Once the center of Bohemia, this Central European capital still retains its enigmatic mystical charm. This city of churches, bridges and high-quality beer is a traveller’s delight. The architecture in Prague is also some of the most beautiful in all of Europe. Just a few of the many reasons why you’d want to live in Prague.
Prague is packed full of attractions. It serves some of the best food on the planet including a surprising selection of vegetarian and vegan restaurants. You’ll also find a great selection of nightlife options in the Czech capital including one of central Europe’s largest LGBT+ scenes that will keep you more than busy for a long weekend.
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Here are 5 architectural wonders of Prague
By Auston from Two Bad Tourists
There are so many great reasons to visit Prague, especially with so many low-cost flights in and out of the city from other major European capitals. Plus, the architectural diversity of the Czech capital is so rich and impressive for a relatively small city.
With everything from gothic, neoclassical and baroque to Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Brutalist buildings dotted around the city, there are some real gems waiting to be discovered here.
These are not necessarily the top five sights of Prague, but rather 5 highlights of the city’s range of architecture which represent its wide range of architectural diversity in various forms and styles.
Prague’s metro system is one of the most remarkable in Central Europe. The majority of the stations were built in the 1970s. Back when the network first opened and features many prominent examples of Soviet era art and architecture, most notably at the station Anděl.
Since the system was expanded in 1985 from two to three lines by adding in Line C, there is a mix of pre- and post-Communist design among the stations, which range from opulent marbled palatial designs to futuristic, colorful dimpled walls.
The Prague metro also holds the title for the longest escalator in the EU. If you go to the station Náměstí Míru: be prepared to not look down here if you’re afraid of heights!
The Astronomical Clock
Although one of the most popular tourist attractions in Prague, and for good reason, this beautiful piece of Renaissance engineering is still very worth seeing.
The Astronomical Clock in Prague just so happens to be the third oldest in the world. It’s crazy it’s still a functioning astronomical clock in the world, and on the hour, every hour, the quaint show that it puts on is worth seeing if you can–the four figures standing at the top of the clock face, led by Death himself, come to life!
The Television Tower
Located in the residential neighborhood of Žižkov, this Brutalist tower, known locally as Žižkovský Vysílač, is often regarded as the ugliest piece of architecture in Prague, but as is often the case with anything from the brutalist movement, it is the subject of many divisive opinions.
If you wish to avoid seeing it at all, you can always ascent to its observation deck. It’s 93 metres above ground and you can enjoy the panoramic views of the city without this eyesore in sight.
Covered with Czech sculptor David Černý’s famous faceless babies, the tower still holds a strong presence over the city, as it is clearly the tallest building by far and can be seen from almost anywhere in town.
The Jubilee Synagogue
Since there just simply aren’t many Jewish places of worship to see in Central Europe anymore, it can be quite remarkable when you see one.
This Temple, also known as the Jerusalem Synagogue, is located very close to Prague’s central train station and is layered in Art Nouveau decoration but designed in the Moorish Revival style of the early 1900s.
While it’s been in use as a place of worship since its opening in 1906, except for the period of Nazi German occupation from 1939 to 1945, it’s only since 2008 that it’s been open to visitors and those interested in architectural history, outside of worshipping times for an entrance fee of 100 CZK (about €3.95).
You can also join a walking tour around the Jewish quarter in Prague which includes the entrance fee to the Synagogue.
All the Art Deco
The Art Deco movement came about in the mid 1920s. It was a breakaway from the reigning style of Art Nouveau. It combined the harmony of the original style with the geometry and symmetry of Cubism.
In the very center of Prague, there are almost no examples of Art Deco architecture, but you don’t have to go far. Walk down Na Poříčí from the Old Town Square and at the corner with Zlatnická, you’ll see perhaps the city’s most famous icon of the architectural movement, Hotel Imperial. Between this area and the river, there are plenty more examples of buildings constructed in this style, especially along the street Pařížská, where the high-end, designer stores can be found.
Whatever style of architecture you’re interested in, Prague certainly has something to satisfy that itch. There are plenty more great examples of notable buildings and landmarks, especially of modern architecture such as the Frank Gehry building, Dancing House, the Quadrio and the National Technical Library. The list goes on and on.
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