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A Visitor's Guide to Prague

 


Visitors: 155

No matter the time of year, Prague guarantees its visitors fun, excitement and total satisfaction. Prague, divided into several quarters, mainly the Old Town, New Town, Little Quarter, Prague Castle and Hradcany and Jewish Quarter, will require planning as you'll be spoilt for choice. You will be hard-pressed to decide where to start with your visit of the many facets of Prague.

Perhaps, you may wish to start at the Old Town Square, free of traffic, except for horse-drawn carriages, and lined with historic sights. . . From Romanesque to Baroque influences, religious buildings are found all over Prague, with the concentration of the synagogues in the Jewish Quarter. A walking distance away and displaying her grand steeples is the proud Gothic landmark of the Church of Our Lady before Tyn where astronomer and astrologer, Tycho Brahe is buried. From the early 15th Century to early 16th Century this was the main Hussite church in Prague. Probably the oldest synagogue in Europe, the 700 year old Old-New Synagogue is a must-see to have an insight on Jewish history in Prague.

At Hradcany, the quarter adjoining Little Quarter, is the Prague Castle and the glorious St Vitus’ Cathedral. Prague Castle has survived fires and invasions and over history has gained several churches, chapels and towers. Its magnificence and breathtaking sights can only be appreciated first-hand. The St Vitus’ Cathedral which houses the tomb of King Wenceslas, boasts startling Gothic and Renaissance architecture that will leave you enraptured. Drop by the Royal Palace nearby which proudly boasts of Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque styles and learn of the Defenestration of 1618 first-hand. Defenestration you ask? Well it's the act of throwing a person out the window, literally!

At the Little Quarter, Malostranske Namesti or the Little Quarter Square is the bustling centre which transports you back to medieval Prague. For a little more ‘action’ or ‘excitement', visit Wenceslas Square in the New Town where hotels and restaurants line its boundaries, including the regal State Opera, the city's main opera house. Don't miss the National Theatre, sadly gutted by fire in 1881 and rebuilt into its present gold-crested splendour.

For shopping needs, skirt around the shops and markets in the New Town but do take note of its closing hours for lunch. And, who can forget Bohemian crystal and China? You can find a wide selection at Karlovy Vary China shop and Moser. A tip for shoppers, prices are lower in the West end.

However short or long the duration of your trip, there's never enough time to fully appreciate the beauty and offerings of Prague. You may find yourself planning your next visit even before your stay ends!

Orson Johnson writes for Holiday Velvet, a website providing Prague holiday apartments and Vacation accommodation worldwide .

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