No Czech city has been written and talked about as much as Prague, the country’s capital. To stand on one of the most beautiful stone bridges in the world, Charles Bridge, and to look beyond the contours of its silent statues across the Old Town full of winding streets and charming squares up to where Prague Castle, with St Vitus Cathedral, shines on a hill is to have an experience of which even those who live here their whole lives never tire. The city of a hundred towers is a mysterious labyrinth in which history interweaves with the present, a magical place where the most influential men in Europe have come together: rulers, generals, alchemists, Jewish scholars… It was here that Rabbi Loew once brought the clay Golem to life; Arcimboldo created his rich portraits from fruit and vegetables; alchemists’ laboratories at the court of Rudolph II sought the Philosopher’s Stone; Franz Kafka wrote his dark and oppressive works; the compositions of not only Smetana and Dvořák but Mozart and Liszt met with rapturous ovations; the church reformer Jan Hus preached; and Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Giordano Bruno and Tycho de Brahe pored over astronomical telescopes… Strolling around Prague today
means being part of all the magic and mysteries of the past. The city simply has an atmosphere that no other city in the world can match. You have to become one with it, to let it do its stuff, to become part of it at least for a while – perhaps then it will reveal its secrets to you too.
Experience the Story of Prague Castle as told at a permanent exhibition on a Gothic floor of the Old Royal Palace at Prague Castle. It is a story that carries the secrets of the final resting place of the most important Czech rulers and saints, a place of historical artefacts, a place of historical styles combined in one unique complex, a place that safeguards the Czech Crown Jewels, the St Vitus Treasure and collections preserved from the past and also a place that is the magnificent seat of the president of the Czech Republic.
Highlights 1. Prague Castle Climb the Old Castle Steps to Prague Castle and visit its courtyards and the interiors of the Old Royal Palace. From St Vitus Cathedral, head to the Golden Lane – at one time a haven for alchemists and charlatans. 2. Vyšehrad Soak up the atmosphere of the Vyšehrad fortified settlement, where prior to the arrival of Christianity pagan princes prayed to forest deities and where today one of the most beautiful churches in Prague stands. 3. Charles Bridge Take an early morning stroll across the medieval stone bridge, before its magnificent Baroque statues are besieged by crowds of tourists. 4. Old Town Square with the Astronomical Clock Bear in mind that Old Town Square is the true heart of Prague. What’s more, you can take in a procession of Apostles at the Old Town Hall’s Astronomical Clock at the top of every hour! Then, while enjoying a beer or coffee beneath Baroque arcades, watch the bustle on the square and admire the towers of Týn Church.
5. The Jewish town of Josefov Follow in the footsteps of Franz Kafka and Prague’s famous rabbis to the narrow lanes of the former Jewish ghetto. 6. Palace Gardens Relax on the terraces of the Baroque gardens beneath Prague Castle and stroll through the narrow, steep streets of the Lesser Town. 7. Municipal House Take in a Mozart or Vivaldi concert at the Municipal House, the most magnificent Art Nouveau building in the Czech Republic. 8. Petřín Hill Surrounded by trees at the top of Petřín, you will forget that you are in the heart of a metropolis. 9. The Infant Jesus of Prague Visit the Church of Our Lady Victorious, where pilgrims pray to the famous Infant Jesus of Prague for protection and help. 10. Estates Theatre Visit the Estates Theatre to watch The Marriage of Figaro, where it was personally conducted by the genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1787; the opera has been performed there ever since. www.prague.eu www.czechtourism.com 1