The territory of modern Prague has been inhabited since the Paleolithic Ages, and it was later part of the complex network of trade routes that connected Northern and Southern Europe. The first known inhabitants of Prague were Celtic tribes that later towards the beginning of our era combined with Germanic people who had migrated to the area. We can clearly say that Prague was a land open to migrations, and the present day form and name of Czech comes from the Slavic tribes that arrived and colonized the Bohemian region in the 7th century Ad.
Today, Prague is one of the most popular European capitals and a favourite destination for tourists, since it offers great cultural experiences and leisure activities. What we see today is the result of centuries of continuous evolution; documents claim that as early as the 10th century, the famous Prague Castle had already been built and the entire city a major trade centre, and a turning point in the European commerce. Nowadays, all the great vestiges of the past give a somehow dignified status to a city that is also modern and perfectly representative of the 21st century.
Prague Old Town
Any regular tourist tour to Prague would start with the Old Town sights, and our virtual sightseeing tour is no exception to this rule. Situated at the heart of Prague, the Old Town Square is no less than a millennium old, occupying 1.7 hectares and housing the most important cultural events within the city. The square is surrounded by colourful buildings tributary both to the Romanesque and the Gothic styles with some very interesting house signs. Here is the place to find all the tourist information you may need, there are also lots of restaurants and cafés, boutiques and galleries.
Another architectural style for another wonderful sight in Prague, is the Kinsky Palace. Built in the 18th century in the Rococo style. Belonging to a former diplomat, the palace is now open to visitors as part of the National Galleries, housing a variety of permanent and temporary exhibitions. For the curious, we should perhaps mention that the balcony of the Kinsky Palace was the place from where Czechoslovakia was proclaimed a communist state. The best artworks include all types of landscapes from the Baroque expression to the 20th century imagery.
As a modern city, Prague is not short of unique Art Nouveau buildings, the most famous one being the Municipal House. The edifice was built on the site of the former royal court and it belongs to Prague’s cultural heritage. Tourists mostly like the floor mosaic at the main entrance that is considered a true city landmark. The building houses the largest concert hall in Prague, as well as several cafés and restaurants where you can take the time to relax during a break of a tour. The atmosphere is absolutely incredible since everything is artistically and finely decorated.
Then, it’s time to visit a religious sight, and what better place than the first Baroque church in Prague: The Church of Our Lady Victorious. The church includes a wax effigy of the Infant Jesus that is said to have miraculous healing powers. Many of the citizens of Prague associate this church with the very history of the city. It was built at the beginning of the 17th century for the German Protestants and later was passed to the Carmelites. For many, this holy site is a place of pilgrimage, and any tourist will feel the unique religious atmosphere inside.
Prague Castle Room
As I told there are plenty of castles to visit, and there is one more than most that needs mentioning, this the Chateau Ctenice. First a simple fortification, this seat became the residence of powerful aristocratic elite. It even used to house a riding school in the old times. Open for public visitation, it is now a unique and original museum with a rare collection of historic coaches. A guided tour of the premises is highly advisable as you get to learn more about the cultural value of the place.
For other rare exhibitions, you may visit the Czech Museum of Music, housed in the former Baroque church of Mary Magdalene at Mala Strana. The number of items that make up the collection is more than three thousand, which makes it the largest not only in the Czech Republic but in Europe too. Besides instruments there are also prints of musical sheets and old manuscripts on display. After all, this is the city where Mozart composed his masterpiece Don Giovanni.
Among the other many sights you could explore by yourself, don’t miss the chance to make a visit to the Jewish Quarter that is full of memories and stories of the Jews who lived here. The quarter was developed during the emperor Josef II who improved the living conditions in the area by a series of reforms meant to raise the living standard. The most important name associated with this part of Prague is Franz Kafka, but many people also know the story of the mystical humunculus Golem of Jehuda ben Bezalel. This rabbi used his Golem to protect the Jews of Prague from the Christians in the early days. The rest is for you to discover!