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Prague in a day, or the best of Prague on the Royal Tour

Municipal House Prague, Czech Republic

Should you have the misfortune of being in Prague for only a day, waste no time but set out at once to discover the most famous monuments along the so-called Royal Tour. This pleasant walk around the city centre begins in front of the Municipal House (www.obecni-dum.cz). Without question the most spectacular and most beloved Prague Secessionist building, it is also a well-known concert and exhibition space. After passing through the Powder Gate, a surprise awaits: certainly you are familiar with Cubist paintings, but what about Cubist buildings?

One of the first examples of Cubist architecture in the world is the House of the Black Madonna (www.ngprague.cz), where you will find an exhibition on Czech Cubism. Continue walking down Celetná Street, with its historic palaces, and at the end the fairy-tale scene that is the Old Town Square will spread out before you. Here, in the Middle Ages, celebrated tournaments were held. Here, 27 Czech Lords were beheaded during the Thirty Years’ War. Here, in 1948, people listened to the report on the establishment of the first communist government. Here, history was written. Today, tourists come to the square to see the Gothic Týn Church and, even more so, the Old Town Hall with the renowned astronomical clock. Wait until the top of the hour for the procession of Apostles before continuing on. Karlova Street will lead you safely to Charles Bridge.

One of the symbols of Prague, it has connected the banks of the Vltava since 1357. In the 18th century, the leading masters of the time decorated the bridge with their sculptural works. You could spend a considerable time at each sculpture just admiring the work. Don’t forget to make a wish at the statue of the Czech Saint John of Nepomuk. When you place your hand on the brass cross so that every finger covers one of the stars, then your wish will come true! Enjoy the view of the river as you cross over to Malá Strana, or Lesser Town. On Nerudova Street, pay close attention to the poetic house emblems (House of the Three Fiddles, House of the Two Suns).

At Hrad?any Square, watch the changing of the castle guard, then enter into the courtyard of the largest castle complex in the world, Prague Castle (www.hrad.cz). Here, if you have not already, you will regret that you do not have more time, as ahead awaits a visit to the monumental Gothic St. Vitus, St. Wenceslas and St. Adalbert Cathedral and the Old Royal Palace, which houses the attractive exhibition “The Story of the Prague Castle”.

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