A city break favorite for decades
Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in central Europe. An impressive castle with magnificent views, a turning river with old, rock solid bridges, and an old town full of life are among some of the most popular attractions of Prague. Add a superb cuisine scene and a wide selection of shopping and you probably understand why this city is so popular.
Karlúv most, or the Charles Bridge, is Prague's most famous landmark. This stunning bridge was built from 1357 as a replacement for a bridge that was taken by flooding in 1342. The Charles Bridge was built with Bohemian sandstone.
The astronomic clock
The large astronomic clock on the wall of the city hall tower in Prague's old town is a must see for all visitors. The impressive clock was designed by a local watchmaker and a professor in mathematics and astronomy at the Charles Museum as early as in 1410.
At every hour between 9 and 21 two hatchets above the clock open. Two figures, picturing the apostles, emerge. The clock was highly advanced in those days, showing the time as well as the moon and sun phases. It has a world map including Africa, with, not surprising, Prague featured as the center. The clock is very precise; other large clocks in general had a delay of at least 15 minutes per day while the Prague clock has a delay of only 30 seconds in a full week. The pendulum in the clock is filled with 56 kilos of mercury, wihch moves according to the temperature and keeps the pendulum swing at the right tempo.
The great castle that rests on the eastern side of river Vltava, high above the Charles Bridge, is another of Prague's great attractions. It is among the world's largest historical castles, measuring 570 meters wide and 130 meters deep.
Throughout the last 100 years, four ruling systems have been in control in the Czech republik, using the castle as their seat of reign. Until 1939, the democratic rulers used the castle. During the second world war, the infamous Reinhard Heydrich had his quarters in the castle. Postwar brought communism to then Czechoslovakia before the velvet revolution in 1989/1990 when president Václac Havel moved into the castle and the country once again became the Czech Republic.