Prague

The monuments of Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, are many but the main ones are: the Castle, the Old Town, Vinceslaus Square and the New Town.

The Castle is one of the main symbols of Prague, known to citizens as Pražský hrad, it was built in 880 on the orders of Prince Bořivoj. In the area of the Castle were built several buildings such as the Church of the Virgin Mary, of which there are now few remains. Starting from the tenth century, following the foundation of the Basilica of San Giorgio, the Castle became the seat of a convent as evidenced by the current gallery of the convent of San Giorgio. The expansion and restoration work continued until 1483 when King Vladislav Jagiellon chose it as his residence with the addition of new towers: the Powder Tower, the New White Tower and the Dalibor Tower. The Castle was transformed into a real royal residence with the arrival of the Habsburg dynasty with the addition of the Royal Gardens, the Belvedere and the Hall of the Rope Ball.

The Old Town Hall with the Astronomical Clock (Staroměstská radnice s orlojem) was built in 1338 as the seat of the autonomous administration of the Old Town. The Gothic part of the complex is the oldest and is formed by a tower with an astronomical clock, in which, at the stroke of each hour between 9 and 23 the 12 apostles appear. The dominant element of the Old Town Hall and the whole square is the gigantic Gothic tower of the fourteenth century. When it was erected, it was the tallest building in the city. 

The New Town, founded by King Charles IV (like almost everything in Prague) in 1348, was intended to provide the center of Prague with an area that performed only a commercial function and still retains this characteristic today.

Vinceslaus Square was built in 1348 to house the Horse Market, but its current name derives during the period of the Czech National Revival in 1848. The square, even today, plays a role of fundamental importance with regard to gatherings and demonstrations.

Among the most famous events is the declaration of the First Czechoslovak Republic in 1918 or the fall of Communist power in 1989. At the top of the square, which looks more like an avenue, was placed the equestrian statue of St. Wenceslas. The Dancing House (Tančící dům) built in 1996 is considered one of the pillars of modern Prague architecture. The architect of the building wanted to reproduce the dance style of the famous couple Fred Astaire (stone tower) and Ginger Rogers (glass tower).

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