Prague is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic,
the 14th largest city in the European Union and also the historical capital of Bohemia. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its larger urban zone is estimated to have a population of 2.2 million. The city has a temperate climate, with warm summers and chilly winters.
Prague has been a political, cultural and economic centre of central Europe complete with a rich history. Founded during the Romanesque and flourishing by the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque eras, Prague was the capital of the kingdom of Bohemia and the main residence of several Holy Roman Emperors, most notably of Charles IV (r. 1346–1378). It was an important city to the Habsburg Monarchy and its Austro-Hungarian Empire. The city played major roles in the Bohemian and Protestant Reformation, the Thirty Years’ War and in 20th-century history as the capital of Czechoslovakia, during both World Wars and the post-war Communist era.
Prague is home to a number of famous cultural attractions, many of which survived the violence and destruction of 20th-century Europe. Main attractions include the Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square with the Prague astronomical clock, the Jewish Quarter, Petrin hill and Vysehrad. Since 1992, the extensive historic centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. The city has more than ten major museums, along with numerous theatres, galleries, cinemas and other historical exhibits. An extensive modern public transportation system connects the city. Also, it is home to a wide range of public and private schools, including Charles University in Prague, the oldest university in Central Europe.
Prague is classified as a “Beta+” global city according to GaWC studies and ranked sixth in the Tripadvisor world list of best destinations in 2016. Its rich history makes it a popular tourist destination and as of 2014, the city receives more than 6.4 million international visitors annually. Prague is the fifth most visited European city after London, Paris, Istanbul and Rome.
Culture : The city is traditionally one of the cultural centres of Europe, hosting many cultural events. Some of the significant cultural institutions include the National Theatre (Narodni Divadlo) and the Estates Theatre (Stavovske or Tylovo or Nosticovo divadlo), where the premieres of Mozart’s Don Giovanni and La clemenza di Tito were held. Other major cultural institutions are the Rudolfinum which is home to the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and the Municipal House which is home to the Prague Symphony Orchestra. The Prague State Opera (Statni opera) performs at the Smetana Theatre.
The city has many world-class museums, including the National Museum (Narodni muzeum), the Museum of the Capital City of Prague, the Jewish Museum in Prague, the Alfons Mucha Museum, the African-Prague Museum, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, the Naprstek Museum (Naprstkovo Muzeum), the Josef Sudek Gallery and The Josef Sudek Studio, the National Library and the National Gallery, which manages the largest collection of art in the Czech Republic. There are hundreds of concert halls, galleries, cinemas and music clubs in the city.
It hosts music festivals including the Prague Spring International Music Festival, the Prague Autumn International Music Festival, the Prague International Organ Festival and the Prague International Jazz Festival. Film festivals include the Febiofest, the One World Film Festival and Echoes of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The city also hosts the Prague Writers’ Festival, the Prague Folklore Days, Prague Advent Choral Meeting the Summer Shakespeare Festival, the Prague Fringe Festival, the World Roma Festival, as well as the hundreds of Vernissages and fashion shows.
Many films have been made at Barrandov Studios and at Prague Studios. Hollywood films set in Prague include Mission Impossible, xXx, Blade II, Alien vs. Predator, Doom, Chronicles of Narnia, Hellboy, Red Tails, Children of Dune and Van Helsing. Other Czech films shot in Prague include Empties, EuroTrip, Amadeus and The Fifth Horseman is Fear. Also, the romantic music video “Never Tear Us Apart” by INXS, “Diamonds from Sierra Leone” by Kanye West was shot in the city, and features shots of the Charles Bridge and the Astronomical Clock, among other famous landmarks. Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music” video was filmed at Prague’s Radost FX Club.
The city was also the setting for the film Dungeons and Dragons in 2000. The music video “Silver and Cold” by AFI, an American rock band, was also filmed in Prague. Many Indian films have also been filmed in the city including Yuvraaj, Drona and Rockstar. Early 2000’s europop hit “Something” by “Lasgo” was filmed at the central train station in Prague.
With the growth of low-cost airlines in Europe, Prague has become a popular weekend city destination allowing tourists to visit its many museums and cultural sites as well as try its famous Czech beers and hearty cuisine. The city has many buildings by renowned architects, including Adolf Loos (Villa Muller), Frank O. Gehry (Dancing House) and Jean Nouvel (Golden Angel).
Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Prague :
- Prague Castle
- Charles Bridge
- The Clementinum and the National Library
- The Old Town Square and the Astronomical Clock
- St. Vitus Cathedral
- The Church of Our Lady before Tyn
- The National Gallery in Prague
- The Municipal House
- Prague Zoo / The Jewish Quarter (Josefov)
- The Strahov Monastery and Library / The Petrin Lookout Tower
- The Lennon Wall
- St. Nicholas Church / Wenceslas Square
- The National Museum / The National Theatre
- The Dancing House / The Hilltop Fortress: Vysehrad
- The Olsany Cemetery.
Go next : Brno / České Budějovice / Český Krumlov / Frýdek Místek / Hradec Králové / Jihlava / Karlovy Vary / Kroměříž / Liberec