Top 10 Most Famous Czech Republic Landmarks Travelers Talk About
The Czech Republic is rapidly becoming one of the most popular of all European tourist destinations, with capital Prague being the city that tourists can’t seem to get enough of. Comprised of ancient lands once called Moravia and Bohemia, the country blends new and old thanks to the Republic’s young age combined with world class historic sites. In fact, while the country only became such in the year 1993, there are buildings here dating back to the 1300s, showcasing important threads in Europe’s long history. The residents here greet tourists with open arms and are happy to point them in the right direction of the country’s beloved landmarks, the ten best of which we’ve picked for you.
1. Prague Castle: Both the office and primary home of the President of the Country, this ninth century castle has been important to the rulers of the region for centuries, playing an important role to Holy Roman Emperors, former Kings and so forth. The building itself looks like something out of a storybook, a trait not uncommon for Czech Republic landmarks, with pretty, pointed towers, detailed twirly halls and ornate gardens. The castle holds a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as the biggest ancient castle in the world.
2. Prague Astronomical Clock: This medieval clock found in the capital of the Czech Republic has been there since the year of 1410. Old as it may be, it’s still only the third oldest in the world (although, it’s the oldest of its kind that is still functioning). That’s right, this three mechanism clock, complete with moving sculptures, a calendar dial, an astronomical dial and more are all featured on the enormous clock. It’s the beloved centerpiece of the country’s capital and one of the most famous of all Czech Republic landmarks. Modern visitors can take a piece of ths history home, so to speak. There are currently just under a handful of applications available on smart phones that are based on the clock.
3. Charles Bridge Prague: Not far from the storied castle that marks the seat of power in Prague can be found a bridge that was originally completed in the early 1400s and is still standing today. In fact, the stone bridge crossing the Vltava river is one of the most well known and famous of all historic Czech Republic landmarks. Until almost the middle of the 1800s, Charles Bridge was actually the only way for anyone to cross the river it stretched across, providing a link between the old town and city area. While the structure itself is impressive, a trio of towers and over thirty baroque statues delight travelers whether they are coming or going.
4. Prague Dancing Building: There is absolutely no possible way to miss this twisty, turny and downright unusual building located in Prague. Also referred to as Fred and Ginger, the early 90s structure has quickly become one of the most popular and iconic of all Czech Republic landmarks. The building was named Fred and Ginger after of course Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, because its design remarkably resembles a dancing couple, but today its uncommon for this former nickname to be used. Striking design and almost physics defying features are the defining characteristics of the building, but its also rich in history too. It stands at the site of a former home that was destroyed in 1945 during the bombing of Prague by the United States.
5. St. Vitus Cathedral: Tall, mysterious and synonymous with Gothic design and architecture, the cathedral is the biggest is the country, and is also considered the most important as it is the seat of the Archbishop of Prague. It’s actually found on the same campus as the city’s palace, along with many other buildings. Surprisingly enough, one of the highlights of the cathedral is its abundance of tombs. St. Vitus is important amongst Czech Republic landmarks, because it is the final resting place of numerous past emperors and kings.
6. Old New Synagogue: The very oldest still active synagogue in all of Europe can be found right in Prague. It was founded in the year 1270 and was not surprisingly, one of the very first buildings of gothic style erected in the city. Although it might not look very impressive from the outside, the interior of the building is very impressive and dramatic, with sweeping, arched ceilings and carved details. There is a local legend surrounding this building, too. It’s said that the attic holds the body of Golem, although visitors are not allowed to inspect for themselves. While the synagogue welcomes visitors like many Czech Republic landmarks, the attic is off limits to guests.
7. Konopiste Castle: To the capital’s south, in Benesov, there is a stunning example of a classic chateau that boasts four separate wings, all previously occupied by a very famous resident. Built in the early 180ss, the castle has been home to many royal leaders, but it was Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria that might be perhaps the most well known former owner. Since 1971, the building was opened up to be included amongst Czech Republic landmarks that are open to the public, and now visitors can visit the rooms and halls along with rooms like the armory and the famous gardens.
8. Karlovy Vary: Given the long and rich history of the part of Europe that the Czech Republic is situated in, it’s not a wonder that so many of the country’s points of interest are associated with historical events and places. However, the spa town located near Carlsbad in the country’s northeast is anything but outdated. Here, an entire town essentially functions as one big spa retreat, all built around thirteen large hot springs (as well as hundreds of smaller ones). Although only recently considered popular amongst Czech Republic landmarks, the spa city has enjoyed a long history of increases in travelers. In the last three hundred years, travelers to the Karlovy Vary Spa area have gone from being in the mere hundreds to over a hundred thousand annually.
9. Cesky Krumlov Castle: What is it about this city named royal residence that make it a UNESCO Monument and tourist favorite, too? Perhaps it’s the view of the structure, dominating the town along the horizon line. But, more likely, it’s the courtyards and gardens that are found beyond the castle’s gate and the interesting bears that are found in the moat surrounding the building. Little details like this that make the chateau one of the most beloved of all Czech Republic landmarks, and walking around and taking tours are amongst the best ways to see all that the area has to offer.
10. Karlstejn Castle: Away from the glamorous capital and the soothing spas of Karlovy Vary can be found this massive, gothic style castle that was founded just about midway through the 12th century. Curiously enough, there aren’t any records related to the original builder of the central Bohemian palace, bit it is known that construction wasn’t completed until sometime around 1365. Although the building itself with an inner castle complete with tall towers is rather impressive, what might make the building one of the most fascinating of all Czech Republic landmarks is its tumultuous history. Chemical warfare of the medieval kind was rampant here in the Hussite Wars, and dead bodies were catapulted over the fortress walls along with dung in an effort to spread infection.