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Local Attractions

Local Attractions in Prague

1. Charles Bridge 

Connecting Old Town and Lesser Town over the River Vltava is the 600 year-old Charles Bridge, Prague’s most iconic landmark. King Charles IV commissioned the bridge in 1357, replacing the Judith Bridge which was destroyed by a flood in 1342. Thirty Baroque statues line the sides of the pedestrian bridge along with myriad vendor’s stalls, musicians, performance artists and beggars. A bustling, busy area, the bridge is almost never empty of people, although seeing it at dawn or in the evening will mean fewer crowds. Prague Castle, looming above, is lit at night, and provides a dramatic vista that enchants all visitors. On each end of the Charles Bridge rests a tower that offers a great view of the bridge to those who climb the steps.

 
      

2. Old Town Square 

Located between Wenceslas Square and the Charles Bridge, Prague’s Old Town Square is often bursting with tourists and locals in the summer. Czech’s long history is exemplified in the medley of architectural styles: Romanesque, Baroque, Rococo, Gothic and Renaissance are all represented in the superb buildings around the square. Soaring Gothic towers that rise from Tyn Cathedral contrasts with the Baroque style of St. Nicholas while Old Town Hall consists of a collection of Gothic and Renaissance buildings. Entranced visitors wander through the square, stopping for a spot of people-watching at one of the outdoor cafes or studying the square’s central statue of Jan Hus, church reformer and martyr.

 

3. Prague Castle 

Towering above the city is Prague Castle, more of a sprawling complex than a single defensive building. The castle buildings span centuries and consists of a royal palace, a cathedral and three churches, a basilica, a monastery, defensive towers, royal stables, a tiny lane where craftsmen worked and magnificent gardens. Prague Castle began as a wooden fortress with earthen bulwarks in the 9th century; by the 11th century, it included a royal palace and the 14th century saw the beginning of St. Vitus Cathedral. The cathedral in the castle complex is a jewel in Prague’s crown, a superb example of Gothic architecture. Kings and emperors are buried here.

 
      

4. Old Town Hall 

You can find the Old Town Hall right in the heart of old town Prague. You’ll know you’ve found it by the gathering crowds at the base of its gothic tower where every hour between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. the 12 Apostles appear on the astronomical clock. The appearance only lasts a moment, but the crowd will roar with applause for the amazing mechanical show. It’s made all the more impressive by the fact that this building was first established back in 1338 and served as the seat of the old town administration.

 

5. Mala Strana 

On the other end of Charles Bridge from Old Town Square lies the Malá Strana or Lesser Town district. Baroque architecture is the rule in Malá Strana, although its history dates back to 1257 when it was founded as a royal town. The Baroque St. Nicholas Church and the extensive Wallenstein Palace dominate the area.

 
      

6. Tyn Church 

The Church of Our Lady before Tyn graces the Old Town Square. Among the most well-known attractions in Prague, the church’s Gothic towers soar 80 meters (260 ft) into the sky and can be seen from all parts of the city. Like many other Prague churches, the site’s original building was an 11th century Romanesque church built for foreign merchants who came to Tyn Courtyard for trade.