According to many people Prague in the Czech Republic is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
But its Gothic towers, Baroque palaces or Art Nouveau halls are not the only things worth visiting in this amazing city. In fact throughout the whole of the Czech Republic, there are over two hundred castles and chateaux which are open to the public, beautiful centres of historic towns, wonderfully maintained gardens or mysterious medieval ruins which are a reminder of times long past. Set out to get to know some of the beautiful places which are located only a few hours’ drive from the capital. You most certainly won’t regret it.
Prague has been a political, cultural, and economic centre of central Europe with waxing and waning fortunes during its 1,100-year existence. Founded during the Romanesque period and flourishing by the Gothic and Renaissance eras. Long before Prague became the capital of the Czech state it had previous incarnations as the seat of two Holy Roman Emperors. It was an important city to the Habsburg Monarchy after World War 1 when it became the capital of Czechoslvakia.
One day trip
Prague Castle – long tour
Prague Castle has been the seat of Czech princes, kings, and also presidents in the modern history of the state, since the end of the 9th century. The long tour of Prague’s most significant monument will present to visitors not only the history and structural development of Prague Castle, but also the personalities connected with the castle plus many other interesting details. The tour comprises all courtyards, leads around the St Vitus, St Wenceslas and St Adalbert Cathedrals and the Old Royal Palace to Jinské Square, from where it continues to the Golden Lane and to Opyš. It is also possible to see some of the buildings’ interiors (St Vitus, St Wenceslas and St Adalbert Cathedrals, St George’s Basilica, the Old Royal Palace and others).
A walk on the Charles Bridge reveals an interesting history of this oldest preserved bridge connecting both embankments. Special attention will be given not only to its beautiful sculptural decoration, but also to the Old Town and Lesser Quarter bridge towers.
Old Town Square
Old Town City Hall, the Church of Our Lady before Týn, the House at the Stone Bell, Kinský Palace, St Nicholas Church. Jan Hus Memorial can all be found on the square.
Old Town City Hall – seat of Old Town local government
The Old Town City Hall offers two tours. You can climb up the stairs to the Town Hall Tower and enjoy a beautiful view of Prague’s historical centre from a height of almost 70 metres. The second tour will take you through the city hall’s interior (a chapel with apostles, historical halls and a Romanesque-Gothic underground). No less interesting is the city hall’s exterior, dominated by the remarkable Old Town Astronomical Clock.
A monumental gate leading into the Old Town. The Gothic building dating from 1475 was designed by Matzj Rejsek. It was used as a gunpowder storage facility. At the end of the nineteenth century it was rebuilt into its present form by J. Mocker.
Vyšehrad is the very first seat of Czech royalty since the coronation of King Vratislaus I, lived here. Also Charles IV paid close attention to Vyšehrad as a place connected with the Premyslid tradition. In the nineteenth century, the Czech National Revival movement sparked interest in this place surrounded with myths. A tour will guide you through all the interesting moments in the history of Vyšehrad, the history and architecture of the capitular Basilica of St Peter and St Paul,
The square is surrounded by New Town Hall, the Church of St Ignatius and the Jesuit College, the Faust House and and the Czech Technical University building. There are also numerous monuments on the square itself.
Emauzy – The Monastery of Slavic Benedictines
The monastery was founded in 1347 by Charles IV as a part of his plans to unify the Greek Byzantine and Roman Catholic Churches. Benedictines got permission from the Pope to use the Old Slavonic Church for Roman liturgical services, and consequently. On a tour through this unique place you will see a cloister with Gothic paintings, a Baroque refectory, imperial chapel and the Church of Our Lady.
Evening walk on Petzín
The walk starts at the funicular that will transport you to the top of Petzín hill. The evening atmosphere will inspire you to visit the local mirror maze or the Petzín observation tower from which you can enjoy unforgettable views over the city.
A large complex of monastery buildings belonging to the religious order of Premonstratensians was established by prince Vladislav II and Olomouc bishop Jindzich Zdík in 1140. The monastery acquired its current form during early Gothic and further Baroque reconstructions. Places of interest in the monastery include the Convent (Cloister, Romanesque Halls, Chapter Hall, Winter Refectory), Strahov Gallery (a collection of Czech and European paintings from Gothic to Romanticism), the Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady and the historic halls of Strahov Library.
The tour will tell you more about this exceptionally well-preserved monument of Renaissance architecture, its original sgraffiti decoration, late Renaissance painted ceilings and frescos. In the palace, there is a museum of music machines. A unique collection of orchestrions, barrel organs, gramophones, musical boxes and other rare items from the 1870-1940 period.
St Nicholas Cathedral in Lesser Quarter
The cathedral, whose robust dome and slim tower form an indispensable part of the Prague panorama, is one of Europe’s foremost Baroque buildings. It was built in the first half of the eighteenth century and was designed by architects Christoph and Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer with contributions from many other outstanding Baroque artists.
Troja Castle with garden
The Troja Castle is one of the most significant Baroque castles of the seventeenth century. The Count of Sternberg invited excellent European artists to build and decorate the castle. The main hall is connected to the garden with a monumental staircase with statues of antique gods fighting the Titans. The castle is surrounded by a large French garden.