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Best places to go in Prague
The Charles Bridge
This stone Gothic bridge connects two of the most charming Prague districts – the Old Town and Mala Strana. Its sides were later adorned with 30 Baroque statues, first of which appeared in 1683. The bridge has a very special atmosphere, as it attracts many local artists and musicians who line the sides of the bridge all year round.
Either side of the bridge is guarded by a tower. Both Staromestska tower (on the Old Town side) and Malostranska tower (on the Lesser Quarter side) are now open to the public and well worth a climb as the views from the top are magnificent.
Old Town Square ( Staromestske namesti )
o step into the Old Town Square in Prague is to journey back in time, 600 or 700 years. As you stand in awe, the dramatic history of Prague permeates the atmosphere.
The Old Town Square (Staromestske Namesti), with it's ancient buildings and magnificent churches, is one of the most beautiful historical sights in Europe. Sit back and soak up the atmosphere over a coffee at one of the many pavement cafés surrounding the square.
Dating back to the late 12th century, the Old Town Square started it's life as the central marketplace for Prague. Over the next few centuries, many buildings of Romanesque, Baroque and Gothic styles were erected around the market, each bringing with them stories of wealthy merchants and intrigue.
The most notable sights in Prague's Old Town Square are the Church of Our Lady before Tyn, the Astronomical Clock & Old Town Hall Tower and the stunning St. Nicolas Church.
At the centre of the Old Town Square is the Jan Hus statue, erected on the 6th July 1915 to mark the 500th anniversary of the reformer’s death. The groundswell of supporters for his beliefs during the 14th and 15th centuries eventually led to the famous Hussite wars.
The Prague Castle complex (Prazsky Hrad) is one of the largest in Europe stretching over 0.5 km in length. The castle was founded in 9th century and has been since a seat of the Czech Kings, Holy Roman Emperors, and Czech presidents. In the centre of the castle complex stands Prague cathedral of St. Vitus, the most important of Prague's numerous churches and place of coronations of Czech kings.
Wenceslas Square ( Vaclavske namesti )
Wenceslas Square in Prague is a vibrant centre for apartments, hotels, bars, clubs, restaurants and shops.
Wenceslas Square is one of the most popular places to stay in Prague. Tourists are attracted to the shopping, entertainment and nightlife all around, along with the fact that most of Prague's sights and attractions lie within easy walking distance. From Wenceslas Square it is possible to walk anywhere in central Prague.
The 750m long and 60m wide boulevard that makes up Wenceslas Square was laid out over 600 years ago during the reign of Charles IV and was originally used as the main Prague horse market. Over the years it has been a regular parade ground for all kinds of organisations and political parties. From anti-communist uprisings to winning the World Ice Hockey Championships, this is where Czech's come to protest and to celebrate. Wenceslas Square can comfortably hold up to 400,000 people!
At the top of Wenceslas Square, the statue of St. Wenceslas on his horse cuts a striking figure. This is good King Wenceslas (Vaclav), murdered over a thousand years ago by his brother, and now a Czech national hero.
Behind St. Wenceslas is the monumental National Museum. Nearby is the famous Prague State Opera.
In front of the statue of St. Wenceslas are two plaques in memory of those killed during the Communist period. One is dedicated to Jan Palach, a 20-year old student who set himself on fire in January 1969, in protest at the Soviet invasion.
Wenceslas Square is all hustle and bustle and full of life.