Prague (Praha) is one of the least "eastern" European cities you could imagine. Architecturally it is a revelation: few other cities anywhere in Europe look so good - and no other European capital can present six hundred years of architecture so completely untouched by natural disaster or war. Hardly surprising, then, that ninety percent of Western visitors spend all their time in and around the capital and that Praguers exude an air of confidence about their city.
Prague rose to prominence in the ninth century under Prince Borivoj, its first Christian ruler and founder of the Premyslid dynasty. His grandson, Prince Václav, became the Good "King" Wenceslas of the Christmas carol and the country's patron saint. The city prospered from its position on the central European trade routes, but it was after the dynasty died out in 1306 that Prague enjoyed its golden age . In just thirty years Charles IV of Luxembourg transformed it into one of the most important cities in fourteenth-century Europe, founding an entire new town, Nové Mesto, to accommodate the influx of students. Following the execution of the reformist preacher Jan Hus in 1415, the country became engulfed in religious wars , and trouble broke out again between the Protestant nobles and the Catholic Habsburgs in 1618. The full force of the Counter-Reformation was brought to bear on the city's people, though the spurt of Baroque rebuilding that went with it gave Prague its most striking architectural aspect.
After two centuries as little more than a provincial town in the Habsburg Empire, Prague was dragged out of the doldrums by the Industrial Revolution and the národní obrození , the Czech national revival that led to the foundation of the First Republic in 1918. After World War II, which it survived substantially unscathed, Prague disappeared completely behind the Iron Curtain. The city briefly re-emerged onto the world stage during the cultural blossoming of the Prague Spring in 1968, but the decisive break came in November 1989, when a peaceful student demonstration, brutally broken up by the police, triggered off the Velvet Revolution which eventually toppled the Communist government. The popular unity of that period is now history, but there is still a great sense of new-found potential in the capital, which has been transformed by restorations over the last decade.
The River Vltava (Moldau in German) divides the capital into two unequal halves: the steeply inclined left bank, which accommodates the quarters of Hradcany and Malá Strana, and the more gentle, sprawling right bank, which includes Staré...
read more >>
|Discount Hotel Reservations||Online Hotel Reservations||Hotel Reservations Online||Hotels in Europe||Discount USA Hotel Reservations|
|Discount European Hotels||Cheap Hotels in Europe||Cheap Hotels in Barcelona||Hotels in Calgary Canada||Hotels in Miami USA|
|Hotels in Brussels Belgium||Hotels in Rome Italy||Hotels in Budapest||Venice Italy Hotels||Bangkok Hotel Reservations|
|Hotels in Barcelona Spain||Hotels in Vienna||Hotels Nice France||Hotels Sorrento Italy||Hotels in Singapore|
|Discount Hotel Reservations Sitemap|