Prague’s recent history is beset with conflict, fire, and fury. So much so, that we often forget about its Golden Ages and the extraordinary wealth and power that epitomized the might of the Holy Roman Empire within Prague’s gates. When you walk through Staré město (Prague’s Old Town) you can sense the weight of almost 7 centuries of history bearing down on you. Prague feels very nearly hallowed. What is particularly compelling about Prague is the stunning, gilded pieces of its Golden Ages standing side by side with memorials of its darkest times.
If you read through my articles on this city, you’ll find that I fall back to a recurring theme: understanding the history in Prague before you visit is paramount. It’s unequivocally a loss to you as a traveler to stare at a bunch of statues and plaques (many of which are only in Czech) without understanding why they are there. Czech history is only boring if you don’t understand it.
The Lonely Planet Guidebooks and Rick Steve’s Guidebooks give you more than enough history to absorb if you’re only staying for a week or so. In addition, they offer a really nice walking tour of the different parts of the city. Each of the following articles give you more detail on Prague and what to expect.
For some ideas on how to spend your time in Prague, check out: A Day (or 5) in Prague.
For some ideas on Wenceslas Square, read Wenceslas Square & The Jewish Quarter.
For general FAQ’s (and answers) on Prague, read Housekeeping Notes on Prague.