Photo Essay – Top 10 Must See Sights in Prague

13 Sep

Prague is a fairy tale city which is bound to transport you into the bygone era with its beautiful castles, intricately carved cathedrals, old bridges, museums, quaint cobbled streets, walled courtyards, numerous gardens and lots more.  It is a mix of buildings in the Gothic, Baroque and Art Nouveau architectures as it escaped bombing during WW II and the Vlatava river passing through the city just completes the entire illusion. I have been lucky to visit this city twice and explore many parts and aspects of this charming city. On both these occasions I have loved the heady mix of the old world charm and the new world vibrancy, that is just Prague.

Prague City View from Charles Bridge, Prague

Prague City View from Charles Bridge, Prague

I have explored this city by walking aimlessly all across (without a map) and discovering its hidden alleys, sights, sounds, cafes, courtyards and art. This city has so much to offer, that it can overwhelm any traveler on their first visit. Please find below my list of Top 10 Must See Sights, through a black and white lens, for your first trip to Prague.

1. Prague Castle – This is the largest ancient castle in the world and home to Kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman Emperors and the offices of the Czech Presidents. This complex has more than 18 buildings – i.e. palaces, churches (with the most amazing stained glass windows), halls, towers and eight gardens.

Prague Castle, Prague

Prague Castle, Prague

2. Astronomical Clock – This is a special clock with unique mechanisms, its main dial still shows the local time and a wheel with zodiac signs which turns inside the display revealing the position of the stars. The outer ring of the clock, marked with Arabic numerals, calculates the time from the precise moment of sunset. If you come at the right time, you can see the twelve apostles taking turns peeking out from the two small doors above the clock. At the same time, figures symbolising death, vanity, greed, and the ottoman invader placed around the clock move along the sound of bells.

Astronomical Clock, Prague

Astronomical Clock, Prague

3. Charles Bridge – This is a stunning 15th century bridge, which connects the ‘Lesser Town’ and the old town. The entrance to the bridge is through an extremely old Bridge Tower and once you pass the entrance you see the beautiful old bridge with 30 statues of saints and lanterns  along the sides. During the day, numerous street performers perform here and smaller shopkeepers and painters set up small shop.

Charles Bridge, Prague

Charles Bridge, Prague

4. Old Town Square – This square is a beautiful mix of historic sites, churches, cafes, restaurants, shops all around and its also the place frequented most by tourists. It has the beautiful gothic Tyn Church, the baroque St. Nicholas Church, the famous Astronomical clock and the tower of the Old Town Hall (for a view of the square). The centre of the square has the Jan Hus Memorial.

Old Town Square, Prague

Old Town Square, Prague

5. New Town Square – This is a beautiful civic square full of modern shops of all the top brands, restaurants, a location for all of peaceful demonstrations and violent protests. At the end of the street is the huge imposing National Museum. Do take some time and notice the intricate designs on the roofs of all buildings here.

National Museum, New Town Square, Prague

National Museum, New Town Square, Prague

6. John Lennon Wall –  Till 1980s this was a bland but historic wall in Prague, which underwent a huge transformation and was filled with John Lennon inspired graffiti and pieces of music from Beatles lyrics, as a symbol of protest by young people against the hardline Communist regime in what was then Czechoslovakia.

John Lennon Wall, Kampa, Prague

John Lennon Wall, Kampa, Prague

7. Vysehrad – Vysehrad is an old castle complex, built on a hill over the Vltava river, with huge gardens, a Basilica, and the famous the Vysehrad cemetery (contains remains of many famous people from the Czech history). It also houses many of the original saint statues from the Charles Bridge (existing statues on the Bridge are replicas of the originals). This complex also has an amazing view of the river and the city.

The Cemetery, Vysehrad, Prague

The Cemetery, Vysehrad, Prague

8. Municipal House – This beautiful civic building, built-in the Art Nouveau architecture, is used as a concert hall, ballroom, civic building, and is encircled by cafes and restaurants. Do notice the stained glass work on the exterior of the building.

Municipal House, Prague

Municipal House, Prague

9. The Dancing Building – The controversial Dancing Building or the Fred and Ginger Building was designed by the Croatian-Czech architect in cooperation with a Canadian architect and has an interesting roof top restaurant with gorgeous views of Prague.

The Dancing Building, Prague

The Dancing Building, Prague

10. Synagogues in Old Jewish Quarter – The Jewish Quarter was the ghetto where all of Jews of Prague lived from the 13th century. Though most of the quarters were demolished between 1893-1913, six synagogues, the old cemetery, and the Old Jewish Town Hall still survive. You can read a detailed post on the same here.

The Old-New Synagogue, Prague

The Old-New Synagogue, Prague

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15 Responses to “Photo Essay – Top 10 Must See Sights in Prague”

  1. Lauren @ Peaks and Passports September 13, 2013 at 21:53 #

    This post makes me want to go back to Prague so badly! I visited the city when I was too young to really appreciate it and would love to return and check out all the sites you mention, plus enjoy just wandering around!

    Like

    • getsetandgo September 14, 2013 at 21:55 #

      I would love to return to it a third time too, so I share that sentiment with you. This is one of my all time favorite cities in Europe and I can just keep returning to it 🙂

      Like

  2. Abhra Pal September 13, 2013 at 22:35 #

    Beautiful and intimate. Specially loved the close up on the big clock. I’ve always wanted to see more of Europe but haven’t been that fortunate yet.

    Like

    • getsetandgo September 14, 2013 at 21:56 #

      Thanks Abhra, this is a must visit city in Europe and not that expensive either 🙂

      Like

  3. Crash MacDuff September 13, 2013 at 23:17 #

    Reblogged this on rxmacduff.

    Like

  4. Puru September 13, 2013 at 23:54 #

    Ah ! Amazing photographs in monochrome ! Prague happens to be one of my dream places to visit

    Like

  5. Rajesh September 14, 2013 at 00:58 #

    Amazing photos and awesome description

    Like

  6. indrani September 14, 2013 at 06:43 #

    Yes great sights. I missed the dancing building though.

    Like

    • getsetandgo September 14, 2013 at 22:11 #

      Hey Indrani, probably time for another trip? 🙂

      Like

  7. freebutfun September 15, 2013 at 17:21 #

    There is nothing to add after this post, good summary of the best parts! How have I missed that dancing house though?! Will have to have a detour there one day…

    Like

    • getsetandgo September 22, 2013 at 09:59 #

      Thanks :), I guess its a good reason to visit this city again 🙂 🙂

      Like

  8. Renuka September 23, 2013 at 17:48 #

    Some of the photographs are exceptionally nice! Prague is in vogue!

    Like

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