/ On The Road
On The Road — By Marianne on June 30, 2010 at 12:35 pm
Filed under: architecture, Prague, top-feature

Prague: City of Wenceslas and Tourists

Prague is the city of cobbled streets, Bohemian crystal, souvenirs and tourists. Prague is immensely popular. This compact city is speckled with Gothic, Baroque and Art Nouveau architecture. Watch the astronomical clock parade. Shuffle across Charles Bridge and wind your way up to Hradcany, the castle district. Climb up to Letna Beer Garden for sweeping views of the Vltava River and the city beyond Sample Pilsner Urquell, Krusovice, Gambrinus, Kozel or Staropramen in this traditional pivovar or beer garden.

wenceslas square, prague

Václavské Náměstí, Wenceslas Square,  buzzes day and night. Sit down at the foot of the equestrian statue of the country’s patron saint, Wenceslas or Vaclav in Czech. History tells us that Prince Wenceslas was murdered by his own brother in the 9th century.

vltava, bridges, prague

Bisecting the city, the Vltava River flows like a satin ribbon through the heart of Prague. Trams rattle across the numerous bridges that connect Malá Strana or, Lesser Quarter, on the west bank to Staré Město, Old Town, on the east bank.

old town square, prague

Staroměstské Náměstí, Old Town Square, hums with activity day and night. Tourists take photos of each other or sit down at the foot of the Hus Monument taking in the grandeur of the buildings surrounding the square.
The sculpture was unveiled in 1915 in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the death of Hus who gave his name to the heretical religious movement known as Hussitism. Hus objected to the Catholic Church’s corrupt practices and ended at the stake.

charles bridge, st vitus, prague

Share Karlův Most, Charles Bridge, with tourists and locals. Shuffle up and down while you inspect the souvenir stands. The bridge, resting on sixteen pillars, dates back to the 14th and 15th century. Over the centuries, it was restored many times and not much is left of the original stone structure. The present bridge is 515 meters long and 9.5 meters wide, and pedestrians only. Until the end of the 17th century the tall crucifix was the only decoration on the bridge. Over the next thirty years, a string of Baroque statues depicting saints found a place on the parapet. The statues you see are all replicas. The original ones are on display in the Lapidarum Museum, to protect them from the weather.

obecni dum, municipal house, prague

Marvel at art Nouveau architecture of Obecní  Dům or Municipal House. The central wrought iron gate and stained-glass canopy compliment a truly delightful mosaic entitled Homage to Prague. The gilt inscription around it is from ‘Hail to Prague’ a poem by Svatopluk Cech written at the of end the 19th century. The sculptures beside the mosaic depict Humiliation and the Rebirth of the Czech Nation.

astronomical clock, prague

The Astronomical Clock is easy to spot, simply join the crowd waiting in front. Every hour, on the hour death rings a bell, a procession of apostles pops out of one window. They nod at the tourists and disappear in another window. The cock crows. The hour strikes. Don’t blink because the show is over in one minute.

QUICK FACTS

WHAT: Letna Beer Garden
WHERE: Letenske sady(Letna Park), Prague 7 (map)
Share your table with locals and sample Plzensky Prazdroj or Gambrinus. Sweeping views of Prague and leafy trees make Letna Gardens the best place to relax after a busy day of sightseeing. If you feel a little hungry, grab a sausage with a generous dollop of mustard.

WHAT: Lapidarum Museum
WHERE: Výstaviště 422, Prague 7 (map)
OPENING HOURS: Tue-Sun 12:00 – 18:00, closed on Mondays
Exhibition of Czech stone sculptures of the 11th – 19th century, including the original sculptures collected from their former locations throughout Prague.

During my last visit to Prague (May 2010), I discovered that the museum was closed due to technical reasons. This probably means not enough funding. Ask the Tourist Information Centre if they have re-opened.

WHAT: Tourist Information Centre
WHERE: Old Town Hall, Old Town Square, Prague 1 (map)
OPENING HOURS: daily 09:00 – 19:00

WHAT: Obecni Dum
WHERE: Námesti Republiky 5, Prague 1 (map)
Prague’s most elaborate Art Nouveau building. Join the guided tour at 2 pm every day or attend a concert in the Smetana Hall. The programme often includes Ma Vlast, My Fatherland, a symphonic poem composed by Bedrich Smetana, a famous Czech composer of the late 1800s who pioneered a nationalistic musical style.

photo credits: personal collection

Related places:
  1. A
    Letenske Sady / Letna Park
    Letensk? sady, 170 00, Czech Republic
    View Details and Book
  2. B
    V?stavi%u0161te
    V?stavište, 170 00 Praha 7, Czech Republic
    View Details and Book
  3. C
    Old Town Square Hotel And Residence
    Staromestske Namesti 20, Prague, 110 00, CZ
    View Details and Book
  4. D
    Obecn? dum
    n?mest? Republiky 1090/5, 110 00 Praha 1-Star? Mesto, Cesk? republika
    View Details and Book
Tags: architecture, Prague, top-feature


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