Male Namesti is a cute triangular square located just off the Old Town Square. There is a mix of Gothic houses and Renaissance 'sgraffito' facades to see here.
The square is surrounded by shops, bars and restaurants. In the centre there are tables were you can relax with a beer or a snack and do some serious people watching.
Another interesting thing to see is the ornate wrought-iron well/fountain in the centre of the square, which double as a plague memorial.
You may also notice a few shiny convertible cars parked in the square. These are used for sightseeing tours around the city. I must admit I was tempted to go for a tour in the little red Skoda (see extra photos)!
Golden Ring House (Dum U Zlateho prstenu) is mediaeval town house located by Church of Our Lady before Tyn (Kostel Matky Bozi Pred Tynem). At the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries a major modification of the whole structure was undertaken including the frontage with golden ring house sign.
Permanent exhibition in Golden Ring House presents Czech Art of the 20th Century (works of Jiri Kolar, Jaroslav Rona, Karel Teige, Jan Zrzavy, Karel Malich… can be seen). The exhibitions of The contemporary Czech art are taking place in the basement rooms.
With name like this, you half expect to hear James Brown playing as you walk in to buy your ticket. Well no, it isn't quite like that. I believe this museum to be pretty new.
Inside, well what do you expect, downstairs there's a room where they play one of the oldest known "erotic films" believed to be in existence. Apparently it was filmed at the bequest of the King of Spain (at the time). It doesn't hold back in what it shows. Upstairs there are the "machines" in the title, ranging from the old-fashioned, pre-batteries days to more modern times. Some of the things in there are comical, others bizarre, and others not so pleasant, so I leave it to you to decide whether you want to visit.
I include a variety of pictures, starting with a safe one, the most humorous one is probably the "erotic see-saw". Anyhow, you may not wish to look.
I was interested in popping in to this museum for around half an hour just to see what it was like. I actually stayed much longer and I considered it to be a very well presented museum on how life was like in Prague under the Communists. It doesn't remember them fondly!
There are mock ups of shops and buildings under the communists, several movies showing brutality, and a whole range of communist kitsch including some that can be bought at the gift shop. There is also a good explanation of what was on top of Petrin hill before the Metronome was built (i.e. a big statue of Stalin).
Definitely recommended if you have a spare hour or two. The museum can be a little hard to find as you have to go upstairs to find the entrance.
Impressive Hercules statues greet you at the entrance of this baroque palace. It is worth looking inside, too, because the palace has been beautifully restored and there are many more statues to be seen and a gorgeous ceiling fresco over the main staircase. The palace is open for concerts and exhibitions.
The section of Stare mesto ( old town ) north of old town square, adjacent to the Jewish quarter and to the Vltava River, contains many of the grandest old palaces in Prague. The architectural styles of these palaces include Baroque, Patrician, and Art Noveau. The palaces are now office buildings, banks, and other places of business, but the elaborate extereriors and parts of the interiors can be enjoyed free of charge by everyone. Some of the palaces are hotels and restaurants having interiors that can be enjoyed by guests or patrons.
The palace shown partially in the photo is immense and fronts two intersecting streets. The exterior architecture is early Baroque. The design includes many pleasing curves. A statue of a royal Bohemian guard stands watch over the main entranceway. A hexagonal tower of carved hardwood rises above the front walls of the building. The tower is topped with a heavenly reaching steeple. This great palace is just a sample of the many in the area.
1)Walk in Stare Mesto(Old Town) and see Staromestska radnize (town hall), St. Marie Church, St. Mikulase Church, Astronomical clock. In the center of the square is the Jan Hus Monument. 5’ away is the Powder Gate Tower right next to Municipal House. 5’ from there in Wenceslas Square visit Alphonse Mucha Museum.
2) Buy souvenirs at Karlova street like every tourist does! Then visit the small Torture Museum before crossing Charles bridge. The view from bridge is great.
3)Go up to the castle and visit St.Vitus, the royal palace and St.George Basilica & monastery. The Golden Lane is small alley(you pay extra to enter!) full of souvenir shops.
4) The street leading up from Mala Strana Square to the Castle is Neurdova Street. Nice to walk around and don’t forget Loretto monastery 5’ west from Prague Castle.
5)Watch an interesting theatre performance at Theatre Image or in any other. Black Light Theatre is a music light show with live actors, marionettes, lighting effects etc
6)Visit Vysehrad, walk inside the park, admire the churches, see graves of famous composers buried in Slavin cemetery and take breath taking photographs from the view. You can see many parts of the city from there.
This is a central place to get familiar with Prague. You have shops, cafe's, and brilliant churches to visit. If you stop to sit at one of the many cafe's along the sides of the square you sit for hours watching the sun change colors on the Tyn spires, or watch the throngs of people pass by.
This used to be just an market place when the castle walls extended just to the river banks. It was given city status and was eventually joined with the Little Quarter as one city in the 1700's. This has also been the location of many architectural improvements as well as political assassinations.
This is a very ornate concert hall. It has been done in an Art-Nouveau style and is very nice to look at. It stands on the old site of the Royal Palace before the kings moved to Prague Castle in 1483. The structure was used as a seminary and military college until it was torn down in the early 1900's. The present day building was created as a joint artistic effort during the Czech National Revival. Politically used as the stage to announce the independent state of Czechoslovakia in 1918, the house is now used as a concert venue. The Prague Spring music festival is held here on 12 May and there are numerous concerts given in its many halls year round. Seats can cost up to 1200KCZ depending on the concert.
There is a cafe/restaurant on the bottom floor and tours can be arranged. The gallery is open for exhibitions only from 10am-6pm.
A little to the west of the old town square, this 14th century chapel was the center of the Hussites and their reformation in Prague. In 1391 the Reformers were given permission to build a chapel here and conduct sermons in Czech instead of Latin. The was a simple design and could hold almost 3000 people. The preacher Jan Milic z Kromerize began preaching here in 1391 until 1394. Jan Hus began his preaching here in 1402-1413. Most of the chapel was converted by the Jesuits when Protestantism was outlawed in 1620. The building was destroyed in 1786 and then later rebuilt after WWII. The church you can see today is not the original but parts of the original structure can still be seen, some of the interior rooms and windows are said to be original. It is a cultural monument and holds various exhibits. There is a memorial celebration on the night of July 5th, the anniversary of Jan Hus's execution.
It is 30KCZ to enter and is open from about 9am-5pm.
This enigamtic statue located outside the the Theatre of the General States was made by Anna Chromy in memory of W.A.Mozart who made the premiere of the Don Giovanni on 29th October 1787 in this theatre.
Stare mesto, located on the southeast bank of the Vltava River, is definately not the oldest part of Prague, but bears the name nontheless. Vysehrad which is the oldest part of the city, is a 5 minute ride on the Metro from Stare mesto. I recommend visiting all of old Prague. Even though Stare mesto with its famous and historic central square, and its many great entertainment venues, is one of the three most popular tourist attractions in Prague, it is only a small sample of what this most fascinating city has to offer.
Shown off in the distance of photo #1 is Stare mesto square and a few of the many spires of the church of Our Lady Before Tyn. The photo was taken from one of the streets that connects Stare mesto with Namesti Republiky. As difficult as it may be to believe, there are even parts of old town that the tourist crowds avoid. Massive ancient Gothic buildings with their mostly Baroque exteriors and facades, loom high above the narrow cobblestoned streets of old Prague. All of this eagerly awaits your visit, and much of it can be enjoyed without having to fight off tourist crowds. Don't be afraid to step off of the trampled routes. You will definately not be harmed by doing so.
One of the original entrances to old town in the 11th century, the Powder Gate (Prasna Brana) was begun in 1475 by King Vladislav II. It wasn't intended to be a defensive stronghold. It was decoratied to add to the already beautified city and was based on the Old Town Bridge tower designed by Peter Parler. It has been named the powder gate because of the use of it as a storage facility in the 17th century. Most of the sculputres on the gate were destroyed or removed during Prussian occupation. Designer Josef Mocker rebuilt the gate and added the gothic decoration you can see today. You can also go inside the gate and look from its gallery across the city. There is also a small exhibit.
It is about 30KCZ to enter and is only open from April-October from about 10am-6pm.
Old town square in Stare mesto is probably the most popular tourist attraction in Prague. With the exception of the winding road connecting old town square with Karluv most ( Charles Bridge ), most tourists are hesitant to walk more than two blocks outside of old town square. I don't know if they are convinced there is nothing worth seeing outside of this invisible envelope, or if possibly they are worried about getting lost on the unusually orientated streets, worried about getting mugged, or whatever. It is not possible to get lost with the great tower of Our Lady Before Tyn church in sight, and yes there are interesting things to see and do at every turn, and fascinating people to meet. Please don't be afraid to wander.
The scene in the photo is located only about 250 meters north of old town square, in the direction of the Jewish Quarter. The people shown in the photo are locals, and the hotel / restauarant shown is patronized mostly by locals. By the way, Hotel / Restaurant U Zlate Studny is one of many well preserved early Baroque buildings in Prague. It was built during the Gothic era but redesigned centuries later. Intricately detailed relief sculptures adorn the front and it is capped with a scrolled facade. Each of the ancient buildings that you will see during your stroll through Stare mesto has features setting it apart from the rest. Take the time to enjoy it all.
Havelske Trziste is one of the centres of attraction for most tourists. I would love to go there again as it was the place you find plenty of local foodstuff like seasonal home-grown fruit & vegetables, drinks and artwork, leather goods, flowers, wooden toys and delightful ceramics.
It seemed to me that dry fruit were very popular there as plenty of people were buying them.