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3. Prague

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3. Prague Prague is the capital and the largest city in the Czech Republic. In the middle ages it used to be a big and important city in the time of the king Charles IV. Now it is the most important political, economic, business, financial, industrial and cultural centre of our country. It is the seat of the Charles University and many other schools, educational institutions and international companies. It is also the seat of the president and the government. It is situated in central Bohemia, on both banks of the Vltava river. The population of Prague is more than 1 million people. Prague is also an important transport junction. There is an international airport called Prague Václav Havel Airport. There are also few railway stations in Prague where railways from all directions meet. We can also drive on a motorway to Prague. To avoid traffic jams in the city, you would better use the Prague Metro (underground transportation network) or buses and trams that operate frequently. Prague is often called “Prague of Hundred Spires”, “Golden Prague” or “The Mother of Cities”. The historical centre has been a part of UNESCO’s world Heritage List since 1992 Old centre of Prague consists of five historical districts: Hradčany (the Castle District), the Lasser Quarter, Old Town, New Town and Josefov. Charles Bridge ranks among the greatest monuments in Prague. It is over the Vltava river. Charles Bridge is over 500 meters long and 10 meters wide. It is an open-air gallery of unique Baroque statues. There are a lot of tourist, street artist musician and busker. The Old Town Square is another significant historical place. It used to be the most important market place in Prague and the scene of many historical events. Its main monument is the Old Town Hall with its world famous astronomical clock. There are a lot of people. There is a Wenceslas square, which is the largest and most important square in Prague. Is typical for a statue of St. Wenceslas on the horse in upper (horní) part of the square. This statue was made by a Czech sculptor Myslbek. There is a lot of small cafeterias, fast foods and restaurants. Many people sell their product on the streets. Petřín Hill is 60 meters tall viewing tower on the hill, which was built in the end of 19th century. It was modelled on the Eiffel Tower in the Paris. Apart from the tower, there is a mirror maze and the Prague Municipal Observatory. Tourists can take the funicular to go up Petřín Hill. Vyšehrad Castle is situated above the Vltava River. Vyšehrad has an important place in Czech history and the Czech national cemetery called Slavín was found here. There are buried a lot of Czech important people, f. e. composers Antonín Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana, writer Karel Čapek, poet Jan Neruda, and more. The National Theatre was built on the embankment of the Vltava river in the second half of the 19th century. Before its opening it was damaged by fire and was rebuilt within two years. The decorations were made by lots of artists, f. e. Miloš Aleš, F. Ženíšek, V. Hynais. People of all professions and opinions meet here and create a unique culture and spirit. The city of a hundred spires has always been an inspiration – Mozart wrote Don Giovanni here, Franz Kafka and Václav Havel wrote in its cafés and pubs. Prague is a centre for many forms of artistic talent – from music and fine art to modern theatre and dance. Praguers and visitors alike come to Prague’s gardens to play sports, have a picnic, read a book on a bench, walk their dog, or simply relax and enjoy the scenery. The Vltava is to Prague as the Theme is to London. On the left bank you’ll find the Castle and on the right bank the Old Town. Connecting them is the famous Charles Bridge.

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