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Peter Kwok | profile | all galleries >> Central Europe 2007 >> Czech Republic >> Prague tree view | thumbnails | slideshow | map

Prague | Jihlava & Brno

Prague

We think Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is the most beautiful city on this trip.

The original settlements of Prague comprised of 5 boroughs, Old Town, New Town, Castle (Hradčany), Little Quarter (Malá Strana), and Jewish Quarter along both sides of the River Vltava. Now, they form the center of a much larger modern metropolitan of 1.3 million people.

For two brief periods in history (under Charles IV and Rudolph II), Prague was the capital of the Holy Roman Empire, and flourished as the political center of Central Europe. Otherwise, from 15th to early 20th century, Prague and all of Bohemia were ruled by the Hapsburg dynasty from Vienna. Revolts were brutally suppressed, such as the defenestration of 1618, which sparked the Thirty Years' War. The Hapsburg rulers banned the Czech language from schools and publication. By 1800, only the peasants spoke Czech. The intelligentsia class only spoke German. The reawakening of Czech nationalism began in the 19th century. That dream was partly realized at the end of WWI with the dissolution of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. However, throughout most of the 20th century, the Czech homeland was occupied by Nazi Germany or Communist Soviet Union.





Prague Castle (Pražský hrad):
Located on a hill on the west side of the River Vltava, it has always been the administrative center of Bohemia. The St. Vitus Cathedral dominates its skyline.
Lesser Quarter (Malá Strana):
The area immediately below the Prague Castle on the west side of the River Vltava, is connected to the Old Town by the Charles Bridge.
Old Town (Staré Město):
Center around the Old Town Square on the east side of the River Vltava, it is Prague’s oldest settlement. It is connected to the Lesser Quarter by the Charles Bridge.
New Town (Nové město):
This settlement to the south and outside the original Old Town city wall was found by Charles IV in the 14th century. Larger than the Old Town, its most famous landmark is Wenceslas Square.
Jewish Quarter (Josefov):
This area immediately north of Old Town started as a Jewish settlement and ghetto in the 10th century. It was the last of the 5 boroughs to join the city of Prague in 1850.
Vyšehrad Castle:
A fortress on a hill along the River Vltava south of New Town, it was first built in the 10th century. It gradually lost influence to the Prague Castle as a royal residence and seat of government.
Prague Castle
Prague Castle
Charles Bridge
Charles Bridge
Prague Old Town
Prague Old Town
Prague New Town
Prague New Town
St. Vitus over Charles Bridge
St. Vitus over Charles Bridge
Rudolfinum
Rudolfinum
Vyšehrad Castle
Vyšehrad Castle
Vltava River Lock
Vltava River Lock
The Moldau
The Moldau
Vltava River
Vltava River
Prague at Twilight
Prague at Twilight
Sunset behind Prague Castle
Sunset behind Prague Castle
Antonín Dvořák
Antonín Dvořák
Bedrich Smetana
Bedrich Smetana
Church of St. Peter and Paul
Church of St. Peter and Paul
Golden Muse
Golden Muse
Svatopluka Cecha Bridge
Svatopluka Cecha Bridge
Prague Castle over Vltava River
Prague Castle over Vltava River
Devil´s Stream
Devil´s Stream
Vltava River Lock
Vltava River Lock
By the Vltava River
By the Vltava River
Malá Strana (Lesser Quarter)
Malá Strana (Lesser Quarter)
Angelo Hotel
Angelo Hotel
Angelo Hotel
Angelo Hotel
Wedding Day in Prague
Wedding Day in Prague
Prague Panorama
Prague Panorama
Prague Panorama
Prague Panorama