Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, in the heart of Europe, surrounded by Poland, Germany, Austria and Slovakia, has an important place in the list of places that receive the most tourists among European cities. The crowd hosted by Prague – which I went to on a freezing winter day at minus 11 degrees Celsius (12 degrees Fahrenheit) – had already proved this to me. I can’t imagine the crowds on the streets of Prague in summer or spring.
For this reason, the question of which season should I go to Prague may confuse you. As someone who went to Prague in February, I have to say that Prague is definitely a winter darling. Prague is one of the cities where gloomy and cold weather of the winter suits it perfectly. Of course, considering the geographical location, I must say that the winter season was quite freezing. If you say that you can endure the cold weather for this winter beauty, Prague will be looking forward to welcoming you this winter. I can recommend those who do not like cold to go in the spring because in summer, it is very hot during the day and you may not like the temperature difference between day and night. Most importantly, considering that Prague is flooded with tourists in summer, you might return without enjoying the city.
Prague has something that appeals to every kind of travel lover. If you want magnificent views, you can’t get enough of sightseeing. If you are interested in different architectures, Prague may make you dizzy, if you are an art lover, the museums in this city will quench your thirst beautifully.
Now, you may be thinking how many days should I stay in this city that offers such a satisfying trip? My answer, of course, will be that you need to take a long time.
So, let’s come to the section on how to most easily discover this city which is quite a handful when it comes to traveling. The city in Prague is divided into many sections as Praha 1, Praha 2 and Praha 3, but most of the tourist places are located in Praha 1 District. Of course, there are places to visit in other regions as well. You can start your tour of Prague from the Old Town Square, the heart of the city and the most touristic point.
Old Town Square
When you type Prague into most search engines, the Old Town Square will probably be the first result as it is the heart of the city and one of the most touristic places. First of all, I have to say that while taking photos in the Old Town Square, and in fact in many parts of Prague, you can immortalize many unfamiliar faces in your photo frames, and you can become immortal in their photos. Because it is a square that can be so crowded.
There is the famous Astronomical Clock and Tyn Church in this square where almost all the streets of the city connect to.
While walking around the old town, you will also see someone holding a pole in the air. This statue representing Sigmund Freud is also very interesting.
The Astronomical Clock
The Astronomical Clock, which was made 600 years ago and is still working, is the oldest working clock in the world, and immediately reveals its fame with the crowd gathering in front of it every hour. About a minute of animation that takes place at the beginning of every hour creates an incredible crowd of people in front of the clock.
According to legend, Master Hanus brought together three different clocks into a single one for this clock. The fame of the clock, which spread all over Europe in a short time, caused the rulers of other cities to want one for themselves, but the Czech king did not allow it and in order to prevent that from happening, the master who made the clock had his eyes blinded. According to the rumor, the master could not stand this atrocity and committed suicide by hanging himself on the clock tower by breaking the clock in such a way that no one could operate it. Of course, years later, another clockmaker managed to repair the clock.
The clock itself is as interesting, detailed and functional as its story. For someone who can read it, it doesn’t just show the time, it actually gives a lot of information. It shows the movements of the moon and the sun, the Babylonian time, the new and old European time, and the holy days of the Christians.
Around the clock are some figures, each of which has a different meaning. The figure holding a mirror in his hand represents vanity and arrogance, the figure holding a stick and a money bag in one hand represents greed, the skeleton figure represents death, and the figure playing the mandolin represents joy and pleasure. The animation, which starts with the bell ringing by the skeleton representing death, ends with the crow of the rooster on the windows. The skeleton rings the bell, reminding people of death, and turns the hourglass in his hand. Other figures shake their heads, trying to explain that they are not ready to die. Meanwhile, the 12 Apostles of Jesus pass through the two windows above the clock. Then the rooster on the windows crows and the animation ends. You should not pass without watching this animation, which explains that everything is temporary and death can come at any time.
The Church of Our Lady before Tyn, or Tyn Church, which has two magnificent towers with a length of approximately 80 meters (260 feet), is immediately noticeable with its magnificent stance in the Old Town Square. The church, which began construction in the 14th century, was completed in the 16th century. Although the exterior of the church, which took a long time to build and has a different magnificence during the day and at night, was built in Gothic style; the Baroque details will draw your attention when you enter.
Cafe Slavia, located on the street overlooking the Legii Bridge, is the place where many famous poets such as Turkish poet Nazım Hikmet and French poet Guillaume Apollinaire created their most beautiful works.
I’ve heard that many French artists come to the cafe, which is inspired by the Eiffel, with a view of Petrin, the observatory tower on the river bank, because they feel like they’re in Paris.
In the evening, when the cold made itself felt, I threw myself into this cafe. I drank a hot coffee and wrote Apollinaire’s lines on the napkins on the table and put the napkin in my bag. It is my biggest hobby to bring such original things to my house and collect them instead of buying expensive souvenirs on travels.
No matter what season you go to Prague, you should definitely stop by Cafe Slavia for a drink against the Vltava River and breathe the air of this cafe, which has witnessed the history of the poets who drank here.
In Prague, which I think is as romantic as Paris, you should definitely climb the Petrin Lookout Tower inspired by the Eifel Tower and watch Prague’s Baroque and Gothic architecture, cobblestone streets and the fascinating Charles Bridge from above. There are monasteries, a mirrored labyrinth, and a beautiful garden outside the lookout tower at Petrin Castle, where you can cross the bridge overlooking Cafe Slavia and take the funicular.
If you do not use the funicular and walk on the way back, you will see a beautiful cafe with a view. Here you can breathe and have a drink against the wonderful view.
I had heard that this television tower, the tallest structure in Prague, is one of the ugliest structures in the world. This tower, which is 216 meters high, draws attention with its modern and asymmetrical structure. We learn that this is not just a TV tower. No matter how ugly the tower, in which there is a hotel with a single room, it still manages to be extraordinary with this feature. Apart from the hotel, which was built at a height of 73 meters, there is also a restaurant in the tower where you can dine with a wonderful view. Those who do not have a fear of heights can experience the hotel and the restaurant fully.
If you think that this is all I am going to tell you about Prague as I finish my article is over, you are wrong, because Prague is really like a historical treasure chest. You can’t believe how full this chest is. I have saved the iconic structures such as Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Dancing House and many more other details for my next post. You can read more about the endless legends of the Charles Bridge, the magnificent structures of Prague Castle, one of the largest castles in the world, and the must-see places in Prague in my next article.
As you can see, this medieval city, which seems small, contains countless treasures.
It doesn’t let you go, as Kafka said. It embraces you like a beloved mother telling stories with its history waiting to be discovered and its endless legends.