. The exact formula of the Gufex pucks, manufactured in a Moravian village, is a secret.
4. Useless fact: The Czech Republic has the largest network of signposted footpaths in the world. As of 2002, more than 38,000 kilometers of paths have been signposted.
5. Fun fact: The first sugar cubes were made in the Czech town of Dacice in 1841.
6. Educational fact: The word "robot" is Czech. It first appeared in a drama written by Czech playwright and journalist Karel Capek called R. U. R. (Rossum's Universal Robots). It was actually his artist brother Josef though who came up with the word.
7. Historical fact: Prague Castle, begun in the 9th century, is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest castle in the world.
8. Medical fact: Czech doctor Jan Jansky was the first to divide blood into four types in 1907.
9. Outer Space fact: Neil Armstrong played Czech composer Antonin Dvorak's New World Symphony on the moon.
10. Religious fact: The Infant Jesus of Prague is one of the oldest and most revered images of Jesus. Credited with miracles and healing, people from all over the world have sent it dresses, which are on display at Church of Our Lady Victorious.
11. Natural fact: Pravcicka Brana is the highest natural arch in Europe. Located in northern Bohemia along the German border, it is 21 meters high with a span of 26.5 meters.
12. Sobering fact: In 1951, Dr. Jaroslav Skala created the first "sobering-up station" for those who'd enjoyed the pub a bit too much. It was to act as an introduction to his treatment facility for alcoholics. His treatment was based on routine, community order, work, sports and singing anti-alcohol songs.
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Baroque churches, a royal palace, flagstone courtyards and bejeweled reliquaries comprise Prague Castle, a complex of buildings perched regally on a hilltop above Prague. Visitors routinely spend an entire day exploring this centerpiece of the city that also boasts one of the finest views of the Charles Bridge and the City of a Thousand Spires. Get lost in a labyrinth of picturesque, medieval, cobbled streets in the Old City, or avoid the crowds...
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