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Prague

Autor: Petr Vostrý

Prague is the capital city of the Czech Republic, the seat of the President, government and parliament and the political, cultural and economic center of the country. It spreads out on both banks of the river Vltava in the center of Bohemia. It covers area about 500 km2 and it has 1.2 million inhabitants.
A legend connects the foundation of Prague with princess Libuše. In the 9th century Prince Bořivoj founded a castle above Vltava and it became the seat of princess. In next centuries Prague came the center of the country. Charles IV. (from Luxembourg dynasty) established an Archbishop, founded Charles university and during his reign it flourished and grew. He founded New Town and promoted the construction of Charles Bridge and St. Vitus Cathedral. In the 15th century Prague became the center of Hussite movement. In 1420 Jan Žižka defeated crusaders on Vítkov hill. At the end of the 16th century Prague regained its cosmopolitan character again when it became the seat Rudolf II. On November 8, 1620 the Czech estates rose up against the Habsburgs and were defeated in the Battle of the White mountain. A few month later, in 1621, 27 representatives of the uprising were executed in the Old Town Square. The Thirty Years War, re-catholicization and germanization followed. At the 18th century Prague became center of Czech cultural life when Czech scholars and writers began process of the national revival. In 1918 Prague was capital of the independent Czechoslovakia. In 1939 it was occupied by German troops and in 1942 severely persecuted after the assassination of the Nazi deputy protector Reinhard Heydrich. After the Prague Uprising against the fascists the town was liberated by the Russian on 9th May. The August occupation of Prague in 1968 stopped the democratic reforms in the country and began hte process of normalisation. On 17th November, 1989 the Velvet Revolution began democratic changes in our society. The whole process continued with the splitting of former federal Czechoslovakia into two independent states. Prague became the capital city of the Czech Republic.
The Prague castle is the seat of president. We can find there many gothic, renaissance and baroque houses and palaces. The monumental complex of the castle includes three courtyards and over 700 rooms with the late Gothic Vladislav Hall and the newly redecorated Spanish Hall and Rudolf Gallery.
The most impressive building at the castle is St. Vitus cathedral. It was completed in 1929, a thousand years after the foundation by Charles IV. The cathedral is projected by two big architects - Petr Parléř and Matyáš z Arrasu. Next impressive building in the Prague castle is Basilica of St. George. In the castle we can find many palaces with gardens too. One of famous is Schwarzenberg palace. The famous part of the castle is golden Lane. During reign of Rudolf II. in these small houses lived a lot of alchemist.
Near the Prague castle is situated hill Petřín with famous Observation Tower. On Petřín is the second biggest stadium of the world - Strahov. We can find there Strahov monastery too. It is seat of big library.
The Lesser Town is one of beatiful parts in Prague. If we go to Charles Bridge, we can go through Neruda street, in which was borned on of the biggest writer - Jan Neruda. Near this street is St. Nicholas churche. It was built in baroque style. One of the most famous part of Prague is the Old town square with astronomical clock. On this square is the House by Bell - it was built in gothic style. Next famous square is St. Wencezslav square - we call this square the centre of Prague. There is a lot of expensive and luxus hotels and shops. In Prague we can find many historical building and speaking about them would be very long.

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