Prague (Czech: Praha) is the Czech Republic's capital and largest city. The medieval buildings and narrow, winding streets of the city bear witness to its centuries-long status as the capital of the historic region of Bohemia. Prague is located on the banks of the lovely, meandering Vltava River, which represents the city's golden spires and the 9th century castle that dominates the skyline.
This historic atmosphere is complemented by a certain quirkiness that pervades the entire city. Prague is a Bohemian capital in every way, from the Museum of Czech Cubism to the technicolor Jubilee Synagogue; from the castle to the river.
For more than a millennium, the surface of the swan-filled Vltava River has mirrored this city of bridges, cathedrals, gold-tipped walls, and church domes. Prague's compact medieval core, almost undamaged by World War II, remains a wonderful mixture of cobbled streets, walled courtyards, cathedrals, and countless church spires all in the shadow of her magnificent 9th century castle, which looks eastward as the sun sets behind her. Prague is also a modern and vibrant city, full of energy, culture, cultural art, fine dining, and special events to satisfy the independent traveller's thirst for adventure.
Many regard Prague as one of Europe's most charming and beautiful cities, and it has become, along with Budapest and Kraków, the most popular travel destination in Central Europe. Every year, millions of tourists visit the area.
Prague was founded in the late ninth century and quickly became the seat of the Kings of Bohemia, some of whom ruled as Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire. The city flourished during the reign of Charles IV, who ordered the construction of the New Town in the 14th century, and many of the city's most important attractions date from that period. Prague became a university town in 1348, and it has remained so ever since. The University, which is often said to be the oldest in Central Europe, was split into a German and a Czech language part in 1882, with the German language part closing down in 1945, effectively ending Prague's claim to be the "oldest German university" until then. The city was also ruled by the Habsburgs and became the seat of an Austro-Hungarian Empire province. It had a German-speaking majority well into the nineteenth century and retained a large German-speaking minority even after that until the expulsion of ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia following World War II. Several prominent German-language writers were born in Prague during that time period, perhaps the most notable being Franz Kafka, best known for works such as Die Verwandlung (The Metamorphosis) and Der Prozess (The Trial). Following World War I, the city became the capital of Czechoslovakia in 1918. Many foreigners, especially young people, moved to Prague after 1989. Its historic center was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1992. Czechoslovakia was divided into two countries in 1993, and Prague became the capital of the independent Czech Republic.
The Vltava River flows through Prague, which has a population of approximately 1.2 million people. While the capital is beautiful, smog often accumulates in the Vltava River basin.
Last modified on 04/25/2021 - 05:39
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