For those who want to delve deeper into the history of the city, its famous landmarks are a great place to start; here are some that you won’t want to miss during your trip to Prague.
Renowned as among the most romantic sights in the city, a visit to Charles Bridge is one of the best things to do in Prague, and its rich history has made it a popular attraction for many decades. Construction on the site dates back to 1357 and the first stone was laid by its namesake, King Charles IV. Once completed in the 15th Century, the bridge served as one of the most important connection routes between Prague Castle and the city’s Old Town.
As well as offering superb views across the River Vltava, the cobbled bridge is also decorated with 30 different statues created by some of the most prominent sculptures of the period, including Ferdinand Maxmilian, Jan Brokoff and Matthias Braun. While the originals were erected between the late 17th and early 18th centuries, they were subsequently rehoused in the National Museum and replaced with replicas in 1965.
The Church of our Lady before Týn
Once you have crossed over Charles Bridge into the Old Town of Prague, the most dominating structures of the skyline are the two towers of The Church of our Lady before Týn. This has been the main church in the city since the 14th century, with its unmistakable gothic style imprinted through the influences of Matthias of Arias and Peter Parler.
The two towers are each 80 metres high, decorated with four smaller spires to ensure that they stand out amongst the city’s other buildings. Perhaps the most prized assets inside the church is the organ which was crafted by Heinrich Mundt in 1673; it’s one of the most famous 17th century organs in all of Europe and is certainly worth a visit. If you want to discover the church for yourself during your 2014 river cruise. Found within the Prague castle complex and a landmark which can be seen from both sides of the river Vltara, it stands as not only the largest but also the most important church in the country.
Although the present day cathedral has stood since 1344, it has been an important religious site since 930AD and was founded by Wencenclaus I, the Duke of Bohemia. Found inside is the Wencenclaus chapel, which is decorated with beautiful frescoes and semi-precious stones. In the south west corner is the Crown Chamber which contains the Czech Crown Jewels. Sealed behind seven locks, the room is only open to the public once every eight years.
Image Credit: jay galvin (Flickr.com)