Prague, Czech Republic (UNESCO site)
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The most populous city of the Czech Republic, Prague is also the country’s capital. Throughout its 1,100 year history Prague has been a cultural, politic and economic center of central Europehaving at one time been the capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Prague was a key city in the Habsburg Monarchy, the Protestant Reformation and the Thirty Years War. When Czechoslovakia was created after World War I Prague was named its capital. Parts of the city were destroyed by bombing in World War II including many historical landmarks but the city escaped the mass destruction that was inflicted upon other European municipalities. During the Cold War years, Prague was under the control of the Soviet Union until the Czech Republic reestablished its independence after the fall of the Iron Curtain.
Prague is one of Europe’s favorite tourist destinations. The Vltava River that intersects the city with its swan-filled waters magically reflecting the bridges, cathedrals, gold-tipped towers and church domes greets visitors to Prague. In spite of the damage inflicted on the city in World War II much of the historic architecture of the city has been preserved. Visitors to Prague find wonderful examples of a broad spectrum of architectural styles including Art Nouveau, Baroque, Renaissance, Cubist, Gothic, Neo-Classical and Ultra-Modern. Among the favorite places to visit in Prague are Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral, the storehouse of the Czech Crown Jewels; Old Town and the Old Town Square harboring the Medieval Prague Astronomical Clock; New Town and historic Wenceslas Square historically a site for political demonstrations and now a popular area for nightlife; The Museum of Decorative Arts; The John Lennon Wall; Vysehrad Castle, the resting place for many famous Czechs including Antonin Dvorak; the preserved Baroque gate to the city, Pisek Gate; The New Jewish Cemetery where Franz Kafka is laid to rest; The Mucha Museum with its prolific Art Nouveau collection; The Prague Zoo, presenting over 4,000 animals of more than 650 species and considered one of the top 10 zoological parks in the world.
Prague is known for its beer and is home to a number of breweries that provide tours to visitors. The Czech Beer Festival is held in Prague every May showcasing over 70 Czech beers. A classical music festival, Prague Spring, draws music lovers to the city every year. Professional sporting events including football (soccer), rugby and ice-hockey draw spectators during the respective seasons for the home teams. A broad cross-section of hotels, inns and hostels are available to meet any traveler’s budget and a unique experience enjoyed by visitors to Prague is to arrange accommodations in a “Botel”, a hotel within a boat that provides gorgeous city views from the water.
The Prague Metro is an intricate and reliable method of moving about the city and along with buses and a ferry system accommodates most transportation needs of tourists within the city. Prague is considered to be a very walkable city and self-guided walking tours are one of the favored ways to move about the fascinating city. One of the busiest airports in central Europe services Prague, Prague Ruzyne Airport.
Fulfill your dream of visiting one of the great cities of central Europe by including a trip to Prague, Czech Republic on your list. Beautiful architecture and wonderful attractions await your visit. Start planning the details for this fantastic holiday now.
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