The Prague Castle – Castle Stairs – Malostranská – Charles Bridge - the Old Town Square
Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and it’s situated on the river Vltava. The oldest parts of Prague are about 1000 years old. It’s the center of president and government and it’s very popular for tourists because of its historical places.
I start my walk guide in the Prague Castle. It’s a dominant of Prague and the most cultural monument of Prague. It was founded in 9th century by the Přemyslide dynasty. It was the residence of the Bohemian princes and now it’s the seat of president.
The oldest church in this area is St George Church and Convent of St George, which was the oldest convent in Bohemia. There are buried some princes of the Přemyslide dynasty.
Cathedral of St Vitus is the coronation cathedral of the Bohemian kings. It was built in 14th century in Gothic style by Petr Parléř and Mathias of Arras. There is situated the chapel and grave of St Wenceslas, who is the Saint Patron of Bohemia, chamber of the Bohemian coronation jewels with the Saint Wenceslas’ crown and further relics, crypt of the Bohemian kings, tombs, gallery of sculptural buildings founded in the 14th century and so on. It is the biggest church in the Czech republic.
In the Prague Castle area there are a lot of palaces (f.e. Old and New Royal Palace), representative buildings of the rulers and homes of many Bohemian and foreign dynasties. We can see here all architectonic types (Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque or Classicism); very important was the influence of modern architect Josip Plečnik (statues, halls or renovation of Gardens of the Prague Castle).
Near the Prague Castle there is Loreta – sanctuary with church. In its tower are bells, playing a religion song.
From the Prague Castle we can continue over the Castle Stairs to The Lesser Town (this way was a part of the King’s Journey).
On Lesser Town Square there are palaces and St Nicolas Church, baroque building with a dominant dome and belfry.
The Lesser Town lies on the left bank of the river. On the other side we can go over Charles Bridge, the oldest bridge in Prague. It was founded by Charles the IV. On the sides there are two Gothic and Romanesque Lesser Town bridge towers and the Old Town bridge tower. On the bridge are situated 30 statues and statuaries of saints by the leading sculptors (Brokoff, Braun). On the pillar at Kampa Island there stands a statue of Bruncvík with the lion.
On the other side of Charles Bridge there lies Křížovnické Square with Klementinum and St Salvators’s Church. Klementinum was originally a monastery and then a famous Jesuit college and academy, now it is National library of the Czech Republic.
Near this building is the Old Town Square, the most important square in historical Prague. Its dominant is the gothic Old Town Hall. It was a place of many important historical events (martyr death of Jan of Pomuk – 14th C., the murder of Jan Želivský – 15th C.). One wing was destroyed in 1945 and it has been never rebuilt. The most popular for tourists is astronomical clock from 15th century completed further with the new calendar sheet. Every hour the clock bells and the twelve Apostles are going above the clock. In the middle of the square there stands statuary of John Hus, the Czech priest, who was because of his preaching against church burned at the stake (by L. Šaloun). On the Old Town Square were in 1621 beheaded 27 Czech lords, who led the uprising. You can see 27 crosses from stone bricks on the pavement.
There are two big churches – St Nicolas Church and the church of Our Lady in Front of Týn and a lot of old Gothic houses like House of the Unicorn or House At the Stone Bell.
Here I would finish my walk guide.
11. březen 2008