Prague (/prɑːɡ/; Czech: Praha [ˈpraɦa] (listen)) is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic, the 14th largest city in the European Union and the historical capital of Bohemia. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of 2.6 million. The city has a temperate climate, with warm summers and chilly winters.
Prague has been a political, cultural and economic centre of central Europe complete with a rich history. Founded during the Romanesque and flourishing by the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque eras, Prague was the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia and the main residence of several Holy Roman Emperors, most notably of Charles IV (r. 1346–1378). It was an important city to the Habsburg Monarchy and its Austro-Hungarian Empire. The city played major roles in the Bohemian and Protestant Reformation, the Thirty Years' War and in 20th-century history as the capital of Czechoslovakia, during both World Wars and the post-war Communist era.
Prague is home to a number of well-known cultural attractions, many of which survived the violence and destruction of 20th-century Europe. Main attractions include Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square with the Prague astronomical clock, the Jewish Quarter, Petřín hill and Vyšehrad. Since 1992, the extensive historic centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
The city has more than ten major museums, along with numerous theatres, galleries, cinemas and other historical exhibits. An extensive modern public transportation system connects the city. Also, it is home to a wide range of public and private schools, including Charles University in Prague, the oldest university in Central Europe.
Prague is classified as an "Alpha −" global city according to GaWC studies and ranked sixth in the Tripadvisor world list of best destinations in 2016. Its rich history makes it a popular tourist destination and as of 2017, the city receives more than 8.5 million international visitors annually. Prague is the fourth most visited European city after London, Paris and Rome.
|Capital City of Prague|
Hlavní město Praha
Location within the Czech Republic
Location within Europe
|• Mayor||Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates)|
|• Urban||298 km2 (115 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||399 m (1,309 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||177 m (581 ft)|
|• Capital city||1,301,132|
|• Density||4,600/km2 (12,000/sq mi)|
|• Nationality||64.8% Czech|
35.2% Other / undefined
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
100 00 – 199 00
|ISO 3166 code||CZ-10|
|Vehicle registration||A, AA - AZ|
|– Total||€49 billion|
PPP: $93 billion
|– Per capita||€37,900|
|HDI (2017)||0.956 – very high|
During the thousand years of its existence, the city grew from a settlement stretching from Prague Castle in the north to the fort of Vyšehrad in the south, becoming the capital of a modern European country, the Czech Republic, a member state of the European Union.
The region was settled as early as the Paleolithic age. A Jewish chronicler David Solomon Ganz, citing Cyriacus Spangenberg, claimed that the city was founded as Boihaem in c. 1306 BC by an ancient king, Boyya.
Around the fifth and fourth century BC, a Celts tribe appeared in the area, later establishing settlements including an oppidum in Závist, a present-day suburb of Prague, and naming the region of Bohemia, which means "home of the Boii people". In the last century BC, the Celts were slowly driven away by Germanic tribes (Marcomanni, Quadi, Lombards and possibly the Suebi), leading some to place the seat of the Marcomanni king, Maroboduus, in southern Prague in the suburb now called Závist. Around the area where present-day Prague stands, the 2nd century map drawn by Ptolemaios mentioned a Germanic city called Casurgis.
In the late 5th century AD, during the great Migration Period following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, the Germanic tribes living in Bohemia moved westwards and, probably in the 6th century, the Slavic tribes (Venedi) settled the Central Bohemian Region. In the following three centuries, the Czech tribes built several fortified settlements in the area, most notably in the Šárka valley, Butovice and Levý Hradec.
The construction of what came to be known as Prague Castle began near the end of the 9th century, growing a fortified settlement that already existed on the site since the year 800. The first masonry under Prague Castle dates from the year 885 at the latest. The other prominent Prague fort, the Přemyslid fort Vyšehrad, was founded in the 10th century, some 70 years later than Prague Castle. Prague Castle is dominated by the cathedral, which began construction in 1344, but wasn't completed until the 20th century.
The legendary origins of Prague attribute its foundation to the 8th century Czech duchess and prophetess Libuše and her husband, Přemysl, founder of the Přemyslid dynasty. Legend says that Libuše came out on a rocky cliff high above the Vltava and prophesied: "I see a great city whose glory will touch the stars." She ordered a castle and a town called Praha to be built on the site.
The region became the seat of the dukes, and later kings of Bohemia. Under Holy Roman Emperor Otto II the area became a bishopric in 973. Until Prague was elevated to archbishopric in 1344, it was under the jurisdiction of the Archbishopric of Mainz.
Prague was an important seat for trading where merchants from all of Europe settled, including many Jews, as recalled in 965 by the Hispano-Jewish merchant and traveller Ibrahim ibn Ya'qub. The Old New Synagogue of 1270 still stands in the city. Prague was also once home to an important slave market.
At the site of the ford in the Vltava river, King Vladislaus I had the first bridge built in 1170, the Judith Bridge (Juditin most), named in honour of his wife Judith of Thuringia. This bridge was destroyed by a flood in 1342, but some of the original foundation stones of that bridge remain in the river. It was rebuilt and named the Charles Bridge.
In 1257, under King Ottokar II, Malá Strana ("Lesser Quarter") was founded in Prague on the site of an older village in what would become the Hradčany (Prague Castle) area. This was the district of the German people, who had the right to administer the law autonomously, pursuant to Magdeburg rights. The new district was on the bank opposite of the Staré Město ("Old Town"), which had borough status and was bordered by a line of walls and fortifications.
Prague flourished during the 14th-century reign (1346–1378) of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and the king of Bohemia of the new Luxembourg dynasty. As King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor, he transformed Prague into an imperial capital and it was at that time by the area the third-largest city in Europe (after Rome and Constantinople).
He ordered the building of the New Town (Nové Město) adjacent to the Old Town and laid out the design himself. The Charles Bridge, replacing the Judith Bridge destroyed in the flood just prior to his reign, was erected to connect the east bank districts to the Malá Strana and castle area. On 9 July 1357 at 5:31 am, Charles IV personally laid the first foundation stone for the Charles Bridge. The exact time of laying the first foundation stone is known because the palindromic number 135797531 was carved into the Old Town bridge tower having been chosen by the royal astrologists and numerologists as the best time for starting the bridge construction. In 1347, he founded Charles University, which remains the oldest university in Central Europe.
He began construction of the Gothic Saint Vitus Cathedral, within the largest of the Prague Castle courtyards, on the site of the Romanesque rotunda there. Prague was elevated to an archbishopric in 1344, the year the cathedral was begun.
The city had a mint and was a centre of trade for German and Italian bankers and merchants. The social order, however, became more turbulent due to the rising power of the craftsmen's guilds (themselves often torn by internal fights), and the increasing number of poor people.
The Hunger Wall, a substantial fortification wall south of Malá Strana and the Castle area, was built during a famine in the 1360s. The work is reputed to have been ordered by Charles IV as a means of providing employment and food to the workers and their families.
Charles IV died in 1378. During the reign of his son, King Wenceslaus IV (1378–1419), a period of intense turmoil ensued. During Easter 1389, members of the Prague clergy announced that Jews had desecrated the host (Eucharistic wafer) and the clergy encouraged mobs to pillage, ransack and burn the Jewish quarter. Nearly the entire Jewish population of Prague (3,000 people) perished.
Jan Hus, a theologian and rector at the Charles University, preached in Prague. In 1402, he began giving sermons in the Bethlehem Chapel. Inspired by John Wycliffe, these sermons focused on what were seen as radical reforms of a corrupt Church. Having become too dangerous for the political and religious establishment, Hus was summoned to the Council of Constance, put on trial for heresy, and burned at the stake in Constanz in 1415.
Four years later Prague experienced its first defenestration, when the people rebelled under the command of the Prague priest Jan Želivský. Hus' death, coupled with Czech proto-nationalism and proto-Protestantism, had spurred the Hussite Wars. Peasant rebels, led by the general Jan Žižka, along with Hussite troops from Prague, defeated Emperor Sigismund, in the Battle of Vítkov Hill in 1420.
During the Hussite Wars when the City of Prague was attacked by "Crusader" and mercenary forces, the city militia fought bravely under the Prague Banner. This swallow-tailed banner is approximately 4 by 6 feet (1.2 by 1.8 metres), with a red field sprinkled with small white fleurs-de-lis, and a silver old Town Coat-of-Arms in the centre. The words "PÁN BŮH POMOC NAŠE" (The Lord is our Relief) appeared above the coat-of-arms, with a Hussite chalice centred on the top. Near the swallow-tails is a crescent shaped golden sun with rays protruding.
One of these banners was captured by Swedish troops in Battle of Prague (1648), when they captured the western bank of the Vltava river and were repulsed from the eastern bank, they placed it in the Royal Military Museum in Stockholm; although this flag still exists, it is in very poor condition. They also took the Codex Gigas and the Codex Argenteus. The earliest evidence indicates that a gonfalon with a municipal charge painted on it was used for Old Town as early as 1419. Since this city militia flag was in use before 1477 and during the Hussite Wars, it is the oldest still preserved municipal flag of Bohemia.
In 1526, the Bohemian estates elected Ferdinand I of the House of Habsburg. The fervent Catholicism of its members was to bring them into conflict in Bohemia, and then in Prague, where Protestant ideas were gaining popularity. These problems were not pre-eminent under Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II, elected King of Bohemia in 1576, who chose Prague as his home. He lived in the Prague Castle, where his court welcomed not only astrologers and magicians but also scientists, musicians, and artists. Rudolf was an art lover too, and Prague became the capital of European culture. This was a prosperous period for the city: famous people living there in that age include the astronomers Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler, the painter Arcimboldo, the alchemists Edward Kelley and John Dee, the poet Elizabeth Jane Weston, and others.
In 1618, the famous second defenestration of Prague provoked the Thirty Years' War, a particularly harsh period for Prague and Bohemia. Ferdinand II of Habsburg was deposed, and his place as King of Bohemia taken by Frederick V, Elector Palatine; however his army was crushed in the Battle of White Mountain (1620) not far from the city. Following this in 1621 was an execution of 27 Czech Protestant leaders (involved in the uprising) in Old Town Square and the exiling of many others. Prague was forcibly converted back to Roman Catholicism followed by the rest of Czech lands. The city suffered subsequently during the war under an attack by Electoral Saxony (1631) and during the Battle of Prague (1648). Prague began a steady decline which reduced the population from the 60,000 it had had in the years before the war to 20,000. In the second half of the 17th century Prague's population began to grow again. Jews had been in Prague since the end of the 10th century and, by 1708, they accounted for about a quarter of Prague's population.
In 1689, a great fire devastated Prague, but this spurred a renovation and a rebuilding of the city. In 1713–14, a major outbreak of plague hit Prague one last time, killing 12,000 to 13,000 people.
In 1744, Frederick the Great of Prussia invaded Bohemia. He took Prague after a severe and prolonged siege in the course of which a large part of the town was destroyed. In 1757 the Prussian bombardment destroyed more than one quarter of the city and heavily damaged St. Vitus Cathedral. However a month later, Frederick the Great was defeated and forced to retreat from Bohemia.
The economy of the city continued to improve during the 18th century. The population increased to 80,000 inhabitants by 1771. Many rich merchants and nobles enhanced the city with a host of palaces, churches and gardens full of art and music, creating a Baroque city renowned throughout the world to this day.
In 1784, under Joseph II, the four municipalities of Malá Strana, Nové Město, Staré Město, and Hradčany were merged into a single entity. The Jewish district, called Josefov, was included only in 1850. The Industrial Revolution had a strong effect in Prague, as factories could take advantage of the coal mines and ironworks of the nearby region. A first suburb, Karlín, was created in 1817, and twenty years later the population exceeded 100,000.
The revolutions in Europe in 1848 also touched Prague, but they were fiercely suppressed. In the following years the Czech National Revival began its rise, until it gained the majority in the town council in 1861. Prague had a German-speaking majority in 1848, but by 1880 the number of German speakers had decreased to 14% (42,000), and by 1910 to 6.7% (37,000), due to a massive increase of the city's overall population caused by the influx of Czechs from the rest of Bohemia and Moravia and also due to return of social status importance of the Czech language.
World War I ended with the defeat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the creation of Czechoslovakia. Prague was chosen as its capital and Prague Castle as the seat of president Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. At this time Prague was a true European capital with highly developed industry. By 1930, the population had risen to 850,000.
Hitler ordered the German Army to enter Prague on 15 March 1939, and from Prague Castle proclaimed Bohemia and Moravia a German protectorate. For most of its history, Prague had been a multi-ethnic city with important Czech, German and (mostly native German-speaking) Jewish populations. From 1939, when the country was occupied by Nazi Germany, and during the Second World War, most Jews were deported and killed by the Germans. In 1942, Prague was witness to the assassination of one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany—Reinhard Heydrich—during Operation Anthropoid, accomplished by Czechoslovak national heroes Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš. Hitler ordered bloody reprisals.
In February 1945, Prague suffered several bombing raids by the US Army Air Forces. 701 people were killed, more than 1,000 people were injured and some buildings, factories and historical landmarks (Emmaus Monastery, Faust House, Vinohrady Synagogue) were destroyed. Many historic structures in Prague, however, escaped the destruction of the war and the damage was small compared to the total destruction of many other cities in that time. According to American pilots, it was the result of a navigational mistake. In March, a deliberate raid targeted military factories in Prague, killing about 370 people.
On 5 May 1945, two days before Germany capitulated, an uprising against Germany occurred. Several thousand Czechs were killed in four days of bloody street fighting, with many atrocities committed by both sides. At daybreak on 9 May, the 3rd Shock Army of the Red Army took the city almost unopposed. The majority (about 50,000 people) of the German population of Prague either fled or were expelled by the Beneš decrees in the aftermath of the war.
Prague was a city in the territory of military and political control of the Soviet Union (see Iron Curtain). The largest Stalin Monument was unveiled on Letná hill in 1955 and destroyed in 1962. The 4th Czechoslovak Writers' Congress held in the city in June 1967 took a strong position against the regime. On 31 October 1967 students demonstrated at Strahov. This spurred the new secretary of the Communist Party, Alexander Dubček, to proclaim a new deal in his city's and country's life, starting the short-lived season of the "socialism with a human face". It was the Prague Spring, which aimed at the renovation of institutions in a democratic way. The other Warsaw Pact member countries, except Romania and Albania, reacted with the invasion of Czechoslovakia and the capital on 21 August 1968 by tanks, suppressing any attempt at reform. Jan Palach and Jan Zajíc committed suicide by self-immolation in January and February 1969 to protest against the "normalization" of the country.
In 1989, after the riot police beat back a peaceful student demonstration, the Velvet Revolution crowded the streets of Prague, and the Czechoslovak capital benefited greatly from the new mood. In 1993, after the split of Czechoslovakia, Prague became the capital city of the new Czech Republic. From 1995 high-rise buildings began to be built in Prague in large quantities. In the late 1990s, Prague again became an important cultural centre of Europe and was notably influenced by globalisation. In 2000, IMF and World Bank summit took place in Prague and anti-globalization riots took place here. In 2002, Prague suffered from widespread floods that damaged buildings and its underground transport system.
Prague launched a bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics, but failed to make the candidate city shortlist. In June 2009, as the result of financial pressures from the global recession, Prague's officials also chose to cancel the city's planned bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
The Czech name Praha is derived from an old Slavic word, práh, which means "ford" or "rapid", referring to the city's origin at a crossing point of the Vltava river. The same etymology is associated with the Praga district of Warsaw.
Another view to the origin of name is also related to the Czech word práh (in the mean of a threshold) and a legendary etymology connects the name of the city with princess Libuše, prophetess and a wife of mythical founder of the Přemyslid dynasty. She is said to have ordered the city "to be built where a man hews a threshold of his house". The Czech práh might thus be understood to refer to rapids or fords in the river, the edge of which could have acted as a means of fording the river – thus providing a "threshold" to the castle.
Another derivation of the name Praha is suggested from na prazě, the original term for the shale hillside rock upon which the original castle was built. At that time, the castle was surrounded by forests, covering the nine hills of the future city – the Old Town on the opposite side of the river, as well as the Lesser Town beneath the existing castle, appeared only later.
The English spelling of the city's name is borrowed from French. It is written in a verse of The Beleaguered City by Longfellow (1839) and also in the limerick There was an Old Lady of Prague by Edward Lear (1846) and in the 19th and early 20th centuries it was pronounced in English with the same pronunciation, for example by Lady Diana Cooper (born 1892) on Desert Island Discs in 1969.
Prague is also called the "City of a Hundred Spires", based on a count by 19th century mathematician Bernard Bolzano, today's count is estimated by Prague Information Service at 500. Nicknames for Prague have also included: the Golden City, the Mother of Cities and the Heart of Europe.
Prague is situated on the Vltava river, at 50°05"N and 14°27"E. in the centre of the Bohemian Basin. Prague is approximately at the same latitude as Frankfurt, Germany; Paris, France; and Vancouver, Canada.
Prague has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb). The winters are relatively cold with average temperatures at about freezing point, and with very little sunshine. Snow cover can be common between mid-November and late March although snow accumulations of more than 20 cm (8 in) are infrequent. There are also a few periods of mild temperatures in winter. Summers usually bring plenty of sunshine and the average high temperature of 24 °C (75 °F). Nights can be quite cool even in summer, though. Precipitation in Prague (and most of the Bohemian lowland) is rather low (just over 500 mm [20 in] per year) since it is located in the rain shadow of the Sudetes and other mountain ranges. The driest season is usually winter while late spring and summer can bring quite heavy rain, especially in form of thundershowers. Temperature inversions are relatively common between mid-October and mid-March bringing foggy, cold days and sometimes moderate air pollution. Prague is also a windy city with common sustained western winds and an average wind speed of 16 km/h (9.9 mph) that often help break temperature inversions and clear the air in cold months.
Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and as such is the regular seat of its central authorities. Since November 24, 1990, it is de facto again a statutory town, but has a specific status of the municipality and the region at the same time. Prague also houses the administrative institutions of the Central Bohemia Region.
Until 1949, all administrative districts of Prague were formed by the whole one or more cadastral unit, municipality or town. Since 1949, there has been a fundamental change in the administrative division. Since then, the boundaries of many urban districts, administrative districts and city districts are independent of the boundaries of cadastral territories and some cadastral territories are thus divided into administrative and self-governing parts of the city. Cadastral area (for example, Vinohrady, Smíchov) are still relevant especially for the registration of land and real estate and house numbering.
Prague is composed of 112 cadastral territories of different size, character and importance. The city also consists of 22 administrative districts (1-22).
According to the 2011 census, about 14% of the city inhabitants were foreigners, the highest proportion in the country. Even though official population of Prague hovers around 1.3 - 1.4 million, the real population is much higher due to only 65% of its residents are marked as permanently living in the city, these data were taken from mobile phone movements around the city, and bring total population of Prague to about 1.9 - 2 million, and with additional 300 000 - 400 000 people coming to the city for work, education or shopping, on weekdays there are more than 2 million people in the city.
|Foreign residents in the city (2018)|
|Nationality||Population (incl. Praha-east and Praha-west)|
|Historic Centre of Prague|
|UNESCO World Heritage Site|
|Includes||Historic Centre of Prague and Průhonice Park|
|Criteria||Cultural: ii, iv, vi|
|Inscription||1992 (16th Session)|
|Buffer zone||9,887.09 ha|
The city is traditionally one of the cultural centres of Europe, hosting many cultural events. Some of the significant cultural institutions include the National Theatre (Národní Divadlo) and the Estates Theatre (Stavovské or Tylovo or Nosticovo divadlo), where the premières of Mozart's Don Giovanni and La clemenza di Tito were held. Other major cultural institutions are the Rudolfinum which is home to the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and the Municipal House which is home to the Prague Symphony Orchestra. The Prague State Opera (Státní opera) performs at the Smetana Theatre.
The city has many world-class museums, including the National Museum (Národní muzeum), the Museum of the Capital City of Prague, the Jewish Museum in Prague, the Alfons Mucha Museum, the African-Prague Museum, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, the Náprstek Museum (Náprstkovo Muzeum), the Josef Sudek Gallery and The Josef Sudek Studio, the National Library and the National Gallery, which manages the largest collection of art in the Czech Republic.
There are hundreds of concert halls, galleries, cinemas and music clubs in the city. It hosts music festivals including the Prague Spring International Music Festival, the Prague Autumn International Music Festival, the Prague International Organ Festival and the Prague International Jazz Festival. Film festivals include the Febiofest, the One World Film Festival and Echoes of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The city also hosts the Prague Writers' Festival, the Prague Folklore Days, Prague Advent Choral Meeting the Summer Shakespeare Festival, the Prague Fringe Festival, the World Roma Festival, as well as the hundreds of Vernissages and fashion shows.
Many films have been made at Barrandov Studios and at Prague Studios. Hollywood films set in Prague include Mission Impossible, xXx, Blade II, Alien vs. Predator, Doom, Chronicles of Narnia, Hellboy, Red Tails, Children of Dune and Van Helsing. Other Czech films shot in Prague include Empties, EuroTrip, Amadeus and The Fifth Horseman is Fear. Also, the romantic music video "Never Tear Us Apart" by INXS, "Diamonds from Sierra Leone" by Kanye West was shot in the city, and features shots of the Charles Bridge and the Astronomical Clock, among other landmarks. Rihanna's "Don't Stop the Music" video was filmed at Prague's Radost FX Club. The city was also the setting for the film Dungeons and Dragons in 2000. The music video "Silver and Cold" by AFI, an American rock band, was also filmed in Prague. Many Indian films have also been filmed in the city including Yuvraaj, Drona and Rockstar. Early 2000s europop hit "Something" by "Lasgo" was filmed at the central train station in Prague.
Video games set in Prague include Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb, Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption, Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix, Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon, Still Life, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
With the growth of low-cost airlines in Europe, Prague has become a weekend city destination allowing tourists to visit its museums and cultural sites as well as try its Czech beers and cuisine.
Recent major events held in Prague:
In 2008 the Allegro restaurant received the first Michelin star in the whole of the post-Communist part of Central Europe. It retained its star until 2011. As of 2018 there are two Michelin-starred restaurants in Prague: La Degustation Bohême Bourgeoise and Field. Another six have been awarded Michelin's Bib Gourmand: Bistrøt 104, Divinis, Eska, Maso a Kobliha, Na Kopci and Sansho.
In Malá Strana, Staré Město, Žižkov and Nusle there are hundreds of restaurants, bars and pubs, especially with Czech beer. Prague also hosts the Czech Beer Festival (Český pivní festival), which is the largest beer festival in the Czech Republic, held for 17 days every year in May. At the festival, more than 70 brands of Czech beer can be tasted. There are several microbrewery festivals throughout the year as well.
Czech beer has a long history, with brewing taking place in Břevnov Monastery in 993. Prague is home to historical breweries Staropramen (Praha 5), U Fleků, U Medvídků, U Tří růží, Strahov Monastery Brewery (Praha 1) and Břevnov Monastery Brewery (Praha 6). Among many microbreweries are: Novoměstský, Pražský most u Valšů, Národní, Boršov, Loď pivovar, U Dobřenských, U Dvou koček, U Supa (Praha 1), Pivovarský dům (Praha 2), Sousedský pivovar Bašta (Praha 4), Suchdolský Jeník, Libocký pivovar (Praha 6), Marina (Praha 7), U Bulovky (Praha 8), Beznoska, Kolčavka (Praha 9), Vinohradský pivovar, Zubatý pes, Malešický mikropivovar (Praha 10), Jihoměstský pivovar (Praha 11), Lužiny (Praha 13), Počernický pivovar (Praha 14) and Hostivar (Praha 15).
Prague's economy accounts for 25% of the Czech GDP making it the highest performing regional economy of the country. As of 2016 its GDP per capita in purchasing power standard is €53,100, making it the seventh best performing region in the EU. Prague ranked the 6th best-performing European NUTS two-level region at 182,4 percent of the EU-28 average in 2016.
Prague employs almost a fifth of the entire Czech workforce, and its wages are significantly above average (~+25%). In December 2015, average salaries available in Prague reached 35,853 CZK(~€1,400)/ month, an annual increase of 3.4%, which was nevertheless lower than national increase of 3.9% both in nominal and real terms. (Inflation in Prague was 0.5% in December, compared with 0.1% nationally.) Since 1990, the city's economic structure has shifted from industrial to service-oriented. Industry is present in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, printing, food processing, manufacture of transport equipment, computer technology and electrical engineering. In the service sector, financial and commercial services, trade, restaurants, hospitality and public administration are the most significant. Services account for around 80 percent of employment. There are 800,000 employees in Prague, including 120,000 commuters. The number of (legally registered) foreign residents in Prague has been increasing in spite of the country's economic downturn. As of March 2010, 148,035 foreign workers were reported to be living in the city making up about 18 percent of the workforce, up from 131,132 in 2008. Approximately one-fifth of all investment in the Czech Republic takes place in the city.
Almost one-half of the national income from tourism is spent in Prague. The city offers approximately 73,000 beds in accommodation facilities, most of which were built after 1990, including almost 51,000 beds in hotels and boarding houses.
From the late 1990s to late 2000s, the city was a common filming location for international productions such as Hollywood and Bollywood motion pictures. A combination of architecture, low costs and the existing motion picture infrastructure have proven attractive to international film production companies.
The modern economy of Prague is largely service and export-based and, in a 2010 survey, the city was named the best city in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) for business.
In 2005, Prague was deemed among the three best cities in Central and Eastern Europe according to The Economist's livability rankings. The city was named as a top-tier nexus city for innovation across multiple sectors of the global innovation economy, placing 29th globally out of 289 cities, ahead of Brussels and Helsinki for innovation in 2010 in 2thinknow annual analysts Innovation Cities Index.
Na příkopě is the most expensive street among the all states of the V4. In 2017, with the amount of rent 2,640 euros (67,480 CZK) per square meter per year, ranked on 22nd place among the most expensive streets in the world. The second most expensive is Pařížská street.
In the Eurostat research, Prague ranked fifth among Europe's 271 regions in terms of gross domestic product per inhabitant, achieving 172 percent of the EU average. It ranked just above Paris and well above the country as a whole, which achieved 80 percent of the EU average.
Companies with highest turnover in the region in 2014:
|Name||Turnover, mld. Kč|
|RWE Supply & Trading CZ||146.1|
Prague is also the site of some of the most important offices and institutions of the Czech Republic.
Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, Prague has become one of the world's most popular tourist destinations. Prague suffered considerably less damage during World War II than some other major cities in the region, allowing most of its historic architecture to stay true to form. It contains one of the world's most pristine and varied collections of architecture, from Romanesque, to Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neo-Renaissance, Neo-Gothic, Art Nouveau, Cubist, Neo-Classical and ultra-modern.
Prague is classified as an "Alpha-" global city according to GaWC studies, comparable to Vienna, Manila and Washington, D.C. Prague ranked sixth in the Tripadvisor world list of best destinations in 2016. Its rich history makes it a popular tourist destination, and the city receives more than 8.4 million international visitors annually, as of 2017. Prague is the fifth most visited European city after London, Paris, Istanbul and Rome. Prague's low cost of living makes it a destination for Americans emigrating to Europe.
|1. Germany||2,087,048||6. Spain||641,011|
|2. Russia||1,395,958||7. France||590,835|
|3. United States||1,185,298||8. China||568,049|
|4. United Kingdom||1,091,314||9. Slovakia||551,864|
|5. Italy||926,576||10. South Korea||488,078|
Nine public universities and thirty six private universities are located in the city, including:
The region city of Prague is an important centre of research. It is the seat of 39 out of 54 institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences, including the largest ones, the Institute of Physics, the Institute of Microbiology and the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry. It is also a seat of 10 public research institutes, four business incubators and large hospitals performing research and development activities such as the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Prague or the Motol University Hospital. Universities seated in Prague (see section Colleges and Universities) also represent important centres of science and research activities.
As of 2008, there were 13,000 researchers (out of 30,000 in the Czech Republic, counted in full-time equivalent), representing 3% share of Prague's economically active population. Gross expenditure on research and development accounted for €901.3 million (41.5% of country's total).
Prague was selected to host administration of the EU satellite navigation system Galileo. It started to provide its first services in December 2016 and full completion is expected by 2020.
The public transport infrastructure (PID, Pražská integrovaná doprava) consists of a heavily used Prague Integrated Transport of Prague Metro (lines A, B, and C – its length is 65 km (40 mi) with 61 stations in total), Prague tram system, Prague buses, commuter S-trains, funiculars, and six ferries. Prague has one of the highest rates of public transport usage in the world, with 1.2 billion passenger journeys per year. Prague has about 130 bus lines (numbers 100–299) and 22 tram lines (numbers 1–26). There are also three funiculars, one on Petřín Hill, one on Mrázovka Hill and a third at the Zoo in Troja.
The Prague tram system now operates various types of trams: still popular classic Tatra T3, newer Tatra KT8D5, T6A5, Škoda 14 T (designed by Porsche), newest modern Škoda 15 T and nostalgic tram lines 23 and 41. Around 400 vehicles are the modernized T3 class, which are typically operated coupled together in pairs.
The Prague tram system is the twelfth longest in the world (142 km) and its rolling stock consists of 857 individual cars, which is the third largest in the world behind Moscow and Budapest. The system carries more than 360 million passengers annually, the highest tram patronage in the world after Budapest, on a per capita basis, Prague has the second highest tram patronage after Zürich.
All services (metro, tramways, city buses, funiculars and ferries) have a common ticketing system that operates on a proof-of-payment system. Basic transfer ticket can be bought for a 30/90-minute ride, short-term tourist passes are available for periods of 24 hours or 3 days, longer-term tickets can be bought on the smart ticketing system Lítačka card, for periods of one month, three months or one year.
Services are run by the Prague Public Transport Company (Dopravní podnik hl. m. Prahy, a. s.) and several other companies. Recently, the Regional Organiser of Prague Integrated Transport (ROPID) has franchised operation of ferries on the Vltava river, which are also a part of the public transport system with common fares. Taxi services make pick-ups on the streets or operate from regulated taxi stands.
The Metro has three major lines extending throughout the city: A (green), B (yellow) and C (red). A fourth Metro line is planned, which would connect the city centre to southern parts of the city. The Prague Metro system served 589.2 million passengers in 2012, making it the fifth busiest metro system in Europe and the most-patronised in the world on a per capita basis. The first section of the Prague metro was put into operation in 1974. It was the stretch between stations Kačerov and Florenc on the current line C. The first part of Line A was opened in 1978 (Dejvická – Náměstí Míru), the first part of line B in 1985 (Anděl – Florenc).
In April 2015, construction finished to extend the green line A further into the northwest corner of Prague closer to the airport. A new interchange station for the bus in the direction of the airport is now the station Nádraží Veleslavín. The final station of the green line is Nemocnice Motol (Motol Hospital), giving people direct public transportation access to the largest medical facility in the Czech Republic and one of the largest in Europe. A railway connection to the airport is planned.
In operation there are currently two kinds of units: "81-71M" which is modernized variant of the Soviet Metrovagonmash 81-71 (completely modernized between 1995 and 2003) and new "Metro M1" trains (since 2000), manufactured by consortium consisting of Siemens, ČKD Praha and ADtranz. The minimum interval between two trains is 90 seconds.
The original Soviet vehicles "Ečs" were excluded in 1997, but one vehicle is placed in public transport museum in depot Střešovice. The Náměstí Míru metro station is the deepest station and is equipped with the longest escalator in European Union. The Prague metro is generally considered very safe.
The main flow of traffic leads through the centre of the city and through inner and outer ring roads (partially in operation).
The city forms the hub of the Czech railway system, with services to all parts of the country and abroad. The railway system links Prague with major European cities (which can be reached without transfers), including Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Nurenberg and Dresden (Germany); Vienna, Graz and Linz (Austria); Warsaw and Cracow (Poland); Bratislava and Košice (Slovakia); Budapest (Hungary); Zürich (Switzerland); Split (Croatia, seasonal); Belgrade (Serbia, seasonal) and Moscow (Russia). Travel times range between 2 hours to Dresden and 28 hours to Moscow.
Prague's main international railway station is Hlavní nádraží, rail services are also available from other main stations: Masarykovo nádraží, Holešovice and Smíchov, in addition to suburban stations. Commuter rail services operate under the name Esko Praha, which is part of PID (Prague Integrated Transport).
Prague is served by Václav Havel Airport Prague, the largest airport in the Czech Republic and one of the largest and busiest airports in central and eastern Europe. The airport is the hub of carriers Smartwings and Czech Airlines operating throughout Europe. Other airports in Prague include the city's original airport in the north-eastern district of Kbely, which is serviced by the Czech Air Force, also internationally. It also houses the Prague Aviation Museum. The nearby Letňany airport is mainly used for private aviation and aeroclub aviation. Another airport in the proximity is Aero Vodochody aircraft factory to the north, used for testing purposes, as well as for aeroclub aviation. There are a few aeroclubs around Prague, such as the Točná airfield.
In 2018, 2% of people commute by bike in Prague, but cycling is very common as a sport or recreation. As of 2017, there were 178 km (111 mi) of protected cycle paths and routes. Also, there were 48 km (30 mi) of bike lanes and 24 km (15 mi) of specially marked bus lanes that are free to be used by cyclist. Bike sharing is offered by a Czech company Rekola, which has 450 pink free flowing bikes around Prague as of 2018. Since 2018, bike sharing is offered by transportation company Lime which operates 300 electric scooters in Prague as of 2018.
Prague is the site of many sports events, national stadiums and teams.
The annual conference Forum 2000, which was founded by former Czech President Václav Havel, Japanese philanthropist Yōhei Sasakawa, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel in 1996, is held in Prague. Its main objective is "to identify the key issues facing civilization and to explore ways to prevent the escalation of conflicts that have religion, culture or ethnicity as their primary components", and also intends to promote democracy in non-democratic countries and to support civil society. Conferences have attracted a number of prominent thinkers, Nobel laureates, former and acting politicians, business leaders and other individuals like: Frederik Willem de Klerk, Bill Clinton, Nicholas Winton, Oscar Arias Sánchez, Dalai Lama, Hans Küng, Shimon Peres and Madeleine Albright.
A number of other settlements are derived or similar to the name of Prague. In many of these cases, Czech emigration has left a number of namesake cities scattered over the globe, with a notable concentration in the New World.
Prag insgesamt 1940 928.000
1937/38 ca. 45.000
Athletic Club Sparta Praha (Czech pronunciation: [ˈaː ˈt͡sɛː ˈsparta ˈpraɦa]), commonly known as Sparta Prague, is a Czech football club based in Prague.
It is the most successful club in the Czech Republic and one of the most successful in central Europe, winning the central European Cup (also known as the Mitropa Cup) three times as well as having reached the semi-finals of the European Cup (now the UEFA Champions League) in 1992 and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1973. Sparta have also been successful on the international stage, winning the Small Club World Cup, the predecessor to the FIFA Club World Cup, in 1969.Sparta have won 36 domestic league titles, the Czech Cup (formerly Czechoslovak Cup) 27 times, also a record, and the Czech Supercup twice. Sparta was long the main source for the Czech Republic national football team, however lately this has ceased to be the case, as the best Czech players almost exclusively play in foreign leagues.
Sparta play at Prague's Generali Arena, also known as Letná Stadium.Antonín Dvořák
Antonín Leopold Dvořák ( d(ə)-vor-ZHA(h)k; Czech: [ˈantoɲiːn ˈlɛopolt ˈdvor̝aːk]; 8 September 1841 – 1 May 1904) was a Czech composer, one of the first to achieve worldwide recognition. Following the Romantic-era nationalist example of his predecessor Bedřich Smetana, Dvořák frequently employed rhythms and other aspects of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia. Dvořák's own style has been described as "the fullest recreation of a national idiom with that of the symphonic tradition, absorbing folk influences and finding effective ways of using them".Dvořák displayed his musical gifts at an early age, being an apt violin student from age six. The first public performances of his works were in Prague in 1872 and, with special success, in 1873, when he was aged 31. Seeking recognition beyond the Prague area, he submitted a score of his First Symphony to a prize competition in Germany, but did not win, and the unreturned manuscript was lost until rediscovered many decades later. In 1874 he made a submission to the Austrian State Prize for Composition, including scores of two further symphonies and other works. Although Dvořák was not aware of it, Johannes Brahms was the leading member of the jury and was highly impressed. The prize was awarded to Dvořák in 1874 and again in 1876 and in 1877, when Brahms and the prominent critic Eduard Hanslick, also a member of the jury, made themselves known to him. Brahms recommended Dvořák to his publisher, Simrock, who soon afterward commissioned what became the Slavonic Dances, Op. 46. These were highly praised by the Berlin music critic Louis Ehlert in 1878, the sheet music (of the original piano 4-hands version) had excellent sales, and Dvořák's international reputation was launched at last.
Dvořák's first piece of a religious nature, his setting of Stabat Mater, was premiered in Prague in 1880. It was very successfully performed in London in 1883, leading to many other performances in the United Kingdom and United States. In his career, Dvořák made nine invited visits to England, often conducting performances of his own works. His Seventh Symphony was written for London. Visiting Russia in March 1890, he conducted concerts of his own music in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. In 1891 Dvořák was appointed as a professor at the Prague Conservatory. In 1890–91, he wrote his Dumky Trio, one of his most successful chamber music pieces. In 1892, Dvořák moved to the United States and became the director of the National Conservatory of Music of America in New York City. While in the United States, Dvořák wrote his two most successful orchestral works: the Symphony From the New World, which spread his reputation worldwide, and his Cello Concerto, one of the most highly regarded of all cello concerti. He also wrote his most appreciated piece of chamber music, the American String Quartet, during this time. But shortfalls in payment of his salary, along with increasing recognition in Europe and an onset of homesickness, led him to leave the United States and return to Bohemia in 1895.
All of Dvořák's nine operas but his first have librettos in Czech and were intended to convey Czech national spirit, as were some of his choral works. By far the most successful of the operas is Rusalka. Among his smaller works, the seventh Humoresque and the song "Songs My Mother Taught Me" are also widely performed and recorded. He has been described as "arguably the most versatile... composer of his time".Charles University
Charles University, known also as Charles University in Prague (Czech: Univerzita Karlova; Latin: Universitas Carolina; German: Karls-Universität) or historically as the University of Prague (Latin: Universitas Pragensis), is the oldest and largest university in the Czech Republic. Founded in 1348, it was the first university in Central Europe. It is one of the oldest universities in Europe in continuous operation and ranks in the upper 1.5 percent of the world’s best universities. Today, the university consists of 17 faculties located in Prague, Hradec Králové and Pilsen. Its academic publishing house is Karolinum Press. The university also operates several museums and two botanical gardens.
Its seal shows its protector Emperor Charles IV, with his coats of arms as King of the Romans and King of Bohemia, kneeling in front of St. Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia. It is surrounded by the inscription, Sigillum Universitatis Scolarium Studii Pragensis (English: Seal of the Prague academia).Czech First League
The Czech First League, known as the Fortuna liga for sponsorship reasons, is a Czech professional league for football clubs. At the top of the Czech football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. It is contested by 16 clubs, operating a system of promotion and relegation with the Czech National Football League. Since 2018/19 seasons run from July to May, with teams playing 30 games each. Then teams are divided into three groups playing superstructure for final positions. The league is currently ranked 11th in Europe in the UEFA league rankings.
The history of the Czech football league began at the end of the 20th century. It was reorganised for the 1993–1994 season, after the dissolution of former Czechoslovakia and therefore of the Czechoslovak League. Having won more than half of league titles, Sparta Prague are the most successful team in Czech First League history. Other clubs who have won the title are Slavia Prague, Slovan Liberec, Baník Ostrava and Viktoria Plzeň.Czech Republic
The Czech Republic ( (listen); Czech: Česká republika [ˈtʃɛskaː ˈrɛpublɪka] (listen)), also known by its short-form name, Czechia ( (listen); Czech: Česko [ˈtʃɛsko] (listen)), is a landlocked country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast. The Czech Republic covers an area of 78,866 square kilometres (30,450 sq mi) with a mostly temperate continental climate and oceanic climate. It is a unitary parliamentary republic, with 10.6 million inhabitants; its capital and largest city is Prague, with 1.3 million residents. Other major cities are Brno, Ostrava, Olomouc and Pilsen. The Czech Republic is a member of the European Union (EU), NATO, the OECD, the United Nations, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe.
It is a developed country with an advanced, high income export-oriented social market economy based in services, manufacturing and innovation. The UNDP ranks the country 14th in inequality-adjusted human development. The Czech Republic is a welfare state with a "continental" European social model, a universal health care system, tuition-free university education and is ranked 14th in the Human Capital Index. It ranks as the 6th safest or most peaceful country and is one of the most non-religious countries in the world, while achieving strong performance in democratic governance.
The Czech Republic includes the historical territories of Bohemia, Moravia, and Czech Silesia. The Czech state was formed in the late 9th century as the Duchy of Bohemia under the Great Moravian Empire. After the fall of the Empire in 907, the centre of power transferred from Moravia to Bohemia under the Přemyslid dynasty. In 1002, the duchy was formally recognized as an Imperial State of the Holy Roman Empire along with the Kingdom of Germany, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, and numerous other territories, becoming the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1198 and reaching its greatest territorial extent in the 14th century. Beside Bohemia itself, the King of Bohemia ruled the lands of the Bohemian Crown, holding a vote in the election of the Holy Roman Emperor; and Prague was the imperial seat in periods between the 14th and 17th century. In the Hussite Wars of the 15th century driven by the Protestant Bohemian Reformation, the kingdom faced economic embargoes and defeated five consecutive crusades proclaimed by the leaders of the Catholic Church.
Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the whole Crown of Bohemia was gradually integrated into the Habsburg Monarchy alongside the Archduchy of Austria and the Kingdom of Hungary. The Protestant Bohemian Revolt (1618–20) against the Catholic Habsburgs led to the Thirty Years' War. After the Battle of the White Mountain, the Habsburgs consolidated their rule, eradicated Protestantism and reimposed Catholicism, and also adopted a policy of gradual Germanization. This contributed to the anti-Habsburg sentiment. A long history of resentment of the Catholic Church followed and still continues. With the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the Bohemian Kingdom became part of the German Confederation 1815-1866 as part of Austrian Empire (1804 to 1867) and the Czech language experienced a revival as a consequence of widespread romantic nationalism. In the 19th century, the Czech lands became the industrial powerhouse of the monarchy and were subsequently the core of the Republic of Czechoslovakia, which was formed in 1918 following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I.
Czechoslovakia remained the only democracy in this part of Europe in the interwar period. However, the Czech part of Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany in World War II, while the Slovak region became the Slovak Republic; Czechoslovakia was liberated in 1945 by the armies of the Soviet Union and the United States. Most of the three millions of the German-speaking minority were expelled following the war. The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia won the 1946 elections and after the 1948 coup d'état, Czechoslovakia became a one-party communist state under Soviet influence. In 1968, increasing dissatisfaction with the regime culminated in a reform movement known as the Prague Spring, which ended in a Soviet-led invasion. Czechoslovakia remained occupied until the 1989 Velvet Revolution, when the communist regime collapsed and market economy was reintroduced. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved, with its constituent states becoming the independent states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the EU in 2004.Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka (3 July 1883 – 3 June 1924) was a German-speaking Bohemian Jewish novelist and short-story writer, widely regarded as one of the major figures of 20th-century literature. His work, which fuses elements of realism and the fantastic, typically features isolated protagonists facing bizarre or surrealistic predicaments and incomprehensible socio-bureaucratic powers, and has been interpreted as exploring themes of alienation, existential anxiety, guilt, and absurdity. His best known works include "Die Verwandlung" ("The Metamorphosis"), Der Process (The Trial), and Das Schloss (The Castle). The term Kafkaesque has entered the English language to describe situations like those found in his writing.Kafka was born into a middle-class, German-speaking Jewish family in Prague, the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, today the capital of the Czech Republic. He trained as a lawyer, and after completing his legal education, was employed full-time by an insurance company, forcing him to relegate writing to his spare time. Over the course of his life, Kafka wrote hundreds of letters to family and close friends, including his father, with whom he had a strained and formal relationship. He became engaged to several women but never married. He died in 1924 at the age of 40 from tuberculosis.
Few of Kafka's works were published during his lifetime: the story collections Betrachtung (Contemplation) and Ein Landarzt (A Country Doctor), and individual stories (such as "Die Verwandlung") were published in literary magazines but received little public attention. In his will, Kafka instructed his executor and friend Max Brod to destroy his unfinished works, including his novels Der Process, Das Schloss and Der Verschollene (translated as both Amerika and The Man Who Disappeared), but Brod ignored these instructions. His work has influenced a vast range of writers, critics, artists, and philosophers during the 20th and 21st centuries.Golem
In Jewish folklore, a golem ( GOH-ləm; Hebrew: גולם) is an animated anthropomorphic being that is magically created entirely from inanimate matter (usually clay or mud). The word was used to mean an amorphous, unformed material in Psalms and medieval writing.The most famous golem narrative involves Judah Loew ben Bezalel, the late-16th-century rabbi of Prague. There are many tales differing on how the golem was brought to life and afterward controlled. According to Moment Magazine, "the golem is a highly mutable metaphor with seemingly limitless symbolism. It can be victim or villain, Jew or non-Jew, man or woman—or sometimes both. Over the centuries it has been used to connote war, community, isolation, hope and despair."Hussites
The Hussites (Czech: Husité or Kališníci; "Chalice People") were a pre-Protestant Christian movement that followed the teachings of Czech reformer Jan Hus, who became the best known representative of the Bohemian Reformation.
The Hussite movement began in the Kingdom of Bohemia and quickly spread throughout the remaining Lands of the Bohemian Crown, including Moravia and Silesia. It also made inroads into the northern parts of the Kingdom of Hungary (now Slovakia), but was rejected and gained infamy for the plundering behavior of the Hussite soldiers. There were also very small temporary communities in Poland-Lithuania and Transylvania which moved to Bohemia after being confronted with religious intolerance. It was a regional movement that failed to expand anywhere farther. Hussites emerged as a majority Utraquist movement with a significant Taborite faction, and smaller regional ones that included Adamites, Orebites and Orphans. Major Hussite theologians included Petr Chelcicky, Jerome of Prague, and others. A number of Czech national heroes were Hussite, including Jan Zizka, who led a fierce resistance to five consecutive crusades proclaimed on Hussite Bohemia by the Papacy. Hussites were one of the most important forerunners of the Protestant Reformation. This predominantly religious movement was propelled by social issues and strengthened Czech national awareness.
After the Council of Constance lured Jan Hus in with a letter of indemnity, then tried him for heresy and put him to death at the stake on 6 July 1415, the Hussites fought the Hussite Wars (1420–1434) for their religious and political cause. After the Hussite Wars ended, the Catholic-supported Utraquist side came out victorious from conflict with the Taborites and became the most common representation of the Hussite faith in Bohemia. Catholics and Utraquists were emancipated in Bohemia after the religious peace of Kutná Hora in 1485.
Bohemia and Moravia, or what is now the territory of the Czech Republic, remained majority Hussite for two centuries until Roman Catholicism was reimposed by the Holy Roman Emperor after the 1620 Battle of White Mountain during the Thirty Years' War. Due to this event and centuries of Habsburg persecution, Hussite traditions are merely represented in the Moravian Church, Unity of the Brethren, and the refounded Czechoslovak Hussite churches among present-day Christians.National Library of the Czech Republic
The National Library of the Czech Republic (Czech: Národní knihovna České republiky) is the central library of the Czech Republic. It is directed by the Ministry of Culture. The library's main building is located in the historical Clementinum building in Prague, where approximately half of its books are kept. The other half of the collection is stored in the district of Hostivař. The National Library is the biggest library in the Czech Republic, in its funds there are around 6 million documents. The library has around 60,000 registered readers. As well as Czech texts, the library also stores older material from Turkey, Iran and India. The library also houses books for Charles University in Prague.The library won international recognition in 2005 as it received the inaugural Jikji Prize from UNESCO via the Memory of the World Programme for its efforts in digitising old texts. The project, which commenced in 1992, involved the digitisation of 1,700 documents in its first 13 years.Prague Castle
Prague Castle (Czech: Pražský hrad; [ˈpraʃskiː ˈɦrat]) is a castle complex in Prague, Czech Republic, dating from the 9th century. It is the official office of the President of the Czech Republic. The castle was a seat of power for kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman emperors, and presidents of Czechoslovakia. The Bohemian Crown Jewels are kept within a hidden room inside it.
According to the Guinness Book of Records, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world, occupying an area of almost 70,000 square metres (750,000 square feet), at about 570 metres (1,870 feet) in length and an average of about 130 metres (430 feet) wide. The castle is among the most visited tourist attractions in Prague attracting over 1.8 million visitors annually.Prague Offensive
The Prague Offensive (Russian: Пражская стратегическая наступательная операция Prague Strategic Offensive) was the last major military operation of World War II in Europe. The offensive was fought on the Eastern Front from 6 May to 11 May 1945. Fought concurrently with the Prague uprising, the offensive was one of the last engagements of World War II in Europe and continued after Nazi Germany's unconditional capitulation on 8 May.
The city of Prague was ultimately liberated by the USSR during the Prague Offensive. All of the German troops of Army Group Centre (Heeresgruppe Mitte) and many of Army Group Ostmark (formerly known as Army Group South) were killed or captured, or fell into the hands of the Allies after the capitulation.Prague Spring
The Prague Spring (Czech: Pražské jaro, Slovak: Pražská jar) was a period of political liberalization and mass protest in
Czechoslovakia as a Communist state after World War II. It began on 5 January 1968, when reformist Alexander Dubček was elected First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ), and continued until 21 August 1968, when the Soviet Union and other members of the Warsaw Pact invaded the country to suppress the reforms.
The Prague Spring reforms were a strong attempt by Dubček to grant additional rights to the citizens of Czechoslovakia in an act of partial decentralization of the economy and democratization. The freedoms granted included a loosening of restrictions on the media, speech and travel. After national discussion of dividing the country into a federation of three republics, Bohemia, Moravia-Silesia and Slovakia, Dubček oversaw the decision to split into two, the Czech Socialist Republic and Slovak Socialist Republic. This dual federation was the only formal change that survived the invasion.
The reforms, especially the decentralization of administrative authority, were not received well by the Soviets, who, after failed negotiations, sent half a million Warsaw Pact troops and tanks to occupy the country. The New York Times cited reports of 650,000 men equipped with the most modern and sophisticated weapons in the Soviet military catalogue. A large wave of emigration swept the nation. Resistance was mounted throughout the country, involving attempted fraternization, sabotage of street signs, defiance of curfews, etc. While the Soviet military had predicted that it would take four days to subdue the country, the resistance held out for eight months until it was finally circumvented by diplomatic maneuvers (see below). It became a high-profile example of civilian-based defense; there were sporadic acts of violence and several protest suicides by self-immolation (the most famous being that of Jan Palach), but no military resistance. Czechoslovakia remained controlled by the Soviet Union until 1989, when the Velvet Revolution peacefully ended the communist regime; the last Soviet troops left the country in 1991.
After the invasion, Czechoslovakia entered a period known as "normalization": subsequent leaders attempted to restore the political and economic values that had prevailed before Dubček gained control of the KSČ. Gustáv Husák, who replaced Dubček as First Secretary and also became President, reversed almost all of the reforms. The Prague Spring inspired music and literature including the work of Václav Havel, Karel Husa, Karel Kryl and Milan Kundera's novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being.Reinhard Heydrich
Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich (; German: [ˈʁaɪnhaʁt ˈtʁɪstan ˈɔʏɡn̩ ˈhaɪdʁɪç] (listen); 7 March 1904 – 4 June 1942) was a high-ranking German SS and police official during the Nazi era, and a main architect of the Holocaust. He was chief of the Reich Main Security Office (including the Gestapo, Kripo, and SD). He was also Stellvertretender Reichsprotektor (Deputy/Acting Reich-Protector) of Bohemia and Moravia. Heydrich served as president of the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC; later known as Interpol) and chaired the January 1942 Wannsee Conference, which formalised plans for the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question"—the deportation and genocide of all Jews in German-occupied Europe.
Many historians regard him as the darkest figure within the Nazi elite; Adolf Hitler described him as "the man with the iron heart". He was the founding head of the Sicherheitsdienst (Security Service; SD), an intelligence organisation charged with seeking out and neutralising resistance to the Nazi Party via arrests, deportations, and murders. He helped organise Kristallnacht, a series of co-ordinated attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria on 9–10 November 1938. The attacks, carried out by SA stormtroopers and civilians, presaged the Holocaust. Upon his arrival in Prague, Heydrich sought to eliminate opposition to the Nazi occupation by suppressing Czech culture and deporting and executing members of the Czech resistance. He was directly responsible for the Einsatzgruppen, the special task forces which travelled in the wake of the German armies and murdered over two million people, including 1.3 million Jews, by mass shooting and gassing.
Heydrich was critically wounded in Prague on 27 May 1942 as a result of Operation Anthropoid. He was ambushed by a team of Czech and Slovak agents who had been sent by the Czechoslovak government-in-exile to kill the Reich-Protector; the team was trained by the British Special Operations Executive. Heydrich died from his injuries a week later. Nazi intelligence falsely linked the assassins to the villages of Lidice and Ležáky. Both villages were razed; all men and boys over the age of 16 were shot, and all but a handful of the women and children were deported and killed in Nazi concentration camps.SK Slavia Prague
Sportovní klub Slavia Praha – fotbal (Sports Club Slavia Prague – Football, pronounced [ˈsla:vija ˈpraɦa]), commonly known as Slavia Praha / Slavia Prague, is a Czech professional football club in Prague. Founded in 1892, they are the second most successful club in the Czech Republic since its independence in 1993.They play in the Czech First League, the highest competition in the Czech Republic. They play the Prague derby with Sparta Prague, an important rivalry in Czech football. Slavia has won 18 titles, several Czech cups and the Mitropa Cup in 1938. The club has won four league titles since the foundation of the Czech league in 1993. They have also reached the semi-finals of the 1995–96 UEFA Cup and qualified for the 2007–08 UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time in their history.
In addition to their men's squad, Slavia Prague has reserve, youth, women's, and futsal teams.St. Vitus Cathedral
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saints Vitus, Wenceslaus and Adalbert (Czech: metropolitní katedrála svatého Víta, Václava a Vojtěcha) is a Roman Catholic metropolitan cathedral in Prague, the seat of the Archbishop of Prague. Until 1997, the cathedral was dedicated only to Saint Vitus, and is still commonly named only as St. Vitus Cathedral.
This cathedral is a prominent example of Gothic architecture and is the largest and most important church in the country. Located within Prague Castle and containing the tombs of many Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors, the cathedral is under the ownership of the Czech government as part of the Prague Castle complex. Cathedral dimensions are 124 by 60 metres (407 ft × 197 ft), the main tower is 102.8 metres (337 ft) high, front towers 82 metres (269 ft), arch height 33.2 metres (109 ft).Velvet Revolution
The Velvet Revolution (Czech: sametová revoluce) or Gentle Revolution (Slovak: nežná revolúcia) was a non-violent transition of power in what was then Czechoslovakia, occurring from 17 November to 29 December 1989. Popular demonstrations against the one-party government of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia included students and older dissidents. The result was the end of 41 years of one-party rule in Czechoslovakia, and the subsequent dismantling of the planned economy and conversion to a parliamentary republic.On 17 November 1989 (International Students' Day), riot police suppressed a student demonstration in Prague. The event marked the 50th anniversary of a violently suppressed demonstration against the Nazi storming of Prague University in 1939 where 1,200 students were arrested and 9 killed. (See International Students' Day#Origin for more information.) The 1989 event sparked a series of demonstrations from 17 November to late December and turned into an anti-communist demonstration. On 20 November, the number of protesters assembled in Prague grew from 200,000 the previous day to an estimated 500,000. The entire top leadership of the Communist Party, including General Secretary Miloš Jakeš, resigned on 24 November. On 27 November, a two-hour general strike involving all citizens of Czechoslovakia was held.
In response to the collapse of other Warsaw Pact governments and the increasing street protests, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia announced on 28 November that it would relinquish power and end the one-party state. Two days later, the federal parliament formally deleted the sections of the 1960 Constitution of Czechoslovakia Constitution giving the Communists a monopoly of power. Barbed wire and other obstructions were removed from the border with West Germany and Austria in early December. On 10 December, President Gustáv Husák appointed the first largely non-communist government in Czechoslovakia since 1948, and resigned. Alexander Dubček was elected speaker of the federal parliament on 28 December and Václav Havel the President of Czechoslovakia on 29 December 1989.
In June 1990, Czechoslovakia held its first democratic elections since 1946. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia split into two countries—the Czech Republic and Slovakia.Václav Havel
Václav Havel (Czech pronunciation: [ˈvaːtslav ˈɦavɛl] (listen); 5 October 1936 – 18 December 2011) was a Czech statesman, writer and former dissident, who served as the last President of Czechoslovakia from 1989 until the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1992 and then as the first President of the Czech Republic from 1993 to 2003. As a writer of Czech literature, he is known for his plays, essays, and memoirs.
His educational opportunities having been limited by his bourgeois background, Havel first rose to prominence as a playwright. In works such as The Garden Party and The Memorandum, Havel used an absurdist style to criticize communism. After participating in the Prague Spring and being blacklisted after the invasion of Czechoslovakia, he became more politically active and helped found several dissident initiatives, including Charter 77 and the Committee for the Defense of the Unjustly Prosecuted. His political activities brought him under the surveillance of the secret police and he spent multiple stints in prison, the longest being nearly four years, between 1979 and 1983.
Havel's Civic Forum party played a major role in the Velvet Revolution that toppled communism in Czechoslovakia in 1989. He assumed the presidency shortly thereafter, and was re-elected in a landslide the following year and after Slovak independence in 1993. Havel was instrumental in dismantling the Warsaw Pact and expanding NATO membership eastward. Many of his stances and policies, such as his opposition to Slovak independence, condemnation of the Czechoslovak treatment of Sudeten Germans after World War II, and granting of general amnesty to all those imprisoned under communism, were very controversial domestically. As such, at the end of his presidency, he enjoyed greater popularity abroad than at home. Havel continued his life as a public intellectual after his presidency, launching several initiatives including the Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism, the VIZE 97 Foundation, and the Forum 2000 annual conference.
Havel's political philosophy was one of anti-consumerism, humanitarianism, environmentalism, civil activism, and direct democracy. He supported the Czech Green Party from 2004 until his death. He received numerous accolades during his lifetime including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Gandhi Peace Prize, the Philadelphia Liberty Medal, the Order of Canada, the Four Freedoms Award, the Ambassador of Conscience Award, and the Hanno R. Ellenbogen Citizenship Award. The 2012–2013 academic year at the College of Europe was named in his honour. He is considered by some to be one of the most important intellectuals of the 20th century. The international airport in Prague was renamed to Václav Havel Airport Prague in 2012.Václav Havel Airport Prague
Václav Havel Airport Prague (Czech: Letiště Václava Havla Praha), formerly Prague Ruzyně International Airport (Czech: Mezinárodní letiště Praha-Ruzyně, Czech pronunciation: [ˈpraɦa ˈruzɪɲɛ]), (IATA: PRG, ICAO: LKPR), is the international airport of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. The airport was founded in 1937, when it replaced the Kbely Airport (founded in 1918), it was reconstructed and extended in 1956, 1968, 1997, and 2006. It is located in the edge of Prague-Ruzyně area, next to Kněževes village, 12 km (7 mi) west of the centre of Prague and 12 km (7 mi) southeast of the city Kladno.
In 2018 it served around 17 million passengers (expecting 18 million in 2019). It serves as a hub for Czech Airlines and Smartwings, and is also a base for Ryanair. The airport is able to handle wide-body aircraft including the largest passenger airliners the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747.Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia
The Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, officially known as Operation Danube, was a joint invasion of Czechoslovakia by five Warsaw Pact countries – the Soviet Union, Poland, Bulgaria, East Germany and Hungary – on the night of 20–21 August 1968. Approximately 250,000 Warsaw pact troops attacked Czechoslovakia that night, with Romania and Albania refusing to participate. East German forces, except for a small number of specialists, did not participate in the invasion because they were ordered from Moscow not to cross the Czechoslovak border just hours before the invasion. 137 Czechoslovakian civilians were killed and 500 seriously wounded during the occupation.The invasion successfully stopped Alexander Dubček's Prague Spring liberalisation reforms and strengthened the authority of the authoritarian wing within the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ). The foreign policy of the Soviet Union during this era was known as the Brezhnev Doctrine.
|Climate data for Prague (1981–2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||17.4
|Average high °C (°F)||1.5
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−1.2
|Average low °C (°F)||−3.8
|Record low °C (°F)||−27.5
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||23.5
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||17.9
|Average precipitation days||6.8||5.6||6.2||7.3||9.8||10.3||9.1||8.8||7.0||5.5||7.0||6.8||90.2|
|Average relative humidity (%)||86||83||77||69||70||71||70||71||76||81||87||88||77|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||50.0||72.4||124.7||167.6||214.0||218.3||226.2||212.3||161.0||120.8||53.9||46.7||1,667.9|
|Source #1: Pogoda.ru.net|
|Source #2: NOAA|
|Bosnia & Herzegovina||1,146|