Prague – a fairytale city with ancient castles and Gothic churches
The City of a Hundred Spires, with its medieval cityscape intact, continues to dazzle as it has the better part of a millennium. The Old Town’s Astronomical Clock still chimes the hour as crowds cross the cobblestone Charles Bridge under the gaze of the castle.
The Prague population call their city Mater Urbium – the Mother of Cities – a reference to a time in the 14th century when Prague served as the capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Architectural treasures like Prague Castle, St Vitus’s Cathedral and the Loreto testify to that former grandeur. But Prague is more than pretty buildings – it throbs with culture, music, literature, theatre – and intrigue. All who visit are bewildered by the spires and cobbles and the tiny lanes of the most enchanting city in Central Europe. It officially became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.
And did we mention the beer? The Czech Republic prides itself as the home of the world’s finest lager. What could be better than winding through the Baroque streetscapes of Mala Strana, taking the National Gallery’s collection of modern art a the Trade Fair Palace and enjoying the green spaces of the Wallenstein Garden or Petrin Hill and then having a few drinks at one of the traditional pubs like U Zlateho tygra to digest it all over a point of Pilsner Urquell or Staropramen?
Hope you enjoy it! Carpe Diem!
Prague is a fascinating city – nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires,” it’s known for its Old Town Square, the heart of its historic core, with colourful baroque buildings, Gothic churches and the medieval Astronomical Clock, which gives an animated hourly show. Completed in 1402, pedestrian Charles Bridge is lined with statues of Catholic saints.
- 6 million visitors per year;
- a population of 1.6 million;
Some fascinating facts:
- Prague was founded in the 8th century the first settlement established in the area of present day Prague, in the Lesser Town (Mala Strana);
- Did you know that Prague Castle is the largest in the world? The 130 metre wide medieval castle and its 70,000 square metres of land attract almost 2 million visitors every year and have landed it a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. It dates back to the 9th century and spans 18 acres with numerous courtyards and ancillary buildings;
- The locals drink more beer than any other country in the world per capita, with about 150 litres drank every year. The locals sometimes refer to beer as “liquid bread,” and it has been brewed and sold there for around 1,000 years. The fact that it’s cheaper than water on most menus probably doesn’t hurt;
- The most famous bridge in Prague is Charles Bridge, connecting the city’s Old Town to the Mala Strana over the Vltava River. Supposedly the bridge, which was built all the way back in the 1300s, is haunted by ghosts whose heads ended up on nearby spikes. Locals claim that they have seen them wandering up and down Charles Bridge, going about their business as they please;
- The narrowest street in Prague is barely 50 cm wide (super tiny), yet because it’s so narrow it has its own traffic light. The traffic light prevents pedestrians from meeting in the middle and then wondering how to walk past each other;
- Prague is one of the best cities in Europe for a fun night out. With its love for beer and nightclubs. Check out the Karlovy Lázně nightclub right in the city centre and adjacent to Charles Bridge – it is central Europe’s largest club – make sure you go – it is a hilarious night out;
- Prague is known as the City of Hundred Spires, but is it true or is it just a fairytale and made-up number to attract tourists? here are hundreds and hundreds of spires, and the total number is somewhere between 500 to 1000. The most famous towers or buildings with towers in Prague are the Powder Gate, New Town Hall, St. Vitus Cathedral, or Petrin Lookout Tower;
- One of the oldest universities in the world, Charles University is the most prestigious university in the Czech Republic. Charles University was founded by the emperor Charles IV in 1348, who is regarded as the greatest ruler of the Bohemian Kingdom;
- Where else can you go for a Beer Spa? Apparently the high hop oil content in the beer helps to open your pores and have a more glowing appearance.