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I have been to Czech the first time over 18 years ago with a school trip and since then over twenty times more. During all those business trips I never had the time to re-explore Prague but this year I had a small day to see something as flying in a day early was much cheaper even with an extra night in the Intercontinental Hotel Prague. I decided to explore the left bank of the river where you find Prague castle and its surroundings. This Prague city walk is a nice day in Prague during a leisure trip or add it like me to a business trip. It’s a must see and worth the day.
Strahov Monastery, start of the Prague city walk
To safe time, especially during a business trip, it is recommended to take a taxi to the Strahov Monastery which is the farthest away point of this Prague city walk and return by foot from there. I arrived at the Strahov Monastery around 11:00 after I finished a delicious breakfast at the Intercontinental Hotel Prague.
Strahov Monastery was founded in the mid-12th century by the Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré. Wooden buildings served first as housing but were replaced over time by permanent stone structures. The site is most famous for its library, called The Theological Hall, with its beautiful fresco’s from the early 18th century. In the late 18th century the Philosophers Hall was added which is also beautiful decorated. The main cloister church is dedicated to the Assumption of Our Lady. From here you can continue your walk towards the Church of Loreta, which clock tower was unfortunately under reconstruction during my Prague city walk.
Loreta is a complex that consists of a church dedicated to the Lord’s Birth, a clock tower and a monastery around it. In the middle of the courtyard you find a small building with beautiful sculptures on the outside, it serves as a place to pray. Around the courtyard there are various small chapels with beautiful paintings. The church is not huge, but the decorations are very nice with many details everywhere.
The second floor of the monastery, which was added later, houses now an exposition on the treasures of Loreta. Loreta is a pleasant place to visit for an hour. I continued my Prague city walk to the Prague Castle which is a short 15 minute walk away through beautiful old streets.
Prague Castle is probably the most important touristic place in Prague and this you can feel when you are there with the big crowds everywhere. It is however a must see place! To explore the whole site with the various places of interest you probably spend an hour or three there. At the entrance you can watch the guards and each hour they change so do not miss this ceremony. The Prague Castle was the seat of the king in ancient times but is still in use today too by the president of Czech. After you buy your entrance ticket start with the visit to the St. Vitus Cathedral, the most important cathedral in Czech.
The St. Vitus Cathedral is, as said, the most important in the Czech Republic and the first stone of it was laid in the 14th century. It was only completed in the 19th and 20th century which you cannot really see as the original plans were used for the construction. Inside you find a few important things which are: a stained glass by Mucha, the silver tomb of St. John of Nepomuk and the Royal Crypts. The last I could not visit unfortunately this time as it was under reconstruction. All other parts I was able to visit and they are stunning, just see the photos I made in the gallery. The tower can be climbed to have nice views over Prague, but to be honest due to time constrains in my Prague city walk I skipped it this time.
When you finish the inside, walk around it clockwise to stop at the guard tower for an exposition about Czech military. From there walk back anti-clockwise towards the square and then to the Old Royal Palace where the kings lived. You can visit the Vladislav hall, the throne hall and upstairs you find rooms with paintings of all the weapons of the family tree. Once you exit you are in front of the St. George Basilica.
The St. George Basilica has an interesting façade because it’s kind of red painted. The inside is actually very small and there are a few items on display and two stairs going up to the altar with nice frescos on the ceiling. It took me maybe 10 minutes inside to see the basilica and I walked further down the street towards the golden street, my next stop during my Prague city walk. The golden street was a street where in ancient times the gold smiths lived. Each house is in a different color and it’s a nice street, but packed full with tourists. I worked my way quickly towards the tower in the end which served as a prison for a long time. This finished my tour of the Prague castle.
Charles Bridge, the end of the Prague city walk
From the Prague Castle I continued my Prague city walk through narrow streets and parks towards the St. Nicolas Church. A nice church worth a short visit. From here you walk straight towards the Charles Bridge. The Charles Bridge has long been the only way to cross the Vltava River. Built in the 14th century it is now one of Prague’s icons. On the bridge you find a lot of statues which depict various saints and some you can touch to make a wish.
When you walk over the bridge towards Prague Old Town you will see everywhere artists painting, making music and a lot of tourists. It’s a nice place to stroll around a bit, enjoy the views or just relax in the sunshine. The tower on the Old Town side can be climbed for a nice view over the bridge with Prague Castle in the back. At the time I arrived it was already close to 7 PM and time to find a restaurant for dinner. I came across the George Prime Steak restaurant earlier when searching for a steakhouse and as a meat lover I can certainly recommend this place as the best one in Prague! After a nice steak I went back to the Intercontinental Prague Hotel to sleep early as the next day at 07:00 my business would start for three days in a row. I was tired of this Prague city walk, but well worth my time to re-explore this part of Prague.
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Gallery Prague city walk
Click an image for a full screen gallery of more photos taken during this trip. If you like to use any photo for commercial, private or editorial use please contact first for permission and/or pricing.