Monday, April 12, 2010

CZECH REPUBLIC - Prague Castle


Prague (Czech: Praha ), is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Nicknames for Prague have included Praga mater urbium/Praha matka měst ("Prague – Mother of Cities") in Latin/Czech, Stověžatá Praha ("City of a Hundred Spires") in Czech or Zlaté město/Goldene Stadt ("Golden City") in Czech/German.

Situated on the Vltava River in central Bohemia, Prague has been the political, cultural and economic centre of the Czech state for more than 1100 years. For many decades during the Gothic and Renaissance eras, Prague was the permanent seat of two Holy Roman Emperors and thus was also the capital of the Holy Roman Empire.

Since 1992, the extensive historic centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites, making the city one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.


Prague Castle (Czech: Pražský hrad) is a castle in Prague where the Kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman Emperors and presidents of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic have had their offices. The Bohemian Crown Jewels are kept here. Prague Castle is one of the biggest castles in the world (according to Guinness Book of Records the biggest ancient castle) at about 570 meters in length and an average of about 130 meters wide.


Saint Vitus's Cathedral (Czech: Katedrála svatého Víta) is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Prague, and the seat of the Archbishop of Prague. The full name of the cathedral is St. Vitus, St. Wenceslas and St. Adalbert Cathedral. Located within Prague Castle and containing the tombs of many Bohemian kings, this cathedral is an excellent example of Gothic architecture and is the biggest and most important church in the country.


The Charles Bridge (Czech: Karlův most) is a famous historical bridge that crosses the Vltava river in Prague. Its construction started in 1357 under the auspices of King Charles IV, and finished in the beginning of the 15th century. As the only means of crossing the river Vltava (Moldau), the Charles Bridge was the most important connection between the Old Town, Prague Castle and adjacent areas until 1841. This "solid-land" connection made Prague important as a trade route between Eastern and Western Europe. The bridge was originally called the Stone Bridge (Kamenný most) or the Prague Bridge (Pražský most) but has been the "Charles Bridge" since 1870.

The bridge is 516 meters long and nearly 10 meters wide, resting on 16 arches shielded by ice guards. It is protected by three bridge towers, two of them on the Lesser Quarter side and the third one on the Old Town side. The Old Town bridge tower is often considered to be one of the most astonishing civil gothic-style buildings in the world. The bridge is decorated by a continuous alley of 30 statues and statuaries, most of them baroque-style, erected around 1700.

During the night the Charles Bridge is a quiet place. But during the day it changes its face into a very busy place, with painters, owners of kiosks and other traders alongside numerous tourists crossing the bridge.


Date of inscription : 1992

Built between the 11th and 18th centuries, the Old Town, the Lesser Town and the New Town speak of the great architectural and cultural influence enjoyed by this city since the Middle Ages. The many magnificent monuments, such as Hradcani Castle, St Vitus Cathedral, Charles Bridge and numerous churches and palaces, built mostly in the 14th century under the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV.


Postcard sent by Lucie, as "bitldzus"
Private swap - Reference CZ003

Prague : St Vitus Cathedral (on left),
the Castle (on center)
and Charles Bridge (down)


No comments:

Post a Comment