‘Prague is like a vertical Venice – steps everywhere’, Penelope Gilliatt
Over the centuries, Prague has had many nicknames: Mother of all cities, Heart of Europe, Golden Prague, City of 100 Spires are but a few.
According to an old legend, in the year 700 Princess Libuse dreamed that a strong and brave knight would erect gates on the left bank of the river Vlatava and beyond those gates there would emerge a city whose fame everybody would talk about; a city whose splendor would make the stars look pale. Soon after the legend came a church, a few houses, a bridge, some walls … Prague … cradle of magicians, scientists, alchemists, mathematicians, artists and musicians. The city of Franz Kafka and Milan Kundera, where a perfect mix of allegory and pragmatism surrounds its streets, plazas and buildings. A truly living monument full of stories to be visited and then told. An atmosphere which invites the traveler to sip a beer while listening to a jazz concert. City of castles, synagogues, villas, bridges and palaces. City of hidden treasures to be found and a thousand corners to be explored. City of mesmerizing light and sounds. A city filled with steps leading you somewhere else, to another time, to a legend which became true.
Prague, in the north-west of the Czech Republic, has an extension of twenty-two square miles and a population of nearly two and a half million. Its historical center, sitting on both banks of river Vltava, is visited by over 17 million tourists each year, and consists of six quarters, once independent cities: The Old Town, The Jewish Quarter, The New Town, The Lesser Quarter, Hradcany and Vysehrad. Prague’s historical center was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1992.