Prague has become one of the most popular places to visit in Europe. The combination of great sights and low prices makes it a very great place for a vacation. You can find cheap hotels, cheap gourmet food and large beers. |
The first historical building in Prague was the castle Prazsky Hrad. It was built in the 9th century. The castle sits on a hill high above the Vltava River.
Inside the castle area there are three churches, a monastery and a palace. The city Hradcany was founded around the year 1320 in a smaller part of the castle's outer courtyard.
The president seat has been located in the castle since 1918. There is changing of the Guard every hour in front of the castle. At noon it even includes fanfare.
Stare Mesto is the old part of Prague. Centrally located in the town is the square Staromestske namesti (Old Town Square) located. The square is surrounded by historical buildings that can be compared with any other European city.
The first settlements around the castle started in the 10th century. From here it spread over the Vltava River to the right bank. Since then the houses and churches where rapidly build around the square.
In 1338 the city hall was build (it is now being called the Old Town Hall). Today it is known for its astronomical clock from 1490. Every hour a large crowds flock to see the show, where an odd group of apostles, the Death, a rooster, a turkey, the Vanity and the Greed performs their own little show.
The 520 meter long Charles Bridge was built in 1357. And until 1741 it was the only way to cross the Vltava River. It is built of sandstone blocks; and it is said to have been reinforced with an odd combination of mortar and eggs.
Until 1683 the bridge was only decorated with a simple cross. Then the first statues were set up, and since a lot of other statues have followed; statues that gives the bridge its characteristic look.
The bridge is a tourist magnet. For the same reason a large group of artists and merchants sell the wares to the tourists on the bridge.
Prague is not as cheap as it used to be, but it is nevertheless still possible to make some really good shopping. And if you think it is only wares from the former East Europe, you are wrong.
Since the Velvet Revolution in 1989 a lot has happened in Prague; both in terms of foreign and Czech products. Today all major American and Western European brands are represented in Prague. And you can easily spend a full day shopping in department stores and specialty shops in downtown Prague.
Morten Elm is writing about city breaks in Prage on Weekendophold in Prag. Read more about the sights in Seværdigheder in Prag.
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