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7_Prague

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7)Prague Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and it’s the largest city in the country. It’s the seat of the President, government and parliament. It has been the political, cultural and economic centre of the Czech state for over 1100 years. Prague, which is one of the oldest cities in the world, is often called „the mother of all cities“, „the hundred-spired city“ or „golden Prague“. It’s divided into 10 administrative districts and it has about 1,2 million inhabitants. Prague is situated in central Bohemia, right in „the heart of Europe“, on the river Vltava. Prague is considered as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, the historical centre is one of the UNESCO sites. Thank to its long history we can find there almost every architectural styles. For example the Charles Bridge and St. Vitus Cathedral are in the gothic style, the statues on the Charles Bridge are baroque, Belveder is in the renaissance style and the building of the National theatre is neoclasical. Now, I would like to mention the transport in Prague. The traffic in the centre is usually very busy and it’s really difficult to get through. Many people rather use the Prague Integrated Transport that covers a very large percentage of the metropolitan area and surroundings. It’s composed of the Prague Underground with 3 lines and 57 stations in total, Prague Tram System and Prague buses. Prague also has two international railway stations, the Prague Main railway station and the Prague-Holešovice. I have to mention also the Ruzyně International Airport, which is the biggest airport in the Czech Republic and one of the busiest and the most modern in Central and Eastern Europe. Now, I’d like to tell a brief history of Prague. According to the legend, Prague was founded by the Princess Libuše, who saw the city in her visions, and by her husband Přemysl, the founder of the Přemyslid dynasty. Then, Prague became the seat of the dukes and kings of Bohemia and it was an important place of trade. The Judith Bridge was the first bridge on Vltava in 1170 and on its foundations the Charles Bridge was built during the reign of Charles IV. The Charles University, which is the oldest university in Central Europe, was founded in 1348 and Prague became the capital of the Roman Empire. During the Hapsburg era, Prague was a cosmopolitan city. The important events during this time were for example the Defenestration of Prague in 1618 which started the Thirty Year’s War or the execution of 27 Czech lords involved in the Battle of White Mountain at the Old Town Square in 1621. In 1918, Czechoslovakia was established and Prague became the capital. In 1939, the German army came to Prague and Hitler proclaimed Bohemian and Moravian protectorate from the Prague Castle. The city was set free by the Soviet Army on May 9, 1945. On November 17, 1989, the Velvet Revolution happened and Czechoslovakia became a federal state. In 1993, Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and Prague remained the capital of the Czech Republic. And now, I would like to talk about the sights and monuments, because Prague has become one of the Europe’s and the world’s most popular tourist destinations. It’s the sixth most-visited European city. The remarkable sight-seeing tour is surely the Royal Route. It was the way for the coronation of a new king and it’s the historical road from the Municipal House to the Prague Castle, around the Powder Tower, through the Celetná Street to the Old Town Square, around the Klementinum to the Charles Bridge and to the Lesser Town Square and then to the Square of Hradčany and to the St. Vitus Cathedral. The Old Town Square is a historical centre of the city and probably the most popular place for the tourists. We can find here the Týn Church, the dominant of the square, Jan Hus Monument (not far from the square is the Bethlehem Chapel where Jan Hus preached), but the most famous attraction is the Old Town Hall with the Astronomical clock. Another popular tourist atraction is the gothic Charles Bridge, which is the oldest bridge in Prague. It has two Bridge Towers and there are 30 baroque sculptures and statues on the bridge. The dominant of the city is the Prague Castle, which is the seat of the President. It’s the monumental gothic, renaissance and baroque complex of three courtyards and over 700 rooms (the well-known are for example Vladislav Hall, Spanish Hall or the Rudolph Gallery). The part of the Castle is the gothic St. Vitus Cathedral, founded by Charles IV. Tourists also like the picturesque Golden Lane made up of tiny houses with coloured facades. The other famous Prague sights are for example Strahov Monastery, Petřín Observation Tower that looks like small Eiffel Tower, the Jewish Town, the Wenceslas Square with National Museum and St. Wenceslas Memorial, the National Theatre, Vyšehrad with Slavín cemetery, the Troja chateau or the Žižkov Observation Tower. The famous attractions are also the Prague ZOO or the Botanical Garden. One of the most familiar streets is Pařížská street which is the one of the most expensive streets in the world with a lot of luxury shops and butiques. Prague is also a cultural centre of the Czech Republic. The most important cultural places are the National Theatre, the Estates Theatre, the Rudolphinum (which is the home to the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra), the State Opera, the National Museum, the National Library or the National Gallery. We can find here hundreds of concert halls, galleries, cinemas and music clubs. Prague hosts many festivals, such as the music festivals (for example the Prague Spring International Music Festival), film festivals (the Febiofest or the One World), the Prague Writers Festival and hundreds of other festivals and vernissages. If we want to compare Prague to other famous European metropoles, I think it will be a difficult thing to do. I was only in Paris, London and Brussels so I can compare Prague to them. I think London and Brussels

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