Category Archives: Prague Sights

Vysehrad Castle (Upper Castle)

Vysehrad aerial viewAmong the many monuments in Prague, we should also remember the Vysehrad castle … one of the old fortresses that protected medieval Prague.

The castle on the Vysehrad rock, originally called Chrasten, was founded sometime during the 10th century, certainly later than Prague Castle.

The period of its greatest glory was in the 11th century, when the castle became for a time seat of the first Czech king Vratislav I, whose successors ruled from Vysehrad until in 1140. Rebuilding the original timber castle in stone with the establishment of new churches or religious chapter at Vysehrad changed nothing in his subordination to the Prague Castle.

After the mid-12th century the importance of Vysehrad declined.

Another key moment in the history of Vysehrad arrives in the 14th century, during the reign of Charles IV of Luxembourg. He decided, in deference to his ancestors, to restore the importance of Vysehrad. He wrote the new Regulation of the Coronation, which obliges the future sovereign to make a pilgrimage to Vysehrad on the day before the coronation in St. Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle.
On a place of a derelict Roman court, the king built a royal palace with a luxurious high arcades and next to it houses for the castle staff, water supply and school. From 1348 to 1350 new walls with battlements, towers, portal, and two gates where built.

Later, especially during the Habsburg period, Vysehrad begins to lose its importance and gradually turns into a ruin, in a symbolic way, reflects the political situation in the Kingdom of Bohemia.

The present appearance of Vysehrad was largely determined in the second half of the 19th century. It was led by a number of nationalist-oriented provosts; of these, the most important in terms of the development of Vysehrad were Vaclav Stulc and Mikulás Karlach, who decisively determined the present appearance of Vysehrad and its major landmark, the church of St. Peter and Paul was rebuilt in the Neo-Gothic style according a design made by J. Mocker and F. Mikes that respected the disposition of Charles IV’s Gothic construction. It was then that the idea arose of founding a national cemetery at Vysehrad on the site of the parish graveyard. It took many years to build the Pantheon. The present Vysehrad Cemetery is a unique artistic whole, harmoniously fitting its surroundings. It is the final resting place of over 600 personalities from the fields of culture and education.

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Posted by on April 6, 2011 in Castles and Palaces, Prague Sights


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Loreto Prague

Loreto PragueThe Loreto sanctuary is not only one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Prague and the Czech Republic but also one of the beautiful buildings of the Bohemian baroque – comparable only to the church of St. Nicholas in Mala Strana, the Wallenstein Palace, and the Strahov Monastery – and, with its wealth reflects the fervent Catholic of its founders, the Lobkowicz family.

The sanctuary was founded by benign Katerina von Lobkowicz on 3rd June 1626, only a few years after the end of the bohemian part of the Thirty Years War. The Loreto was built in Prague to celebrate the political importance of Lobkowicz family, and especially to celebrate the restoration of the power of the Habsburgs and the Catholic Church.

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Posted by on March 31, 2011 in Prague Sights


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The Foundation of Prague

History of Prague“The foundation and development of the city are closely related to the presence of Bohemian kings at the Prague Castle.”

Jumping the period of Celtic settlement area of Central Bohemia becomes important with the family of Premyslid. They ruled the country from the late 9th century for more than 400 years and developed it in one of the most powerful kingdoms of Europe. With the development of the state flourishes also the city and Prague is fast becoming one of the largest commercial crossing in central Europe.  Already in the 11th century Prague become, thanks to safety and geography, a meeting place for European, Asians, Arabs and Jews traders. The Jewish community in town very soon receives a special significance. Read the rest of this entry »


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House Signs in Prague

House Sign 01On some old houses in the historical center of Prague you can find very special symbols. There are saints, animals, musical instruments or even everyday objects.

House signs on the buildings of Prague began to emerge in the second half of the 14th century. At the end of 14th century there were about 230 houses with signs in Prague. In the late 18th century bore the sign 892 houses. That time their main task, to facilitate orientation, began taking over the numbering of houses. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on February 21, 2011 in Prague Sights, Things To Do


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Visiting Prague in winter

Prague in winterPrague is beautiful city, even in winter. If you’ll decide to visit Prague in these days you’ll not make mistake.
The weather in Prague is not very cold, the temperature is usually few degrees above 0°.
All the tourist attractions are open all year round.

The visit of Prague in first months of the year has many positives, for example:

  • You can enjoy all the sights and tourist places without crowds.
  • The “real season” starts at Eastern, so you can get the accommodation for very good prices. Most of the hotels have special offers for these months, so you’ll definitely save money. Read the rest of this entry »

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Prague Castle

Prague CastleThe Prague Castle is one of the real landmarks. For more than 1,100 years, rises on the hill above the Vltava River, and was seat of many generations of kings. Since 1918, when the Kingdom of Bohemia became a republic, is Prague Castle the official seat of the President. Because of this a part of Prague Castle is not opened to public.

Currently, the Prague Castle complex consists of several public squares (we can name: I. Courtyard of Prague Castle, II. Courtyard of Prague Castle, III. Courtyard of Prague Castle, St. George Square, Vikarska street, Jirska Street, part of street by the Powder Bridge, the Royal Garden, Terrace Garden at Prague Castle Riding School, Lumbe Garden, Deer Moat, Cyclopean stairs, Old Castle Stairs, Chateau stairs) and these major sights: Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on November 18, 2010 in Prague Sights


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Jewish Quarter

Jewish quarter (Josefov) is a town quarter and the smallest cadastral area of Prague, formerly the Jewish ghetto of the town. It is completely surrounded by Old Town. The quarter is often represented by the flag of Prague’s Jewish community, a yellow Magen David (Star of David) on a red field.

Jews are believed to have settled in Prague in the 10th century. In 1262 Czech King Premysl Otakar II issued a Statuta Judaeorum which granted the community a degree of self administration. The ghetto was most prosperous towards the end of the 16th century when the Jewish Mayor, Mordecai Maisel, became the Minister of Finance and a very wealthy man. His money helped develop the ghetto. Around this time the Maharal was supposed to create the Golem.

In 1850 the quarter was renamed “Josefstadt” (Joseph’s City) after Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor who emancipated Jews with the Toleration Edict in 1781. Two years before Jews were allowed to settle outside of the city, so the share of the Jewish population in Josefov decreased, while only orthodox and poor Jews remained living there. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on November 11, 2010 in Prague Sights


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