Saturday, April 2, 2016

6 Things To See in Prague

I still have a long way before I can say that I have seen the beauty of this world. But I can say that I have visited a lot of spectacular places that literally took my breath away.
Europe, for example, is a region that boasts of so much grandeur and beauty thanks to its medieval castles, winding cobblestone roads, well-preserved churches and moats, gardens of colorful flowers, and collections of majestic fountains among others.

A City of a Thousand Spires

But even in a region such as this, Prague, the biggest city and capital of the Czech Republic, stands tall as one of the most arresting and breathtaking cities you will ever see.
Situated at the heart of the Bohemian region, Prague is one of the oldest cities in Europe dating back to as far as 1,200 years ago, Born during the Romanesque era (1000AD), the city continued to flourish during the Gothic and Baroque periods.
A great part of the city also boast of Art Nuveau style. This explains why some of the famous landmarks in the city are a mixture of these styles of architecture.
1, Prague Castle
Without question, Prague Castle is the most visited spot in the city and it is one of the most picture perfect and impressive complexes in the known world. Founded in the 9th century, it has been the symbol of the city and it has been a major tourist destination for travelers. Spanning 45 hectares, the complex contains of palaces, offices, churches, fortification buildings, and gardens among others.
Prague’s monicker “the city of a thousand spires” was probably inspired by the astounding view of the city from atop the castle grounds. From the elevated castle, you can see the buildings adorned with spires reflective of the different architecture styles.

Charles Bridge with a view of Prague Castle in the distance

2. Charles Bridge
Charles Bridge (Karluv Most), is a 14th century Gothic bridge adorned by sculptures of 30 saints and martyrs. It gives visitors and locals alike a gorgeous vista of the Vltava River.This sandstone bridge connects the city’s Lesser Town and Old Town. The best time to visit is during early morning or late afternoon when the sun’s rays on the rivers creates a very romantic atmosphere.

3. The Vltava River
The Vltava River is another integral part that creates the stunning Prague landscape. In fact, almost every traveler who pases by the city, takes the a picture of the Prague Castle in the distance, from the bridge with the river serving as the foreground. When done correctly, a picture that contains these elements will definitely convince anyone to come visit the city at least once.

The Gates of Prague Castle

While the the triumvirate of the castle, bridge and river, are the most famous lanmarks in the city, Prague boasts of other elements that further add beauty and grandeur to the city.

4. Old Town Hall and Astronomical clock
The Old Town Hall with the Astronomical Clock (Staromestska radnice s orlojem),  located at the very heart of the city’s tourist district, is a definite must-see. The Gothic tower, built in 1338 is the oldest part of the district and the astronimical tower or Orloj, features an hourly display of the 12 apostles between 9am to 11pm. You can go inside the tower and see the inner workings of the clock for a one of a kind experience in Prague.
5. Church of Our Lady
The Church of Our Lady Before Tyn (Chrám Matky Boží před Týnem), is another prominent fixture in the syline of Old Town Prague. It is one of most recognizable religious buildings in the city and it boasts of both Gothic and Baroque styles due to the fact that it was constructed from the mid 14th century to the early 16th century. This cathedral houses some of the Prague’s most important works of art including the altar paintings of Karel Skreta and the tomb of the astronomer Tcho Brahe.

Prague Castle Complex

Prague is known to have some of the oldest buildings in Europe but the city also has a contemporary side.
6. John Lennon Wall
The John Lennon Wall located in Mala Strana district is a psychedelic tribute wall to the famous Beatles singer and songwriter. You might ask why the singer, who was never able to visit Prague, has a dedicated wall in the city.

lennon wall
John Lennon Wall

Well, you see, the pacifist singer is such a hero and inspiration to the youth of Eastern Europe in the 80’s, when the region was still under communist regime. Lennon’s death inspired the locals and they trooped to the wall to pain graffitis and blurbs of suport and dedicated to the late singer. Before you know it, the wall expanded and has been a major tourist landmark in Prague.

The Royal Guard of Prague Castle

Prague is such a picturesque city and it willl take you weeks before you can see all of its attractions. and it will take months, before you can get see the full beauty and charm of this remarkable city.
I had the pleasure of visiting Prague for only three days and a half days but those were enough for me to be completely enamored with the city. They were enough for me to realize that Prague is indeed one of the most beautiful places on earth. And it would be a sin to come back.

St. Vilnius Cathedral


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