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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

The City of 100 Spires

+Prague+lies+in+the+center+of+Europe%2C+offering+breathtaking+architecture+and+a+captivating+history.+Photo+from+SmugMug.
Prague lies in the center of Europe, offering breathtaking architecture and a captivating history. Photo from SmugMug.

A general introduction to the historic city of Prague

As foreign correspondent for the Old Gold & Black, I will be writing from Prague, Czech Republic this semester. In each edition, I will give a glimpse of a city that contains a fascinating history under multiple empires and regimes and boasts enchanting cathedrals and castles that conjure up feelings of a mystical, medieval fairy tale.

I find it logical to include in this first edition a simple overview of this prominent European city that is often overlooked in the shadows of Paris, London, Amsterdam and the like. In the following issues, I plan to describe specific experiences that I find worth sharing. 

Prague, located in the center of Europe, is the historic capital of Bohemia and first gained prominence in the 14th century during the reign of Charles IV. The Holy Roman Emperor made this city the capital of the empire, and during his reign, many of the main tourist attractions of today were erected.

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The most notable structure of the 14th century was the building and establishment of Prague Castle, which has grown over the centuries to now be the largest castle complex in the world. The castle, topped off by the majestic St. Vitus Cathedral, sits on a hill bordering the calm Vltava river, towering over the rest of the city that has grown outward from its very walls.

For hundreds of years, Prague belonged to the Austria-Hungarian Empire. However, World War I broke the empire into pieces, creating Czechoslovakia. Then, in 1939, the Nazis took control of the country and held it until 1945, after which control was immediately ceded to the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin. At the time, Prague was a dismal communist city until the Velvet Revolution of 1989, in which the Czech citizens protested the regime with public demonstrations and protests.

Prague’s turbulent history has resulted in an impressive display and variety of architecture that spans nearly 1000 years. Its numerous ornate cathedrals give it the title, “The City of 100 Spires.”  This inherent beauty, coupled with rapid globalization and economic growth since the 1990’s following the end of the communist era, has resulted in Prague being one of the top destinations in Europe. 

Although it will likely be difficult to put this city’s enchanting presence into words, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share my experiences.

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