The largest city and the capital of the Czech Republic is Prague. This city is located in Bohemia on the Vitava River. Prague is a city known around the world by many different monikers which include “City of a hundred spires”, “Mother of all cities” and “The golden city”. Prague is home to almost two million residents.
Prague is a city with a rich history that goes back over a thousand years. During the Renaissance it was the seat of the Holy Roman Empire. It is also a city that is known as the cultural and economic center of the Czech Republic. It is home to some of the finest museums in the world and has a thriving industrial sector. Manufacturing activities in Prague include aircraft and small engine production, as well as electronics and refined oil products. This city, as of recently, has become a popular filming location for Hollywood production companies. This is due to the beautiful and historic architecture, as well as the low cost of shooting movies in the city.
This city’s educational needs are service by several private and public universities. Some of the more prominent of the universities include Charles University, Czech Technical University, Academy of Fine Arts and the Academy of Performing Arts. Other universities in Prague include the University of New York in Prague and the University of Northern Virginia in Prague.
Prague is a city with no shortage of historic landmarks and attractions. From historic buildings to world class hotels and museums. A must see for any visitor is the Bertramka or Mozart Museum. This was a vineyard estate that was used by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as a summer home. It is also the location where he finished the concert aria for his masterpiece “Bella mia fiamma, addio”. Nowadays this location is a museum with a permanent exhibition dedicated to the life of Mozart. This location also serves as a concert hall featuring classical concerts during the summer months and the Christmas season.
Located in Old Town is the Bethlehem Chapel. This beautiful church was built in 1391 and was a central place of worship for the inhabitants of Prague. In 1661 it changed from being a Protestant church to a Catholic church. In the eighteenth century, the church was damaged and it took a good portion of the twentieth century to reconstruct. Today it remains a popular place of worship and holds services in Czech.
Another popular church in Old Town is the Church Of Our Lady Before Tyn. This Gothic church was built in 1385 and has been in constant operation ever since. This church is lit up on a nightly basis and is truly a site to behold. Visitors should also take a look at the interior of the church, which is not designed in the Gothic style like the exterior, but is done in the Baroque style of architecture.
The Old Town section of town is also home to the Klementinum. This building was erected in 1232 and is one of the oldest and most interesting collection of buildings in the entire district. One of the main features of this attraction is the Mirror Chapel. This chapel was built in 1724 and features two organs from that period of time. One of the organs was played on a regular basis by Mozart during his frequent trips to the city. Other features include the Baroque Library Hall and the Astronomical Tower.
While in the Old Town section of Prague, visitors should take the opportunity to pay a visit to one of the most beautiful and romantic bridges in the entire city. The Karluv Mos, or Charles Bridge is a long stone bridge that was built in the fourteenth century and links the two halves of Prague. This bridge is adorned with over seventy five statues and offers visitors a picturesque view of the city skyline, especially at night. During the day its filled with various musicians and artists.
A very odd building located on the Vltava River, amidst many historic buildings is the Dancing House . This building gets its name from its curved lines that appear to be engaged in a very intimate dance. Its a building that is done in the modernistic style and is one that is not easy to miss. At the top of the Dancing House is the Celeste Restaurant. From this restaurant spectacular views of the city can be taken in while a world class meal is enjoyed.
Located in the Prague Castle complex is Lobkowicz Palace. This palace was built in the sixteenth century and has many exhibits on site. Some of these include collections of antique guns, rare musical text that belonged to Beethoven and Mozart, musical instruments and paintings from the middle ages. During the summer months this location also has many concerts available to fans of classical music.
No trip to the city would be complete without a visit to Prague Castle. This Gothic castle was built in the fourteenth century and is one of the largest castles in all of Europe. It was the home to many Czech kings, but is now the seat of the President of Czechoslovakia. The changing of the Czech royal guard can be witnessed at the entrance of the Prague Castle every hour on the hour.