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Prague (Praha) - the capital of Czech Republic - information

Prague - heart of Europe, Bohemia, capital of Czech Republic

Prague (Praha) data:

Prague is capital city of the Czech Republic - The Central Europe also called "Bohemia" also called "The Heart of Europe".

Approximate population of Prague is 1,2 milions of citizen (2008). Some sources say 1,5 miliones including people living in Prague with no registration or just working here and staying over the week.

The official language in Prague (Czech Republic) is Czech (čeština - [tschestschina]). Many (mostly younger) people can speak English, seniors might speak German, and some number of people understand also Russian. It was an obligation / duty for Czech to study Russian in schools during the so called "Communistic era". I remember when I was 10 years old they just added the new subject (Russian language) into our schedule. As I remember many people hated that and they took it as some kind of a national sport to ignore it and have bad grades.

Many people say Prague is the most beautiful city in the world, ok, let´s say Prague definitely belongs to the most beautiful cities in the world. At this very moment it would be hard to remember what agency was it in that 2009 year, who voted the top 10 most beautiful locations in the world (quarters) and the Prague Lesser Town ended up 2nd in this vote. I say that it was the mistake and the Lesser Town ould to be the nr.1 if the jury had ever visited this beautiful qaurter. Understand, I have spend some time working in this charming quarter and I learned the fraze that Lesser Town is even more charming than the Old Town, which is the part located on the other (right) side of the river Vltava.

Prague used to be very important place in European history, it used to be a crossroad of the Central Europe, many business / trade routes led through it, of course, mainly thanks to its location just in the middle of the Central Europe.

Prague was founded sometimes round the 8th - 9th centuries and has been built since that in various styles. You can meet all kind of buildings in Prague from old Romance / Romanesque style over Gothic, Baroque or Renesance. Prague has got nice location on hills round the Vltava (Moldaw) river.


Transport In Prague

Prague metro schema - Prague subway (underground)People from round the world who have visited Prague say they liked the public transport system in Prague. There are 3 lines of Metro (Underground, Tube) - lines A,B and C (green, yellow and red). Metro operates daily from 5am till midnight and during the rush hour trains go every 3, 4, 5 minutes, on weekends every 8th - 10th minute.

In rush hours, metro is faster than cars. Basic price per 1 hour ride is 26,-CZK (1,GBP or 1,-EURO something). You can switch between different lines, you also can change on trams or buses (or funicular - cable car up to the Petrin hill).

Trams and buses operate 24 hours a day, there are night lines going every 30 - 40 minutes. The lines cover the Prague very well. Just please do not forget to stamp your ticket in one of yellow machines placed at the entrances to metro stations and inside the trams and buses. Let´s say you go by tram first - you get in, stick the ticket in the machine, wait for the sound of printing the time and date on it and then keep it. You can then switch to diferent lines, metro, buses within that one hour limit (on weekends and holidays it is 1,5 hour). If you meet an inspector just show him the ticket and everything is fine. Anyway - the fine for a "black ride" is 800,-CZK.


Prague restaurants and pubs

Prague restaurants, pubs and pivniceRestaurant "U Cisaru" (at the Caesars place)

Free bonus with every transfer - taxi to renowned Prague restaurant U Cisaru. One of our free transfer bonuses which belong to every our client is totaly free-of-charge transfer to excellent place where You can have unforgettable dinner with Your wife, girlfriend or business partners.  Read more at the page about the restaurant U Cisaru.

Well, some (many) places in Prague tend to be more and more expensive. The pressure on the real estate market pushes the prices up so you can harder and harder find a good place which is cheap as well. But they are still there! You can ask your airport chaffeur about places "reachable" for you by the distance and the money. You can have a lunch cheaper than 100,-CZK (3 - 4 EUR) and dinner, let´s say 150,-CZK. Good ones, with good quality of the food and with quality service. If you know where to go.

Tips: it is very good rule to be informed about some "gray" tricks of Prague bars and restaurant stuff. From time to time we hear about manners of some waiters who charge tip saying "tip is not included in the price" or "we have no salaries, we live from tips". Well - i know few owners of Prague bars who pay their employees the minimal wage (to save money on salaries, taxes and medical and healt insurance), but i don´t want to talk about that. I mean cases when tourists are charged per something what is 100% voluntary. You can tip telephone machines if you want, but it is just up to you!


Prague Origin

There is an old story about the origin of Prague. Prague - in the czech language Praha has it´s name based on the word "prah" (treshold). The story says that princess Libuse one day had a vision and ordered to her people to travel to a deep forest where they will find a man making a treshold. "That man will be your new king and the place will carry the name Praha. The glory of the town will reach the stars...". So that is, briefly, the origin of Praha (Prague) by an old Czech legend (source: The Old Czech Legends).


Charles Bridge, Charles Square etc.

Some of popular places in Prague (and the Czech Republic) have the name Charles as a part of their name. So who was the Charles and why is it so popular? Charles (Czech translation Karel) - Charles the Fourth - was a Czech King and the Holy Rome Emperor living and ruling here in the 14th century. He spent his youth and got education in France but he loved Prague (Praha), Bohemia (The Czech Republic) and he had chosen his seat right here, in the Heart of Europe. He is the founder of famous Czech Charles University, he ordered to build Charles Bridge, some examples of other places name dafter him are The Charles Spas, Karlstejn (Charles Castle), Charles Square in Prague etc.


Some of the "you-must-see" places in Prague

Here are names of some places you should not miss while in Prague:

Hradcany (Prague Castle)

The seat of former kings and rulers, at this moment the seat and the office of the President of The Czech Republic. It is located on the west (left) side of the Vltava river and makes the dominant above the oldest parts of Prague. In fact, i think that 70% "tourist" pictures display The Prague Castle (and the Charles Bridge). It is one of the most reccommended sites in Prague, well, sometimes, thanks to that is little bit crowdede with people. The Prague Casle is like a small town in the city (of Prague), the areal is almost 2 km long and you can spend there one week just visiting the sites. Sites to see in the areal of Prague Castle (Hradcany):

  • Saint Vitus Catedral (Svaty Vit, katedrala Svateho Vita) - a unique and outstanding gothic temple, place where Czech Kings were coronated
  • St. George's Basilica with St. George's Convent
  • Saint Cross Chapel
  • All Saints Church
  • Belveder (a summer palace, also known as a place for queens)
  • Old Royal Palace
  • etc.

Lesser Town

Most people would continue with The Old Town of Prague instead, but I personally like the Lesser Town (Mala Strana) more. We can also say, when imagine that we are tourists in Prague, that it is better to continue with the visit of the Lesser Town just after the Prague Castle. I say The Lesser Town is the most charming part of Old Prague and, as stated in a paragraph above, one of the most beautiful quarters in the world (voted in 2009). You should see it, you should walk through the tiny streets of the charming quarter, you can walk from the Prague Castle by the Old (or New) Castle stairs, get over the Lesser Town Square, spend some moments watching the river Vltava with the sight on the other bank (the right bank of Vltava) where there is the Old Town. Don´t forget to get on the Kampa Island which is created by the left side of the Vltava river and an elbow of it called Certovka (devil stream). Tourists go there to see the famous John Lenon Wall which was dedicated to the British musician after his death during the comunistic era here in Prague.  I especially love the Church of Saint Nicholas (in fact there are 2 St.Nicholas temples in Praha - one is here, at Lesser Town Square, the other is at the Old Town - the Old Town Square) which is a dominant of the Lesser Town and it isa visible from long distance from many points in Praha. Its towers are elevated as hiígh as the Prague Castle first ground courtyard. Well, enjoy this baroque pearl and if you have not enough of famous churches, go and visit the Church of Our Lady, where there is so-called Infant of Prague (Jesus Baby) - very popular sight for all Christian people. It is just 5 minutes walk from the St.Nicholas church.

Old Town

After you have spent some time walking through the Lesser Town quarter, step on the oldest bridge in Prague - The Charles Bridge. The bridge built in the 14th Century by... (right: Charles The Fourth) .. replacing even older bridge of St.Judith (origin 9th Century) is one of the oldest bridges in Europe. Connecting The Lesser Town with the Old Town since then has curly shape (like you walk slightly upwards and later downwards) and has a shape of letter "S" (like snake). You can see this from the tower of St.Nicholas church :) Length of it is over 500 m. I reccomend to get there early in the morning, especialy sunday mornings are charming. It is a big difference where there is nobody or the place is crowded by tourists later on and you have to cut your way through thousands of bodies.

New Town

To be continued...


Vysehrad Castle

Vyšehrad [vyshehrad], the rock above the river with its dark outline of slender spires, is an inseparable part of the Prague skyline. The traditions of this mysterious site are bound up with the legends whose literary treatment was worked up Alois Jirásek from the ancient chronicles into his work "The Old Czech Legends". These tell of the Princess Libuše, who foresaw the future glory of Prague from her seat at Vyšehrad, and who sent a delegation to seek out Přemysl the Ploughman, founder of the ruling dynasty, as well as of brave Bivoj, the wondrous horse Šemík and its leap from Vyšehrad rock, and of the War of the Maidens. The legends of Vyšehrad, explaining and celebrating the origins and early years of the Přemyslid state, have made this one of the Czech nation's most distinguished sites. A fortified settlement appeared at Vyšehrad sometime during the 10th century. The first definitive evidence for the existence of the Vyšehrad hillfort are Přemyslid denarii of Boleslav II, minted there in the mid-10th century.
The reign of Vratislav II (1061-1092) opened a new chapter in the history of Vyšehrad. This prince, named King of Bohemia and Poland in 1085, chose Vyšehrad as his royal residence, strengthening its fortifications and building a permanent palace more suited to the aspirations of the Bohemian rulers. He founded a new minster, the Basilica of St Lawrence, and what is probably Prague's earliest Romanesque rotunda, that of St Martin and The Vyšehrad Chapter. The Chapter was excluded from the authority of the Bishop of Prague, and was subject directly to the Pope. It benefited from the great attention paid to it by many Bohemian sovereigns, and obtained a range of political and economic privileges. Vratislav´s successor, Soběslav I (1125-1140), also took an interest in the artistic decoration of the churches, and in the social prestige of Vyšehrad. The coronation of Vladislav in 1140 brought the precedence of this seat over Prague Castle to an end.Vyšehrad regained its importance under Charles IV.
According to the coronation rite, the procession of the new sovereign began here as an expression of respect for the forefather of the dynasty to which Charles IV belonged on his mother's side. Charles IV converted Vyšehrad into a stone fortress, joining it to the ramparts of the New Town of Prague, built a Gothic Royal Palace, the Capitular church, and the great new Špička (Peak) Gate. During the Hussite Wars, however, the whole royal precinct was destroyed. From the mid-17th century onwards Vyšehrad became a Baroque fortress with its own military garrison, and thenceforth remained under military jurisdiction until 1911 when it was made over to the city; it has been preserved almost unchanged to the present day, with the exception of the burning down of the armoury on the site of what is now a park containing sculptures by Myslbek.
The present appearance of Vyšehrad 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 Vyšehrad were Václav Štulc and Mikuláš Karlach, who decisively determined the present appearance of Vyšehrad and its major landmark, the neo-Gothic : Church of SS Peter & Paul was rebuilt in the Neo-Gothic style to a design by J. Mocker and F. Mikeš that respected the disposition of Charles IV's Gothic design. It was then that the idea arose of founding a national cemetery at Vyšehrad on the site of the parish graveyard. It took many years to build the Pantheon, and the present Vyšehrad Cemetery is a unique artistic whole, harmoniously fitting its surroundings. At the same time it is also a unique gallery of funerary sculpture, and an expression of Czech artistic development from the second half of the l9th century to the present day. It is the final resting place of over 600 personalities from the fields of culture and intellectual endeavour.
At the 21th century, Vyšehrad retains its atmosphere of magic and mystery. It offers visitors one of the most beautiful urban panoramas of bygone Europe, quiet parks for relaxation, and true cultural and spiritual inspiration.


Prague - Praha - the mother of the central Europe

Praha (Prague) is one of the oldiest towns (cities) in the Czech Republic (Central Europe, also known as Bohemia). What more info add to the information about Prague (Praha, Prag)? People say they like the city, not only for its historical sites, but also for the atmosphere which there is. Many passengers we transported from the Prague Airport, especially british (from London) they said that they liked Prague is green, there is a lot of trees, parks, bushes. Well, it is right and i am happy about that also and i trust that they will never dissapear. There is certain pressure now at the space and places in Prague (of course, like everywhere in the world) and new shopping centers, new glassy buildings and skyscrapers tend to "occupy" the beautiful & charming Prague so i trust we will be able to defend its beauty and the soul of Prague. I trust we must protect the old face of Praha and - if there is a new project, building, offices, shopping center etc. - think twice before we let it be built...