The historic heart of this city right in the heart of Europe is an exceptionally valuable urban monument zone. This is why part of Prague (Hradcany and Prague Castle, Mala Strana, the Old Town including the Charles Bridge and Josefov, the New Town and Vysehrad) were entered into the UNESCO World Heritage List.
And what is so interesting about the historical centre of Prague? Its overall layout. Narrow zigzagging streets opening out into little squares dominated by religious buildings of which the oldest date back to the Romanesque period. The Old Town, however, is mainly Gothic and its majestic Gothic churches together with its magnificent town houses have led to it becoming known as ‘Stone Prague’.
In other places, we can find Renaissance palaces and Baroque, Neo-Classical, Art Nouveau as well as functionalist Cubism styles have all also had their say here. It is all sensitively melded together in one whole which can be admired over many long days without ever becoming boring. The River Vltava and its bridges also play a fundamental role. The oldest and best-known bridge is the Charles Bridge, which was built by Emperor Charles IV, who played a major role in setting Prague’s current layout. The pious sovereign considered Prague the European parallel to the holy city of Jerusalem.
Prague Castle, rising above the whole city, dominates all its landmarks. From time immemorial, it was the place from which rulers governed the Czech lands, and it remains so today. Hradcany, the largest castle in the whole world, is where the President of the Czech Republic resides. The castle itself and its St. Vitus’ Cathedral is one of the symbols of the Czech nation, as well as being one of the most visited tourist sites in the whole country.