Prague boasts a variety of landmarks and sights not to be missed on a visit to the Czech capital, from the magnificent Prague Castle to the unique Žižkov Television Tower.
Bridge of Charles
Prague’s oldest remaining bridge, connecting the Lesser Quarter and the Old Town, is the Charles Bridge, possibly the most prominent landmark in the Czech capital, beautifully lined with Baroque statues. During the age of Emperor Charles IV, the bridge was built, and legend has it that eggs were used for extra strength during the construction. It was open to traffic, including trams, in the early-20th century, but today it’s packed with local artists selling their creations to tourists.
Flowing into Prague from southern Bohemia, the bank of the Vltava River provides some of the best views of Prague’s historic centre. Take a walk along its embankments lined with chic restaurants , cafes and markets, or visit some of the islands in the center of the river. A river cruise can show you some of the most popular sights in the area, or you can rent a rowboat or motorboat for your own exploration of the river.
This Premonstratensian abbey, situated on a ridge near the Prague Castle complex, was built in the 12th century as one of the earliest such institutions in the world. Its library is a splendid example of Baroque interior decoration, with its beautiful Theological and Philosophical Rooms. A famous restaurant with a brewery is also in the monastery.
St Nicholas’s Church
The Church of St Nicolas is a prime example of Prague’s Baroque architecture and is situated in the heart of the Lesser Quarter, underneath the Prague Castle complex. The church also holds classical music concerts, and the adjacent tower, once a dwelling for fire watchers, now houses a small museum devoted to the use of the tower as an observation post for the secret police of the Communist period.
Square in the Old Town
Located in the heart of the Old Town of Prague, this square has been an important backdrop to some of the most dramatic moments in the history of the country, such as the execution of Protestant lords in the 17th century and the 1948 communist coup. The Old Town Hall contains one of the most prominent monuments in Prague, the Astronomical Medieval Clock. The procession of apostles at the top of the clock attracts hundreds of spectators every full hour.
Castle of Prague
Overlooking the center of the city, Prague Castle is the world’s largest ancient castle complex and towers over the Vltava River. It was once the seat of the Kings of Bohemia and now serves as the Czech President’s office. Some of the most important events in Czech history have occurred, such as the defenestration that sparked the disastrous Thirty Years ‘ War, the victory of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler over the nation on the eve of World War II, and the inauguration of Czech President Václav Havel in 1989.