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Praha, Hlavni mesto
Praha, Hlavni mesto

Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, is the fourth largest city in the European Union. It's located approximately in the center of Bohemia, on the shores of the Vltava river, which is the longest river in the Czech Republic. Most of the Prague territory is located on the Prague plateau. The city is surrounded by the Central Bohemian Region, of which Prague is an administrative center. However, Prague is not part of this region as the city itself forms a separate administrative region. As the capital city of the Czech Republic, Prague is the governmental seat for a number of state institutions, organizations, and companies. Czech president, parliament, government, and organizations, such as most political parties, movements, and initiatives are located in this city. The area of Prague is approximately 496 kilometers squared and a total of circa 1.34 million inhabitants live in Prague. That adds up to the density of the population of 2,691.7 inhabitants per square kilometer. In 2017, Prague was the 5th most visited city in Europe (after London, Paris, Istanbul, and Rome) with a tourist count ranging at roughly 8.5 million.

What Praha, Hlavni mesto is known for

The city of Prague is one of the richest cities in Europe and presumably in the world, regarding its historical and cultural sights and monuments. The city has been a metropole of the Czech Republic, acting as the governing seat of kings and the center of not only the culture but also of business and education, for hundreds of years. The biggest attraction of the city is probably its historical center, which showcases the nation's style of architecture and provides details about the country's history. The city contains sights such as Vyšehrad Castle, which overlooks the Vltava River, Henry's Tower, Lennon Wall, The Powder Tower, National Museum, National Theatre, and many others. A part of the trip through the historical center of the city would usually entail a visit to Prague Castle, which is located on the hill overlooking the Vltava River and historical downtown of the city. The Prague Castle was built in 880 and according to the Guinness Book of Records, Prague Castle is the largest continuous castle complex in the world, with an area of almost 70,000 meters squared and is also inscribed on the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List.[4] 

Two paths that lead to the historic district of town can be accessed from Prague Castle. This historical center of the city is divided by the Vltava River. Spanning this river is Charles Bridge, whose construction began in 1357 and for centuries served as the only connection between the castle and the downtown. Nowadays, the Charles Bridge is also inscribed on the UNESCO Heritage List and is presumably one of the most notorious parts of the Prague historical center.[5]

Another remarkable monument of downtown Prague is the astronomical clock located on the southern wall of Old Town Hall in the Old Town Square. The clock mechanism has three main components, the astronomical dial, "The Walk of the Apostles" and a calendar dial with medallions representing the months. The uniqueness of this clock lies in its age. The clock was installed in 1410, making it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world, however, it's the only clock that is still in operation until this day, making it the oldest operating astronomical clock in the world.[6]

Prague also offers numerous options for the nature recreations, such as the Natural park Wild Šárka located in the northern parts of the city. Another popular option for nature recreation is the park Stromovka, which was originally established in the 13th century as a Royal Game Reserve.[7] Located in the absolute city center is a distinctive peak Petřín at an altitude of 327 m above sea level. It's situated next to the Prague castle and on top of the hill has been in 1891 built the Petřín lookout tower. The Petřín tower's design is in part inspired by the Eiffel Tower.[8]

Prague is the hometown of various top-ranked institutions in the world. Such example can be Charles University, which was founded in 1348, making it one of the oldest universities in the world. The university has been ranked among the 2% of top universities in the world and one of "the 100 best universities in Europe."[9] Another unique establishment is the Prague Zoological Garden located in the district Troja. The zoo was established in 1881 and in 2015 was ranked the "fourth-best Zoo in the world." The zoo bears great popularity, as it is the second most visited destination in the Czech Republic after the Prague Castle. [10]


Prague is located approximately in the center of the cultural region of Bohemia. Through the historical center of Prague flows the Vltava River, which is the longest river in the Czech Republic. Thus, the city center is located in the Vltava valley. The lowest point of the area is situated at the level of Vltava, near Suchodol at an altitude of 177 m above sea level. The highest point of the area is the Teleček hill between Sobín and Chrášťany, with an altitude of 399 m above sea level. The most prominent peak of the city is Petřín located in the center of the city and next to Prague Castle. Most of the territory of the city is situated on the Prague Plateau and only a smart division belongs to the Central Labe Area. The south of the city area is penetrated by the Berounka floodplain, which belongs to the Hořovická hills, and also by the Brdy Highlands.[1]

The Prague territory entails 93 specially protected areas that build up to an area of 2,200 hectares, which poses 4.4% of the city's total area. These protected areas make up a wide range of regions, from geological sites to botanical, zoological, entomological, and forest sites. Some examples of these areas are Nature Park Radotín-Chuchle Grove, Natural park Wild Šárka - Lysolaje, Modřany Ravine or the Nature park Botič - Milíčov.[2]

Concerning the Prague temperature and climate conditions, the Prague territory, as well as the rest of the Czech Republic, is situated in the continental climate area, which is characterized by alteration of four seasons throughout the year, with relatively hot summers and cold winters. The average temperature throughout the year is 8.5°C, with about 100 "frosty days" and 30 "ice days" per year. The humidity of the air is between 65% and 90% all year round, depending on the season.[1] In the coldest month of January, the average temperature is -0.3°C. July is the warmest month of the year, with an average temperature of 19.8°C. The driest month is February, with 37 mm of precipitation. With an average of 85 mm, the most precipitation falls in July. [3]


The first settlements in the Prague territory can be dated back to 200 BC when a Celtic settlement was founded on the site of Závist. Later, according to Ptolemy's map from the second century AD, the Prague area was inhabited by German tribes. As a result of the migration of the nations in the sixth century, the Slavs settled in the Prague Basin. However, Prague was originally founded in the eighth century by the princess Libuša and her husband Přemysl, the founders of the Přemyslid dynasty. By the beginning of the 12th century, Prague became a thriving city. In 1257, Přemysl II. Otakar granted the Magdeburg city rights to the Prague suburbs. The influx of craftsmen and merchants to the city grew and maximized during the reign of Charles IV. Prague became the imperial residence of the Holy Roman Empire, which consisted of kingdoms of Germany, Italy, Arelat, the Czech Principality, and hundreds of other principalities, duchies, counties, dioceses, free imperial cities, and other areas. The area delimited by the walls of Prague city soon became too tight for the numerous visitors, so the monarch decided to found the New Town of Prague in 1348. Prague grew rapidly, however, the plague epidemic in Bohemia in 1713–1715 claimed 13,000 victims in Prague, which was approximately one-fourth of the total population at the time. Nevertheless, by the end of the 19th century, Prague was already an industrialized, rapidly-developing city with railways and factories, which were the largest in the Czech lands. [11]

After the First World War, Prague became the capital city of the newly established Czechoslovakia. Later, on March 15, 1939, Prague became the capital of the Nacistic establishment, Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Cultural and educational life stopped after the death of student Jan Opletal during the anti-Nacism demonstration. The universities were closed and the students' leaders were executed. During the Second World War, Jews and Gypsies were deported from Prague into concentration camps. Executions and imprisonment of opponents of Nazi Germany were common. On 27th May 1942, in Prague, Reinhard Heydrich–the commander of the Reich Security Main Office, acting governor of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, and a principal architect of the Holocaust–was assassinated by the Czechoslovak resistance operatives Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš. That led to the extermination of two entire villages–Lidice and Ležáky–by Nazis, which resulted in the Prague Uprising that broke out on May 5, 1945. Prague was finally liberated by the Red Army on May 9, 1945. After the end of the war, almost all Germans were displaced from Prague. Czechoslovakia was re-established, with Prague as its capital city. In February 1948, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia seized power. In 1989, Prague became the center of the Velvet Revolution, which ended the Communist Party's rule. The Velvet Revolution was a non-violent revolution led mostly by students. With the establishment of the Czech Republic after the Velvet Revolution, Prague became the capital city of the republic as it is known today.[11]