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Published: December 2nd 2016
The second day in Prague started off with an early walking tour of all the major sights in and around old town, and across the Vltava river at the Prague Castle. Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling well, so I decided not to go with them (3 1/2 hours of walking just sounded too much for me), but Steve still went, so he got lots of nice pictures. I have to tell you that it was really difficult to pick out just a few pictures for this blog from the over 200 that he took. Unfortunately, it was overcast, so they aren't the best pictures ever taken, but hey, we are only here for a few days, so we have to take what we get.
I will try to fill in the names of the buildings on any that I recognise from brochures we have, but to be honest, neither of us is sure which building is which for the most part. Prague is known as "The city of Spires" because of the many castles and fortresses, towers and churches that are here. Some are very old, and have changed hands many times through governments being overthrown by war or taken by
force. Especially when the communists were in power, the lovely old buildings were not taken care of, and some crumbled and were not rebuilt. Still, Prague is one of the most beautiful cities that I have ever seen.
If you are knowledgeable about architecture, you would be able to see examples of many different architectural styles in Prague.
The intricate portals and gates on the palaces of Prague are amongst the most splendid and picturesque architectural landmarks of the city. Renaissance and Gothic portals have survived frequently, even when the structures themselves have been modified or destroyed by subsequent renovations in different architectural styles.
Prague’s best Romanesque structure is the Basilica of St George
at Prague Castle. Several stone-built Romanesque rotundas survive undamaged in Prague, though most have since been transformed into larger churches.
The Gothic style flourished in Prague from the 13th to the 16th centuries, until the rule of Charles IV. The best examples of Gothic style are the eastern part of St Vitus Cathedral
at Prague Castle, the Gothic design of the Charles Bridge
, the Old Town Bridge Tower
and the Church of Our Lady of the Snows
In the aftermath of the Thirty Years’ War, when the Habsburg Empire embarked on a campaign of reconstruction and
re-Catholicisation of the Czech lands, many baroque churches as well as palaces, villas and town houses were built. It was the grandest period in Prague’s architectural development, responsible for the largely baroque face that you see in Prague today.
As the end of 19th century Czech architecture came under the spell of Art Nouveau. The building of the Palace of Industry for the Jubilee Exhibition of 1891 saw the first arrival of Art Nouveau in Prague, and over the next two decades it became the favoured style of the city’s middle classes. The city’s finest expression of Art Nouveau architecture is the Municipal House
, and also the hotel we are staying in; The Palace.
Full disclosure: the above five paragraphs are taken from a web page on architectural styles of Prague. Here's the address:http://www.prague-guide.co.uk/architectural-styles-in-prague/.
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