The penultimate installment of my top 5 things to do in some of the best European cities features Prague in the Czech Republic. You can check out my previous top 5 cities here, Amsterdam, Paris and Budapest. Once again at the end of this post you will have another chance to vote on your favourite European city.
This 9th century settlement, which is one of the five towns that for Prague, is home to many of the historic sites. The Vltava River, the Charles Bridge and the town’s Astronomical Clock can all be found here. The Old town is bordered in part by Wenceslas Square, which borders New Town.
Walk across the Vltava River by way of the historic Charles Bridge. The bridge, named after Emperor Charles IV, was built in the 14th century, under his auspices. The bridge is adorned with thirty Baroque stone statues and the traffic on the Charles Bridge is limited to foot traffic. The long life of the bridge is thought by some to be attributed to Holy Roman Emperor Charles’s strong belief in numerology and his having laid the first stone of the bridge on 9th of July 1357 at 5:31am, which when written in the order ‘year – day – month – time’ reads 1 3 5 7 9 7 5 3 1. Whether you believe in numerology or not, you will not want to miss out on visiting the bridge which links Prague Castle to the Old Town area.
The Old Town Astronomical Clock
The Old Town Astronomical Clock, mounted on the face of the Old Town Hall, draws crowds of people every hour to see the procession of the apostles. The medieval clock, if deciphered properly can instruct the viewer to the location of the celestial bodies in relation to the earth. Though the original clock was destroyed by Nazi fire during the Second World War, the town’s people saved the parts and had it reconstructed in 1948. The town takes care of their clock, as local superstition dictates that the town will suffer if they do not. Whether that is due to some historical curse or maybe even started by the local tourism trade, we may never know.
Museum of Communism
Not far from Wenceslas Square, site of many historical events, you can find the Museum of Communism. Ironically the museum, dedicated to post World War Two communism, is located beside a casino and is over a McDonald’s restaurant. The Museum was founded by Glenn Spicker who amassed the WWII relics from local flea markets and antique shops. The Museum of Communism first opened its doors in December 2001. The museum can be found at Na Prikope 10 in Prague.
Home office for Bohemian Kings, Holy Roman Emperors and Czechoslovakian presidents, Prague Castle, is also home to the Bohemian Crown Jewels and many museums. This impressive building is said to be the world’s largest ancient castle according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The area of the castle takes up about seventy thousand square meters and is situated on the Vltava River. There are also several gardens, halls, palaces and churches that are located in the Castle. From the Hussite Revolt of 1485 to modern times, Prague Castle has a deep and rich history you won’t want to miss out on. Much of Prague Castle is open 364 days a year to the public and tourism is welcome. Be sure to check the hours as they change seasonally.
I hope you enjoyed the top 5 things I would love to see and do in Prague. If you would like to see me visit Prague this summer then please vote for it in the poll below, you can also vote for Amsterdam, Paris or Budapest, or even Rome (my top 5 things to do coming soon).