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Where To Go Next for Wednesday, May 21


Today's Travel News
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Prague: Old Europe Romantic

By Judi Janofsky & Rich Steck

With its stunning architecture and spellbinding beauty, Prague is everything romantic. Small in size yet big in culture, it's easy to wander the ancient cobblestone streets that wind around old palaces, majestic theatres and historic hotels spanning the centuries. Just turn a corner and you're transported to yet another era.

Divided by the Vltava River, the two sides of Prague are connected by a series of bridges, none more spectacular than the Charles Bridge, the city's most revered monument. Built in the 14th century of sandstone blocks, it was later adorned by larger-than-life religious sculptures of saints and madonnas. Today, it's a pedestrian boulevard offering strolling couples daytime views of patina-aged towers and spire-topped churches and nighttime illuminations of the city's most distinctive landmarks, Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral.

The famous Charles Bridge links the two sides of Prague

Located high above the city, the castle and cathedral are Prague's most visited sights. Covering almost 18 acres, the castle is the largest ancient castle in the world. Constructed in the 9th century, it has been transformed over the years from a simple wooden fortress to the imposing building it is today.

The cornerstone of St. Vitus Cathedral was laid in 1344 by Emperor Charles IV. Work on the building continued over centuries, as architects added magnificent Renaissance and Baroque details, until it was completed in 1929. Like many cathedrals of its time, St. Vitus is not without its own mystery and intrigue. The bronze ring on the north portal of the Chapel of St. Wenceslas is said to be the one to which Wenceslas clung as he was murdered in 929 by his brother Boleslav.


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