Category: Mandatory Prague

Mandatory Prague: The Prague Zoo

Every major city has a zoo. But does every city have a zoo that’s been ranked among the best in the world by the likes of Forbes Traveler and TripAdvisor? Yeah, we didn’t think so. There’s a reason the Prague Zoo brags so many accolades. Located near the Trója Chateau in Prague 7 , the zoo is home to nearly 5,000 animals and 650 species. The idea first came to the mind of a Count Sweerts-Sporck in 1881 as a way to commemorate the wedding of Crown Prince Rudolf and Princess Stephanie of Belgium—because what better way to celebrate...

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Mandatory Prague – The Jewish Quarter

The Jewish Quarter—formerly Prague’s Jewish Ghetto—has a history that stretches back to the 12th century. It’s not surprising, then, that it’s home to the oldest still-existing synagogue in Europe, the Old-New Synagogue. You’ll also find the Old Jewish Cemetery, Church of the Holy Ghost, Jewish Museum, five other synagogues, and the Rudolfinum here. Also called Josefov, the quarter is the source of a number of legends that only add to Prague’s mystical reputation. Take Jewish mystic Jehuda ben Bezalel’s creation of the Golem of Prague, a clay creature said to have protected Prague’s Jews from anti-semitic attacks. The quarter...

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Mandatory Prague: Petřín

There’s a reason the Petřín Hill was once one of King Charles’ vineyards. A green oasis of calm bordered by numerous gardens, it’s one of the most stunning hills in Prague (and believe us, Prague has many). It’s also one of the most romantic. The hill is home to a rose garden, or rosarium, showcasing nearly 12 thousand flowers. You’ll also come across a statue of Karel Hynek Mácha, a Czech poet who wrote the now-famous love poem Máj (May). As a result, hundreds of lovers meet at the statue every year on May 1. To make matters even...

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Mandatory Prague: National Theatre

We’ll spell out just why the National Theatre nags a spot on our list of mandatories, but one look inside and you’ll need no such explanation. Pass through the doors, and you’ll be met with gold-embellished walls that bear masterpieces by 19th-century Czech painters like Aleš, Ženišek, Hynais, Myslbek, and others. That’s not to mention the theatre’s renowned drama, opera and ballet performances. But despite its richly decorated appearance, the theatre has a turbulent history. Just when it was nearing completion in 1881, a fire broke out, burning much of the structure to ash. But out of the catastrophe...

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Mandatory Prague: Rudolfinum

Just 200 meters from the Charles Bridge in Jan Palach Square lies Rudolfinum, a concert hall and art gallery built in 1881. The building’s impressive Neo-Renaissance architecture is enough to bring curious onlookers to its doors, behind which you’ll find a gold and marble auditorium that’s home to the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Named for Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria, the building’s Dvořák Hall is one of the oldest concert halls in Europe. Music nerds will be thrilled to learn that Antonín Dvořák himself conducted the Philharmonic Orchestra’s first concert in the hall in 1896. Our advice? Visit in May...

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