As part of my three-week European adventure awhile back, I had the amazing opportunity to travel a bit in the Czech Republic. Prior to my visit, I knew very little about Czech history or culture. I didn't have much time to spend, but I did experience some incredible things in the short time I was there.
We spent some time in Prague, which is a remarkable city. Below you'll see the St. Vitus Cathedral, built in 1344 (although earlier versions of the cathedral existed previously on the site). The stunning Gothic architecture of the cathedral commands attention. (You can get a good idea of the cathedral's size in this post's first picture; the cathedral is in the center at the top.) You should definitely visit it if you're in Prague. It's located within Prague Castle, another must-see. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, it is the largest ancient castle in the world.
The Czech Republic has a fascinating history, and Prague has played a large role in it. Below is an image of the New Town Hall, where the first Defenestration of Prague took place.
We also took a look at the Charles Bridge, which crosses the Vltava River. Construction of this bridge was begun in 1357 and finished in the fifteenth century. The bridge is home to around 30 statues of various historic figures, making it a sight unto itself. The bridge is also a great vantage from which to view the city.
I was very fortunate during my short time in the Czech Republic to be with friends, one of whom was actually a resident. I don't speak Czech at all, so I would have been quite lost without his help and excellent hospitality. We had far too short a time to spend in this beautiful country, and I hope to return someday. In addition to Prague, we did get to see his hometown of Liberec, however, which I would highly recommend.
Below is the Liberec Town Hall, built between 1888 and 1893. If only we had municipal buildings like that here in America! Wow! What amazing architecture. We weren't able to actually tour the inside of the building, but if you're ever nearby, I would highly recommend you swing by at least for an awesome photo op.
The area is also home to some incredible natural views. A little hike is well worth it for this kind of thing!
Sadly, my time in the Czech Republic came to a close before I was able to experience even close to all it has to offer. (That being said, I did have a chance to experience using the men's restroom because I didn't understand the pictures on the door, and then being walked in on by two (?) men. Always makes for a good bar story!) Prague has a beautiful arts facility, the Prague State Opera and National Theatre, which I would love to return to someday. There are also many museums and other historic sites that seem intriguing. I will have to plan another trip! If you are planning a trip to Germany, note that the Czech Republic is not far from Dresden (about two hours by car), so you can try to work it into your Germany vacation.
I hope you enjoy the Czech Republic! Have you been? What sights did you like best? Stay tuned for another travel post soon--next, we're headed to London!