In close proximity to the Prague Castle, the Loreto Church is a monumental sight with baroque architecture that reflects the grandeur of the eras gone by. The church was established in 1737, constructed by Christoph Dientzenhofer and his son Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer. The imposing carillon with 30 bells invites pilgrims and tourists in droves, and is the first thing that one might notice here. There are many chapels and courtyards within the construction and noteworthy among them is the Chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows which features the statue of Saint Wilgefortis. This statue is a depiction of Christ dressed in robes as opposed to a loin cloth. There is an exhibition of historical and religious artifacts in the room upstairs.
The restored Maisel Synagogue is a 16th-century temple, part of the multi-site Jewish Museum - and it's also Prague's most popular museum. The exhibits were collected during World War II as the occupying Nazis pillaged each and every Czech Jewish community and stockpiled the booty in Prague, where a small Jewish Museum had existed since 1906. The synagogue now houses the first part of an exhibition called "History of the Jews in Bohemia and Moravia" covering the period from the 10th Century to the 18th Century. Displays include silver Torah shields, pointers, fine tapestry, Torah curtains, documents, books and items from the ordinary everyday life of the city's Jews. Many of the finest objects date back to the relatively prosperous 16th Century, when several of the richest synagogues in the Jewish quarter were built. For a more contemporary view of Jewish history, be sure to visit the Spanish Synagogue.
Rare animals, themed exhibits and a series of trails slicing across its expanse make Prague Zoo a favorite among visitors of all ages. One of the largest zoos in the country and among the most visited spots as well, the Prague Zoo boasts of more than 5000 animals today. From polar bears, fur seals, hippopotamuses and Sumatran tigers to flamingos, penguins and vultures, numerous species thrive within enclosures resembling their natural habitats. The zoo complex is large and can be explored on foot, by chairlift and also zoo trams. A must-visit, the zoo is perfect for a family day out.
The walls of the Prague Castle encompass a whopping 70,000 square meters (750,000 square feet) within their embrace, making this the largest ancient castle in the world. Shaped over 13 centuries, the origins of the castle go back to 870 CE when the Church of the Virgin Mary was built. Former residence of the kings of Bohemia, Roman Emperors and the Presidents of Czechoslovakia, the regal abode is rife with historic treasures, man-made marvels and artistic triumphs. A mélange of architectural styles that spans the ages, the castle is an inspiring sight to behold; a monumental, visual chronicle of the march of time and the prevalent trends of each era. Of special interest is the St. Vitus Cathedral boasting vibrant stained glass windows and the tomb of St. John of Nepomuk.
Rising up from the center of the castle grounds, the Gothic cathedral dominates the Prague skyline and is one of the defining images of the city and its tourist center. The cathedral houses a number of valuable monuments, including the Royal Crypt wherein lies the remains of Czech Royalty, the St Wenceslas Chapel, and the Coronation Chamber where the Crown Jewels are exhibited. The cathedral's foundation stone was laid in 1344 on the initiative of Charles IV (1316-1378) on the site of an earlier 10th Century rotunda dedicated to St Vitus. It was not until 1929 that the cathedral was actually completed. While entrance to the cathedral is free, there is an admission fee for the crypt and other attractions.
Operettas and musicals are the standard fare at the old-fashioned Hudebni Divadlo v Karline (Karlin Music Theater). Die Fledermaus, Hello, Dolly, The Cage of Fools, My Fair Lady and others of a similar ilk are constantly drawing in the crowds. The songs are all sung in Czech. The establishment can accommodate over a thousand people and is one of the largest theaters in the country. Check out the website for show times and performances.
Contemporary print-makers have almost exclusive rights to this small space by the river. It is run by the Union of Czech Graphic Artists and most exhibitions feature group members although the gallery sometimes organizes interesting shows of historical prints and other forms. Prints and reproductions are also available to buy.
Located just a short walk from Wenceslas Square and the Karlovo Namesti metro is the place for believers in Jesus Christ. Established in 1990, the church's teachings are bible-based and open to all. Services in English cater to the international English-speaking community of Prague.
Sbor církve čsl. husitské is a small chapel that hosts intimate shows.
This location was a variety of things before it became most recently a space for cultural events. Once a theater, an 18th Century spa, an art gallery, and a boathouse, it is now a beacon for the community to come together to celebrate whatever is on the agenda for that day.
Centrally located in Old Town Prague, Studio Damuza is known as the "oldest basement" in Prague. It is located in the basement of a historic Renaissance building.
Galerie Michal's Collection is a locally-run contemporary art gallery in the center of the busy Old Town. The exposition space displays some arresting works of modern Czech art by local and acclaimed artists of the region. Of particular significance are the graphic art works by celebrated Czech artist Rastislav Michal. The exhibition covers the painter's works from the 1950s till today. The art gallery also conducts groups and individual art exhibitions by honored artists.