I stayed longer in Prague compared to other European cities during my first European trip. It was unplanned and like the saying goes ” You don’t always need a plan, just go”.
Prague is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Ranked by Business Insider as top twenty in year 2016, Tripadvisor’s top nine in world’s best destination, and top six in the Culture Trip of world destination. As capital city of the Czech Republic, it is often called the “Heart of Europe” for the central position it occupies geographically. It is the heart and centre of the European continent.
On a murky and dreary day, my first day in Prague, I walked through cobblestone streets of the old town; sight-seeing. Unlike other European old towns, Prague is very touristy. It’s hard to get nice pictures when the place is jam-packed of travelers or holidaymakers.
Here’s my Prague Memorabilia:
Vltava is Czech Republic’s national river and the longest covering 430 kms. River starts from Bohemian Forest near the German border running through Prague to the Central Bohemian town of Melnik. According to history, Czech Republic was once called The Kingdom of Bohemia during the medieval ages. Bohemia comprises of different tribes but the largest was Boii people, a very large group Celtic nation from Northern Italy migrated to some parts of Germany but mostly settled in Bohemia Land which is now known as the Czech Republic.
The Rudolfinum is a music auditorium in Prague, which you can see on your way to the Prague castle if you are taking Listopadu Street corner of Nam J. Palancha. This has been the home of Czech Philharmonic Orchestra since 1946 and you can find a state-run gallery of contemporary art on the side of the building with a cafe. It is designed in Neo-Renaissance and this building serves as venues of some gatherings, music festivals and for filming movies.
In front of the building, you can find the statue of Antonin Leopold Dvorak who is a Czech composer, and Vysoka Skola Umeleckoprumyslova v Praze which translates to Academy of Arts Building.
On the side of the Rudolfinum, there is another statue- Josef Manes who came from a family of painters and considered to be among the greatest Czech painters.
Charles Bridge is a very famous historic bridge. It is on the top of every must-to-do list in Prague. Built between 13 to 15th century as per the order of King Charles V. The first wooden bridge was called old Judith bridge and become Stone Bridge on the 15th century and later changed to Charles Bridge on the 18th Century. Along the bridge, there are many vendors of paintings, handmade jewelries and musicians. The best time to visit the bridge is early morning and evening on summer or spring season. Winter is foggy in the morning and gets dark as early as 5pm.
There are bridge towers built at either end of the bridge. Coming from Old town is the Old Town Bridge Tower and on the other end is the Lesser Bridge there are 30 statues mounted in at the bridge.
Few of the statues that caught my attention are: The Christ the Saviour with St. Cosmas and St. Damian, Statue of St. John of Matha, St. Felix of Valois and St. Ivan and Statue of the Madonna attending to St. Bernard.
Prague is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.. and I agree on that. In fact, this is my most favorite town among other European Old Towns.
There are many Prague Towers which are available and tickets can be purchased only at the office in the tower. The towers are: The Petrin Observation Tower, The Mirror Maze on Petrin Hill, The Powder Tower, The Old town Bridge Tower, The Lesser Town Bridge Tower, The Town Belfrey by St. Nicholas Church and The New Mill Water Tower.
Another way to see the Charles Bridge, is to climb the bridge towers. I tried to go upstairs on Lesser Town Bridge and the entrance fee by that time was 90 CZK or 3.50$. Stairs are made of wood, narrow and steep.
The rest of the day I spent in old town. At night, checking some pubs with another traveler and joined the Pub Crawl party :-)..