Prague is a timeless, picturesque beauty that stands out even in today’s modern world. Marrying old and new design, this medieval city is home to endless activities and a plethora of architectural styles — from Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque, to Classicism, Renaissance, and Art Nouveau.
In a previous article here on Travelling Buzz entitled ’Visiting Magical Prague in Winter’ we discussed some of the city’s most wonderful places to visit when it’s snowy in the Czech Republic’s capital city. This time around, we’ll focus on the city’s breathtaking architecture.
With over 4,000 monuments, it will take months to cover the largest urban historical centre on the UNESCO World Heritage List. But if you only had a day or two to explore the best of what Prague has to offer across all eras, these sightseeing destinations are sure to captivate you.
The Church of Our Lady before Týn
One of Prague’s most recognisable buildings, this particular church has two 80-metre tall spires on each side of the main building. Even more noteworthy are the stunning interiors, which include a Crucifixion sculpture on a Gothic portal, early Baroque paintings, numerous tombs, and a 17th century pipe organ.
Initially built as one of the 13 gates to the city, this sculpture-studded Gothic tower stands at an impressively 65 metres tall. Interestingly, it is called the Powder Tower because it was originally used as a gunpowder store over four centuries ago.
House of the Black Madonna
Known for having the only Cubist interiors in the world, this former 1900s department store has since become a tourist favourite since its renovation. While it is no present day Macy’s, it now houses a cafe and the beautiful Museum of Decorative Arts.
St. George’s Basilica
Located within Prague’s vast Royal Castle complex, this architectural icon is Baroque — but only at first glance. The basilica’s 17th century facade shines with its Romanesque stone interior, grand arches, and intricate cross-vaulted ceilings. Tourists will appreciate its close proximity to other structural attractions, like the St. Vitus Cathedral.
St. Vitus Cathedral
As one of Europe’s most magnificent churches, the St. Vitus Cathedral also happened to take the longest to complete — 600 years, to be exact. It is also situated inside the astonishing Prague Castle, which the Guinness Book of World Records credits as the largest ancient castle in the world.
However, one look at its soaring ceilings and larger-than-life stained glass windows and you’ll know it was more than worth going to visit. This Gothic masterpiece is highly distinguishable from a distance, its form pleasantly dominating the Prague skyline.
This building is often praised for being the quintessential Art Nouveau structure — from its incredibly detailed mosaics to the gold-lacquered decorations. A popular luxury cafe and restaurant today, it is home to one of Prague’s most important concert venues: the glass-domed Smetana hall.
Travellers and locals know Old Town Square as a fairytale-like place. True enough, Kinsky Palace’s allure is in its pink and white Rococo facade and old world charm. Built between 1755 and 1765, it once contained a secondary school that boasted no less than Franz Kafka as one of its former students.
Once operating as a horse market during Charles IV’s reign, it has since become one of the city’s most important public spaces. The Telegraph praises its world-class gastronomic choices, but beyond that, it is also home to the National Museum — an immense piece of Neo-Renaissance design known for its sweeping staircases and elaborate stonework.
Looking for more sights to visit? Check out our in-depth From Vienna to Prague with Daytrip itinerary.
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