Old Prague – The path of kings
Prague is with its unique historical monuments one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Since behind every corner there is something to see, either an interesting sculpture or a building, it is almost impossible to see it in only one day. Therefore, the first thing you need to see in Prague is the place where it all started, its oldest part – the historical centre. Even if you will not have the time to see the whole city, these parts will be enough to say that you have been in Prague.
From Wenceslas Square to the Old Town Square
This place once used to be a horse market and it still has a place of interest for many business companies. For tourists, Wenceslas Square is important mainly for its high concentration of hotels and restaurants. Zou certainly should not forget to take a picture with St. Wenceslas on his horse. His famous statue dominates the upper part of the square. This sculpture is complemented by St. Prokop, St. Vojtech, St. Ludmila and St. Agnes who had replaced St. Ivana.
You can walk to the Old Town Square right from Mustek and Melantrichova on Wenceslas street but it is much more interesting to take the Royal Route. At the very beginning, through the street Na Prikope, you will reach to the Powder Tower and the Municipal House. There used to be Kraluv Dvur (The Royal courtyard), the seat of the Czech Kings. From there they went to their coronation at the Cathedral of St. Vitus at the Prague Castle. The Celetna Street, one of Prague’s oldest streets, leads the Old Town Square.
In royal footsteps
On your right, you will pass the Temple of the Mother of God in front of Tyn and you will go through to the Old Town Hall with its world-famous astronomical clock. It is worthwhile to take a one hour tour to see when the apostles go through the windows of the clock and then finally a cock crows. The oldest part of the clock comes from 1410 – a clock machine and an astronomical clock made by Nicholas of Kadan. The Royal Route continues through a small square and Charles Street. Liliova street connects it to the left. If you take this street you will reach the Bethlehem Square and a chapel of the same name, where Master Jan Hus had preached. However, the Royal Route leads to Clementinum, the original Jesuit college. Today it is used by the National Library and since 1622 there is kept the library of Charles University colleges. Part of the grounds are the Sacred Salvador Church, St. Clement’s Cathedral, the Vlach Chapel of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the famous Mirror Chapel and the Chapel of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary.
Under the Old Town bridge tower we head to the Charles Bridge, whose construction began in 1357 on a place where originally stood the Judith Bridge – the first stone structure in Bohemia. The bridge features 30, predominantly Baroque sculptures. The most notable are sculptures of St. Jan Nepomucky and St. Luitgard. On the site of today’s Crucifixion was the cross in the time of Emperor Charles IV. The Royal Route continues under the second Mostecka tower on the Lesser Town, where it rises along the Mostecká Street in Malostranska Square with the Baroque Church of St. Nicholas, and then goes through the well-known Nerud’s alley. This street carries its name from the time of the rule of Premysl Otakar II. after a Czech writer Jan Neruda, who lived here in the House of Two Suns. The street is full of remarkable houses, whether bourgeoisly, with the foundations of Renaissance, or the noble palaces of later Baroque construction. Among other things, the Liechtenstein Palace is the home to the Academy of Performing Arts, the Kolovrat Palace and the Kinsky Palace. Of burgher houses, decorated with original house shields, these are other houses such as U zeleneho jelínka (of Golder deer), U zlateho lva (of Golden lion), U zlateho kola (of Golden wheel) and U osla v kolebce (of Donkey in the crandle).
At the Prague Castle
The road leads to the Castle and Hradcanske Square. Together, there are four courtyards and you will pass one – the Matthias Gate. In the first courtyard you will pass through the Matthias Gate, and there are four courtyards. The Machen Complex of the Prague Castle includes the Old and New Royal Palace, Queen Anne’s Palace, the Lobkowicz Palace, the Institute of Nobility, the Vladislav and the Spanish Hall, the Hall of the Hall and Rudolf’s Gallery. Above all there are the sacred monuments of Cathedral of St. Vitus, Wenceslas and Adalbert, with the tomb of the Czech kings and the St. Wenceslas Chapel. The Vladislav Hall connects to a church of all saints with a Gothic presbytery. At the other courtyard stands the late Baroque chapel of the Holy Cross, which serves as an exhibition hall with an exhibition of the St. Vitus treasure. An important monument is the Basilica of St. Jiri, the oldest church in the complex with the burial site of the Přemyslids who were Prague’s first ruling Slavic family.
There are many other things worth seeing at the Prague Castle, such as the Ballroom, the Prague Castle Riding School, the Old Proboststvi, or in the nearby Golden Lane with original small houses of alchemists who were producing gold at the time of the Rudolfinum. It is also worth mentioning the Deer Moat or the Daliborka Tower, where Dalibor of Kozojed, who was taught there to play the violin, was allegedly imprisoned. But that’s just one of the many reputed legends to the old Prague.