In over three decades, Prague has been one of the most popular tourist destination in Europe with over 4 million visitors each year. Prague is considered to be one of Europe’s architectural gems for Gothic, Art Nouveau, Renaissance and Baroque styles dot the city. There are also splendid luxury hotels that make the trip worthwhile. Below are 10 serene destinations that you cannot afford to miss when you visit Prague:
The Powder Tower connects history to the present. It was built in the 11th century and served as one of the original gates into Old Town. It was later rebuilt in the 17th century by King Vladislav. It was where both the coronation and the royal route used to start on their way to St. Vitus Cathedral to crown the king. The tower was also used to store gun powder in the 17th century and this is where it got its name. The tower has a spiral staircase with 186 steps that leads to a gallery where fantastic views of Old Town can be enjoyed.
It was created by Valdo Milunic, a Czech architect and Frank Gehry, a Canadian in the 20th century. The Dancing House is such a remarkable structure with dynamic design elements that lets it stand out in complete contrast to the classical architecture designs around it. The building resembles a female dancer swinging in the arms of a male partner. Dancing House is a private office building found in Resslova Street with a restaurant, the Celeste on the seventh floor which is open to the public.
This is the best place to be to sample the finest of Art Nouveau designs. It was constructed in 1912 and serves as one of the largest concert venues in the Smetana Hall. The Municipal House has plenty of striking features such an interior styles with fine stained glass windows and significant paintings. A lavish façade with a huge mural on the arch just above the second floor balcony and a dome above the arch.
The National Gallery acts as home to some of the most significant art collections in Europe. Majority of the collections are housed in the Veletrzni Palace that keeps works from the 19th to 21st century. Here you are bound to find great art pieces from Czech artists as well as foreign artists like Picasso and Monet. You can also find other art forms apart from paintings such as sculpture, fashion ,applied arts and photography. The Kinsky Palace holds Asian art, Baroque collection and ancient art. You will find European art from the Middle Ages at the Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia and for the most famous pieces, the Sternberg Palace has them all from Classical era European art, ancient Greek and Roman pieces to Italian masterpieces and 16th to 17th century works of Rembrandt, Van Goyen, Goya, Van Dyck and El Greco.
Church of Our Lady before Tyn
It is among the popular attractions in Prague and is also known as Tyn Church. Its original building was a Romanesque church for foreign merchants in the 11th century.the church has been altered through the centuries with shifting allegiances. The present church was completed in the 15th century. Tyn church is unmistakable due to its twin spires that soar 80 meters on each side of the building while supporting four other smaller spires. The Tyn church can therefore be seen from all parts of the city. It holds numerous works of art in Baroque, Renaissance and Gothic styles.
St. Vitus Cathedral
It is the largest and most important Christian church in Czech Republic. The Roman Catholic Church also serves as a tomb ground for three Bohemian kings and a number of saints. The cathedral took over 500 years to complete resulting in a mix of 14th century Gothic and modern Neo-Gothic designs along with Baroque and Renaissance styles. Points of interest here are the rarely displayed Czech Crown Jewels which are exhibited once after every 8 years. The stained glass windows depicting the Holy Trinity are also a spectacular sight.
Old Town Square
This is a good place to start exploring the city. It is situated between Charles Bridge and the Wenceslas Square. It is the historic center of Prague as you will find numerous architectural styles represented in the outstanding buildings around. There is a central statue in the Square of Jan Hus who was a church reformer and also a martyr.
It is among the largest groups of historic buildings around Europe. They were designed in the Baroque style and used to be part of a Jesuit College. It went on to become state property to become a National Library. It has a huge collection of Jesuit books and copies of any book published in Czech Republic. The highlights here include the Astronomical Tower which is 68 meters high, the awe-inspiring ceiling artwork in the Library Hall and the exquisite décor in the Mirror Chapel. The Klementinum also hosts classical concerts and jazz music.
Once the home of Bohemian kings, the largest ancient castle in the world towers above the city. It was first built as a walled fortress but the castle buildings have changed intensely over the years. Prague Castle consists of St. Vitus Cathedral, Golden Lane, Old Royal Palace, Powder Tower, and St. George Basilica. You will also find tomb grounds for emperors and kings.
You can book one of the cheapest flights to visit the most iconic landmark in Prague. It is about 600 years old and connects Old Town and Lesser Town over River Vltava. Commissioned in 1357 by King Charles IV, there is a great deal of superstition as it was built in alignment with the setting sun on the equinox and the tomb of St. Vitus. Highlights to be enjoyed here are the statues of the country’s most revered saint, John of Nepomuk and that of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. The views over River Vltava are magnificent and the Gothic gates.