Top 10 Prague: Highlights

Published: 05th January 2006
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As the geographical centre of Europe you'd be hard pressed to find a more jam-packed and exciting city than Prague. Having been literally off-the-map under the Communists until 1989, the city is now still waking up to its full potential.
In one of the worlds most beautiful cities can be seen a wide array of influences from Gothic exuberance to 19th century opulence.
Heres a shortlist of things to see and do in beautiful Prague.
1. Prague Castle
The breathtaking fort on the hill, visible from most parts of the city as a result of its scale and position, was built by the Premyslids and makes for a great days exploration in and around the many churches, palaces, gardens and galleries.
2. Old Town Square
The central square of this fine city has been a market since before the middle ages, and bore witness to many a bloodshed deposition of regime and royalty. The towers of the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn are a beautiful sight to admire whilst sipping coffee in the square below.
3. Charles Bridge
As the main pedestrian link between the castle and the old town, Charles Bridge is heaving in summer but a worthwhile sight all the same. Offering splendid views of the riverside facades of Prague and lined with beautiful carved statues of former residents, its a great place to make a morning crossing or a midnight stroll.
4. St Vitus's Cathedral
As the centerpiece of the castle complex, and over 500 years in the making, it makes a great viewpoint at the top of the southern tower. The crypts are a must see also, as the resting place of Bohemia's Holy Roman Emperors.
5. Old Jewish Cemetery
The crowded mess of tombstones in this jewish-quarter epicenter give a rough idea of the number of Jews buried here over the centuries. The ghetto sprang up all around this cemetery and thus marked its significance on the Prague map.
6. St Agnes's Convent
This is the home of the National Gallery's collection of medieval art and remains a monument to its founder, a princess who abandoned a life at court in the name of her faith. It is Prague's oldest Gothic building and a worthy item on the itinerary.
7. The Loreto
This shrine to the Virgin Mary, erected in the 7th Century, has drawn countless visitors to gaze upon the priceless ornaments and take in the Baroque facade.
8. National Gallery
The mainstay of all things modern and contemporary as well as being home of the Trade Fair Palace. This Gallery features over 14 glorious works by Picasso and is a must for art-lovers.
9. Petrin Hill
The wooded hill above Mala Strana on the castle side of town is a maze of paths and offers visitors the best views of the city. The ancient Ukranian church is an architectural masterpiece.
10. Wenceslas Square
Whilst not the most affecting corner of prague, a wide boulevard not littered with commercial enterprise, its significance in the Velvet Revolution and beyond is apparent through various monuments lining this important square.

Jacob Fiennes is an enthusiastic traveller and photographer with a passion for discovery. He is a founder and regular contributor to the hugely popular worldwide hotel reservations site TravelBX.com. Visit the site for your next hotel room reservation, flight ticket, tailored holiday package and much more. >> www.travelbx.com


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