See photos of Prague, Czech Republic (including Old Prague view, Valtava river panoramic view, panoramic picture of Prague Pilharmonic Orchestra, Peace Square, Prazsky hrad view from sky, Old Town Square at night panoramic view, Charles Bridge view, St.Vitus Cathedral spherical panorama, inside the Sadlec Ossuary panoramic view – Kutna Gora, St.Bsrbara Cathedral view, Parague images at night and more) in this travel photo gallery from Verde Wanderer and AirPano.com – 360° Aerial Panorama.
Pictures taken at 13 of October, 2010.
- Ancient age
The area on which Prague was founded was settled as early as the Paleolithic age. Around 200 BC the Celts established an oppidum (settlement) in the south, now called Závist. By the end of the 1st century BC, the population was comprised mostly of the Marcomanni (and possibly the Suebi), a Germanic people. In the 6th century AD, during the great migration period following the collapse of the Roman empire, the Marcomanni people migrated westwards or were assimilated into the invading West Slavic people.
According to legends, Prague was founded by Libuše and her husband, Přemysl, founder of the dynasty of the same name. By the year 800 there was a simple fort fortified with wooden buildings, occupying about two-thirds of the area that is now Prague Castle. The first masonry under Prague Castle dates from the year 885.
The other Prague fort, the Přemyslid fort Vyšehrad was founded in the 10th century, some 70 years later than Prague Castle. Prague Castle is dominated by the cathedral, which was founded in 1344, but completed in the 20th century.
The region became the seat of the dukes, and later kings, of Bohemia. Under Emperor Otto II the area became a bishopric in 973. Until Prague was elevated to archbishopric in 1344, it was under the jurisdiction of the Archbishopric of Mainz.
Prague was an important seat for trading where merchants from all of Europe settled, including many Jews, as recalled in 965 by the Jewish merchant and traveler Ibrahim ibn Ya’qub. The Old New Synagogue of 1270 still stands. Prague contained an important slave market.
At the site of the ford in the Vltava River, King Vladislaus II had the first bridge built in 1170, the Judith Bridge named honor of his wife Judith of Thuringia. This bridge was destroyed by a flood in 1342. Some of the original foundation stones of that bridge remain.
In 1257, under King Ottokar II, Malá Strana was founded in Prague on the site of an older village in what would become the Hradčany (Prague Castle) area. This was the district of the German people, who had the right to administer the law autonomously, pursuant to Magdeburg rights. The new district was on the bank opposite of the Staré Město (“Old Town”), which had borough status and was bordered by a line of walls and fortifications.
- History in 20th century
Stiassny’s Jubilee Synagogue built in 1906 is the largest in Prague
The First World War ended with the defeat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the creation of Czechoslovakia. Prague was chosen as its capital and Prague Castle as the seat of president (Tomáš Masaryk). At this time Prague was a true European capital with highly developed industry. By 1930, the population had risen to 850,000.
Second World War
Hitler ordered the German Army to enter Prague on 15 March 1939 and from Prague Castle proclaimed Bohemia and Moravia a German protectorate. For most of its history Prague had been a multiethnic city with important Czech, German and (mostly Czech- and/or German-speaking) Jewish populations. From 1939, when the country was occupied by Nazi Germany, and during World War II, most Jews fled the city or were deported.
In 1942, Prague was witness to the assassination of one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany – Reinhard Heydrich. Hitler ordered bloody reprisals. At the end of the war Prague suffered several bombing raids by the USAAF. Over 1,000 people were killed and hundreds of buildings, factories and historical landmarks were destroyed (however the damage was small compared to the total destruction of many other cities in that time). On 5 May 1945, two days before Germany capitulated, an uprising against Germany occurred. Four days later the 3rd Shock Army entered the city. The majority of the German population either fled or was expelled by the Beneš decrees in the aftermath of the war.
Prague was a city in the territory of military and political control of the Soviet Union (see Iron Curtain). The 4th Czechoslovakian Writers’ Congress held in the city in 1967 took a strong position against the regime. This spurred the new secretary of the Communist Party, Alexander Dubček to proclaim a new deal in his city’s and country’s life, starting the short-lived season of the “socialism with a human face”. It was the “Prague Spring”, which aimed at the renovation of institutions in a democratic way. The Soviet Union and its allies reacted with the invasion of Czechoslovakia and the capital on 21 August 1968 by tanks, suppressing any attempt at work.
Era after the Velvet Revolution
In 1989, after the riot police beat back a peaceful student demonstration, the Velvet Revolution crowded the streets of Prague and the Czechoslovak capital benefited greatly from the new mood. In 1993, after the split of Czechoslovakia, Prague became the capital city of the new Czech Republic. In the late 1990s Prague again became an important cultural centre of Europe and was notably influenced by globalisation. In 2000 anti-globalisation protests in Prague (some 15,000 protesters) turned violent during the IMF and World Bank summits. In 2002 Prague suffered from widespread floods that damaged buildings and also its underground transport system. Prague launched a bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics, but failed to make the candidate city shortlist. Due to low political support, Prague’s officials chose in June 2009 to cancel the city’s planned bid for 2020 Summer Olympics as well.