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Top Rated Attractions in Rest of Czech Republic

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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.

Maisel Synagogue

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.

Prague Zoo

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.

Royal Gardens

Established by Emperor Ferdinand in 1534, the Royal Gardens outside of Prague Castle are gorgeous with manicured lawns and beautiful flower arrangements. These gardens were organically created in a Renaissance-style and the Royal Family would walk among the greenery and admire rare plants. Today, the garden has an mostly an English-style appearance, though it does still have some Renaissance elements as well as Baroque characteristics.

Prague Castle

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.

St Vitus Cathedral

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.

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