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 emerged a symbol of national unity: in under 50 days, enough money was raised from locals for the reconstruction.