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Prague ( ; Praha ; Prag ; Praga) is the capital and largest city of the and the historical capital of . On the river, Prague is home to about 1.3 million people. The city has a temperate , with relatively warm summers and chilly winters.

Prague is a political, cultural, and economic hub of , with a rich history and Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architectures. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia and residence of several Holy Roman Emperors, most notably Charles IV (r. 1346–1378) and Rudolf II (r. 1575–1611).Prague website

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It was an important city to the Habsburg monarchy and Austro-Hungarian Empire. The city played major roles in the Bohemian and the Protestant Reformations, the Thirty Years' War and in 20th-century history as the capital of between the World Wars and the post-war Communist era.

Prague is home to a number of well-known cultural attractions, many of which survived the violence and destruction of 20th-century Europe. Main attractions include , , Old Town Square with the Prague astronomical clock, the , Petřín hill and Vyšehrad. Since 1992, the historic center of Prague has been included in the list of World Heritage Sites.

The city has more than ten major museums, along with numerous theatres, galleries, cinemas, and other historical exhibits. An extensive modern public transportation system connects the city. It is home to a wide range of public and private schools, including Charles University in Prague, the oldest university in .

Prague is classified as a "Alpha-" according to studies. In 2019, the city was ranked as 69th most livable city in the world by Mercer. In the same year, the PICSA Index ranked the city as 13th most livable city in the world. Its rich history makes it a popular tourist destination and as of 2017, the city receives more than 8.5 million international visitors annually. In 2017, Prague was listed as the fifth most visited European city after , , , and .

Etymology and names
The Czech name Praha is derived from an old word, práh, which means "ford" or "", referring to the city's origin at a crossing point of the Vltava river.

Another view to the origin of the name is also related to the Czech word práh (with the meaning of a threshold) and a legendary etymology connects the name of the city with princess Libuše, prophetess and a wife of mythical founder of the Přemyslid dynasty. She is said to have ordered the city "to be built where a man hews a threshold of his house". The Czech práh might thus be understood to refer to rapids or fords in the river, the edge of which could have acted as a means of fording the river – thus providing a "threshold" to the castle.

Another derivation of the name Praha is suggested from na prazě, the original term for the hillside rock upon which the original castle was built. At that time, the castle was surrounded by forests, covering the nine hills of the future city – the Old Town on the opposite side of the river, as well as the beneath the existing castle, appeared only later.

(2024). 9788072523023, Práh.

The English spelling of the city's name is borrowed from . In the 19th and early 20th centuries it was pronounced in English to rhyme with "vague": it was so pronounced by Lady Diana Cooper (born 1892) on Desert Island Discs in 1969, and it is written to rhyme with "vague" in a verse of The Beleaguered City by Longfellow (1839) and also in the limerick There was an Old Lady of Prague by (1846).

Prague is also called the "City of a Hundred ", based on a count by 19th century mathematician ; today's count is estimated by the Prague Information Service at 500. Nicknames for Prague have also included: the Golden City, the Mother of Cities and the Heart of Europe.

Prague has grown from a settlement stretching from in the north to the fort of Vyšehrad in the south, to become the capital of a modern European country.

Early history
The region was settled as early as the age. Jewish chronicler , citing Cyriacus Spangenberg, claimed that the city was founded as Boihaem in by an ancient king, Boyya.

Around the fifth and fourth century BC, a tribe appeared in the area, later establishing settlements, including the largest Celtic in , Závist, in a present-day south suburb in Prague, and naming the region of Bohemia, which means "home of the Boii people".

(1997). 9780809078431, Hill and Wang.
In the last century BC, the Celts were slowly driven away by (, , and possibly the ), leading some to place the seat of the king, , in Závist.Dovid Solomon Ganz, Tzemach Dovid (3rd edition), part 2, Warsaw 1878, pp. 71, 85 ( online ) Around the area where present-day Prague stands, the 2nd century map drawn by Roman geographer mentioned a Germanic city called Casurgis.

In the late 5th century AD, during the great following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, the Germanic tribes living in Bohemia moved westwards and, probably in the 6th century, the settled the Central Bohemian Region. In the following three centuries, the built several fortified settlements in the area, most notably in the Šárka valley, and Levý Hradec.

The construction of what came to be known as began near the end of the 9th century, expanding a fortified settlement that had existed on the site since the year 800. The first masonry under Prague Castle dates from the year 885 at the latest. The other prominent 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 began construction in 1344, but was not completed until the 20th century.

The legendary origins of Prague attribute its foundation to the 8th-century Czech duchess and prophetess Libuše and her husband, Přemysl, founder of the Přemyslid dynasty. Legend says that Libuše came out on a rocky cliff high above the Vltava and prophesied: "I see a great city whose glory will touch the stars". She ordered a castle and a town called Praha to be built on the site.

The region became the seat of the , and later kings of Bohemia. Under Duke of Bohemia Boleslaus II the Pious the area became a in 973.

(2012). 9780812204223, University of Pennsylvania Press. .
Until Prague was elevated to in 1344, it was under the jurisdiction of the Archbishopric of Mainz.

Prague was an important seat for trading where merchants from across Europe settled, including many Jews, as recalled in 965 by the merchant and traveler Abraham ben Jacob.

(2006). 9780803205024, U of Nebraska Press. .
The Old New Synagogue of 1270 still stands in the city. Prague was also once home to an important ." The Cambridge Economic History of Europe: Trade and industry in the Middle Ages ". Michael Moïssey Postan, Edward Miller, Cynthia Postan (1987). Cambridge University Press. p. 417. .

At the site of the ford in the Vltava river, King Vladislaus I had the first bridge built in 1170, the Judith Bridge (Juditin most), named in honor of his wife Judith of Thuringia. This bridge was destroyed by a flood in 1342, but some of the original foundation stones of that bridge remain in the river. It was rebuilt and named the Charles Bridge.

In 1257, under King Ottokar II, Malá Strana ("Lesser Quarter") was founded in Prague on the site of an older village in what would become the Hradčany (Prague Castle) area.

(2015). 9780241196311, Rough Guides UK. .
This was the district of the German people, who had the right to administer the law autonomously, pursuant to .
(2024). 9780415177115, Taylor & Francis. .
The new district was on the bank opposite of the Staré Město ("Old Town"), which had status and was bordered by a line of walls and fortifications.

Late Middle Ages
Prague flourished during the 14th-century reign (1346–1378) of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and the king of Bohemia of the new Luxembourg dynasty. As King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor, he transformed Prague into an imperial capital. In the 1470s, Prague had around 70,000 inhabitants and with an area of 360 ha (~1.4 square miles) it was the third-largest city in the Holy Roman Empire.

Charles IV ordered the building of the New Town (Nové Město) adjacent to the Old Town and laid out the design himself. The Charles Bridge, replacing the Judith Bridge destroyed in the flood just prior to his reign, was erected to connect the east bank districts to the Malá Strana and castle area. In 1347, he founded Charles University, which remains the oldest university in Central Europe.

He began construction of the Gothic Saint Vitus Cathedral, within the largest of the Prague Castle courtyards, on the site of the Romanesque rotunda there. Prague was elevated to an archbishopric in 1344, the year the cathedral was begun.

The city had a mint and was a center of trade for German and Italian bankers and merchants. The social order, however, became more turbulent due to the rising power of the 's (themselves often torn by internal conflicts), and the increasing number of poor.

The Hunger Wall, a substantial fortification wall south of Malá Strana and the castle area, was built during a famine in the 1360s. The work is reputed to have been ordered by Charles IV as a means of providing employment and food to the workers and their families.

Charles IV died in 1378. During the reign of his son, King Wenceslaus IV (1378–1419), a period of intense turmoil ensued. During Easter 1389, members of the Prague clergy announced that Jews had desecrated the host (Eucharistic wafer) and the clergy encouraged mobs to pillage, ransack and burn the Jewish quarter. Nearly the entire Jewish population of Prague (3,000 people) was murdered.

In 1400, Prague had 95,000 inhabitants, making it one of the largest city in Europe (after , , , and ).

(2013). 9781483271255, Elsevier. .
, a theologian and rector at the Charles University, preached in Prague. In 1402, he began giving sermons in the . Inspired by , these sermons focused on what were seen as radical reforms of a corrupt Church. Having become too dangerous for the political and religious establishment, Hus was summoned to the Council of Constance, put on trial for , and burned at the stake in in 1415.

Four years later Prague experienced its first defenestration, when the people rebelled under the command of the Prague priest Jan Želivský. Hus' death, coupled with Czech proto-nationalism and proto-Protestantism, had spurred the . Peasant rebels, led by the general Jan Žižka, along with Hussite troops from Prague, defeated Emperor Sigismund, in the Battle of Vítkov Hill in 1420.

During the when Prague was attacked by "Crusader" and mercenary forces, the city militia fought bravely under the Prague Banner. This swallow-tailed banner is approximately , with a red field sprinkled with small white fleurs-de-lis, and a silver old Town Coat-of-Arms in the center. The words "PÁN BŮH POMOC NAŠE" (The Lord is our Relief/Help) appeared above the coat-of-arms, with a Hussite chalice centered on the top. Near the swallow-tails is a crescent-shaped golden sun with rays protruding.

One of these banners was captured by Swedish troops during the Battle of Prague (1648), when they captured the western bank of the and were repulsed from the eastern bank, they placed it in the Royal Military Museum in ; although this flag still exists, it is in very poor condition. They also took the and the . The earliest evidence indicates that a with a municipal charge painted on it was used for the Old Town as early as 1419. Since this city militia flag was in use before 1477 and during the Hussite Wars, it is the oldest still preserved municipal flag of Bohemia.

In the following two centuries, Prague strengthened its role as a merchant city. Many noteworthy Gothic buildings were erected and of the Prague Castle was added.

Habsburg era
[[File:Prague banner c1477.png|upright=0.7|thumb|Depiction of the "Prague Banner" (municipal flag dated to the 16th century) This swallow-tailed banner is approximately , with a red field sprinkled with small white fleurs-de-lis, and a silver old Town Coat-of-Arms in the center . The words PÁN BŮH POMOC NAŠE (The Lord God is our Help) appeared above the coat-of-arms, with a Hussite "host with chalice" centered on the top. Near the swallow-tails is a crescent shaped golden sun with rays protruding. One of these banners was captured by Swedish troops in , when they captured the western bank of the Vltava river and were repulsed from the eastern bank, they placed it in the Royal Military Museum in ; although this flag still exists, it is in very poor condition. They also took the and the . The earliest evidence indicates that a gonfalon with a municipal charge painted on it was used for Old Town as early as 1419. Since this city militia flag was in use before 1477 and during the Hussite Wars, it is the oldest still preserved municipal flag of Bohemia.]]

In 1526, the Bohemian estates elected Ferdinand I of the House of Habsburg. The fervent Catholicism of its members brought them into conflict in Bohemia, and then in Prague, where Protestant ideas were gaining popularity. These problems were not preeminent under Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II, elected King of Bohemia in 1576, who chose Prague as his home. He lived in the Prague Castle, where his court welcomed not only astrologers and magicians but also scientists, musicians, and artists. Rudolf was an art lover as well, and Prague became the capital of European culture. This was a prosperous period for the city: famous people living there in that age include the astronomers and , the painter Arcimboldo, the alchemists and , the poet Elizabeth Jane Weston, and others.

In 1618, the famous second defenestration of Prague provoked the Thirty Years' War, a particularly harsh period for Prague and Bohemia. Ferdinand II of Habsburg was deposed, and his place as King of Bohemia taken by Frederick V, Elector Palatine; however his army was crushed in the Battle of White Mountain (1620) not far from the city. Following this in 1621 was an execution of 27 Czech Protestant leaders (involved in the uprising) in Old Town Square and the exiling of many others. Prague was forcibly converted back to Roman Catholicism followed by the rest of Czech lands. The city suffered subsequently during the war under an attack by Electorate of Saxony (1631) and during the Battle of Prague (1648). Prague began a steady decline which reduced the population from the 60,000 it had had in the years before the war to 20,000. In the second half of the 17th century, Prague's population began to grow again. Jews had been in Prague since the end of the 10th century and, by 1708, they accounted for about a quarter of Prague's population.

In 1689, a great fire devastated Prague, but this spurred a renovation and a rebuilding of the city. In 1713–14, a major outbreak of plague hit Prague one last time, killing 12,000 to 13,000 people.M. Signoli, D. Chevé, A. Pascal (2007). " Plague epidemics in Czech countries ". p.51.

In 1744, Frederick the Great of Prussia invaded Bohemia. He took Prague after a severe and prolonged siege in the course of which a large part of the town was destroyed. expelled the Jews from Prague in 1745; though she rescinded the expulsion in 1748, the proportion of Jewish residents in the city never recovered. In 1757 the bombardment destroyed more than one quarter of the city and heavily damaged St. Vitus Cathedral. However a month later, Frederick the Great was defeated and forced to retreat from Bohemia.

The economy of Prague continued to improve during the 18th century. The population increased to 80,000 inhabitants by 1771. Many rich merchants and nobles enhanced the city with a host of palaces, churches and gardens full of art and music, creating a city renowned throughout the world to this day.

In 1784, under Joseph II, the four municipalities of Malá Strana, Nové Město, Staré Město, and Hradčany were merged into a single entity. The Jewish district, called , was included only in 1850. The Industrial Revolution produced great changes and developments in Prague, as new factories could take advantage of the coal mines and ironworks of the nearby regions. A first suburb, Karlín, was created in 1817, and twenty years later the population exceeded 100,000.

The revolutions in Europe in 1848 also touched Prague, but they were fiercely suppressed. In the following years, the Czech National Revival began its rise, until it gained the majority in the town council in 1861. Prague had a large number of German speakers in 1848, but by 1880 the number of German speakers had decreased to 14% (42,000), and by 1910 to 6.7% (37,000), due to a massive increase of the city's overall population caused by the influx of from the rest of Bohemia and and the increasing prestige and importance of the Czech language as part of the Czech National Revival.

20th century

First Czechoslovak Republic
World War I 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 Garrigue 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
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 multi-ethnic city with important Czech, German and (mostly native German-speaking) Jewish populations. From 1939, when the country was occupied by , Hitler took over Prague Castle. During the Second World War, most Jews were by the Germans. In 1942, Prague was witness to the assassination of one of the most powerful men in —Reinhard Heydrich—during Operation Anthropoid, accomplished by Czechoslovak national heroes Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš. Hitler ordered bloody reprisals.Bryant, Chad (2007). Prague in Black: Nazi Rule and Czech Nationalism. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, p. 167ff.

In February 1945, Prague suffered several bombing raids by the US Army Air Forces. 701 people were killed, more than 1,000 people were injured and some buildings, factories and historic landmarks (, , Vinohrady Synagogue) were destroyed. Many historic structures in Prague, however, escaped the destruction of the war and the damage was small compared to the total destruction of many other cities in that time. According to American pilots, it was the result of a navigational mistake. In March, a deliberate raid targeted military factories in Prague, killing about 370 people.

On 5 May 1945, two days before Germany capitulated, an against Germany occurred. Several thousand Czechs were killed in four days of bloody street fighting, with many atrocities committed by both sides. At daybreak on 9 May, the of the took the city almost unopposed. The majority (about 50,000 people) of the German population of Prague either fled or were expelled by the Beneš decrees in the aftermath of the war.

Cold War
Prague was a city in a country under the military, economic, and political control of the (see and ). The world's largest Stalin Monument was unveiled on Letná hill in 1955 and destroyed in 1962. The 4th Czechoslovak Writers' Congress, held in the city in June 1967, took a strong position against the regime. On 31 October 1967 students demonstrated at Strahov. This spurred the new secretary of the Czechoslovak 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 , which aimed at the renovation of political institutions in a democratic way. The other member countries, except Romania and Albania, were led by the to repress these reforms through the invasion of Czechoslovakia and the capital, Prague, on 21 August 1968. The invasion, chiefly by infantry and tanks, effectively suppressed any further attempts at reform. The military occupation of Czechoslovakia by the would end only in 1991. and Jan Zajíc committed suicide by in January and February 1969 to protest against the "normalization" of the country.

After the Velvet Revolution
In 1989, after riot police beat back a peaceful student demonstration, the Velvet Revolution crowded the streets of Prague, and the capital of Czechoslovakia benefited greatly from the new mood. In 1992, the Historic Centre of Prague and its monuments were inscribed as a cultural UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1993, after the , Prague became the capital city of the new Czech Republic. From 1995, high-rise buildings began to be built in Prague in large quantities. In the late 1990s, Prague again became an important cultural center of Europe and was notably influenced by . In 2000, the and summits took place in Prague and anti-globalization riots took place here. In 2002, Prague suffered from widespread floods that damaged buildings and its underground transport system.

Prague launched a bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics, but failed to make the candidate city . In June 2009, as the result of financial pressures from the , Prague's officials chose to cancel the city's planned bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

On 21 December 2023, a mass shooting took place at Charles University in central Prague. In total, 15 people were killed and 25 injured. It was the deadliest mass murder in the history of the Czech Republic.

Prague is situated on the river. The flows into the Vltava in the suburbs of . There are 99 watercourses in Prague with a total length of . The longest streams are Rokytka and Botič.

There are 3 reservoirs, 37 ponds, and 34 retention reservoirs and dry polders in the city. The largest pond is Velký Počernický with . The largest body of water is Hostivař Reservoir with .

In terms of geomorphological division, most of Prague is located in the . In the south the city's territory extends into the Hořovice Uplands, in the north it extends into the Central Elbe Table lowland. The highest point is the top of the hill Teleček on the western border of Prague, at above sea level. Notable hills in the centre of Prague are Petřín with and Vítkov with . The lowest point is the Vltava in Suchdol at the place where it leaves the city, at .

Prague is located approximately at . Prague is approximately at the same latitude as , Germany; , France; and , Canada. The northernmost point is at , the southernmost point is at , the westernmost point is at , and the easternmost point is at .

Prague has an (Köppen: Cfb) bordering on a humid continental climate ( Dfb), defined as such by the isotherm. The winters are relatively cold with average temperatures at about freezing point (0 °C), and with very little sunshine. Snow cover can be common between mid-November and late March although snow accumulations of more than are infrequent. There are also a few periods of mild temperatures in winter. Summers usually bring plenty of sunshine and the average high temperature of . Nights can be quite cool even in summer, though. Precipitation in Prague is moderate ( per year) since it is located in the of the and other mountain ranges. The driest season is usually winter while late spring and summer can bring quite heavy rain, especially in form of thundershowers. The number of hours of average sunshine has increased over time. Temperature inversions are relatively common between mid-October and mid-March bringing foggy, cold days and sometimes moderate air pollution. Prague is also a windy city with common sustained western winds and an average wind speed of that often help break temperature inversions and clear the air in cold months.


Administrative division
Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and as such is the regular seat of its central authorities. Since 24 November 1990, it is de facto again a statutory city, but has a specific status of the municipality and the region at the same time. Prague also houses the administrative institutions of the Central Bohemian Region. Until 1949, all administrative districts of Prague were formed by the whole one or more cadastral unit, municipality or town. Since 1949, there has been a fundamental change in the administrative division. Since then, the boundaries of many urban districts, administrative districts and city districts are independent of the boundaries of cadastral territories and some cadastral territories are thus divided into administrative and self-governing parts of the city. (for example, and Smíchov) are still relevant especially for the registration of land and real estate and house numbering.

Prague is divided into 10 municipal districts (1–10), 22 administrative districts (1–22), 57 municipal parts, and 112 cadastral areas.

City government
Prague is autonomously administered by the Prague City Assembly, which is elected through municipal elections and consists of 65 members. Executive body of Prague, elected by the Assembly is a Prague City Council. The municipal office of Prague is called Prague City Hall. It has 11 members including the mayor and it prepares proposals for the Assembly meetings and ensures that adopted resolutions are fulfilled. The Mayor of Prague is Civic Democratic Party member .


2011 census
Even though the official population of Prague hovers around 1.3 million as of the 2011 census, the city's real population is much higher due to only 65% of its residents being marked as permanently living in the city. Data taken from mobile phone movements around the city suggest that the real population of Prague is closer to 1.9 or 2.0 million, with an additional 300,000 to 400,000 commuters coming to the city on weekdays for work, education, or commerce.

About 14% of the city's inhabitants were born outside the Czech Republic, the highest proportion in the country. However, 64.8% of the city's population self-identified as ethnically , which is slightly higher than the national average of 63.7%. Almost 29% of respondents declined to answer the question on ethnicity at all, so it may be assumed that the real percentage of ethnic Czechs in Prague is considerably higher. The largest ethnic minority are Slovaks, followed by Ukrainians and Russians.

Prague's population is the oldest and best-educated in the country. It has the lowest proportion of children. Only 10.8% of census respondents claimed adherence to a religion; the majority of these were .

Historical population
Development of the Prague population since 1378 (since 1869 according to the censuses within the limits of present-day Prague):

Foreign residents
As of 31 March 2023, there were 325,336 foreign residents in Prague, of which 118,996 with permanent residence in Prague. The following nationalities are the most numerous:
Foreign residents in Prague (March 2023)


The city is traditionally one of the cultural centres of Europe, hosting many cultural events. Some of the significant cultural institutions include the National Theatre ( Národní Divadlo) and the ( Stavovské or Tylovo or Nosticovo divadlo), where the premières of Mozart's and La clemenza di Tito were held. Other major cultural institutions are the which is home to the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and the which is home to the Prague Symphony Orchestra. The Prague State Opera (Státní opera) performs at the Smetana Theatre.

The city has many world-class museums, including the National Museum (Národní muzeum), the Museum of the Capital City of Prague, the Jewish Museum in Prague, the Museum, the African-Prague Museum, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, the Náprstek Museum (Náprstkovo Muzeum), the Josef Sudek Gallery and The Josef Sudek Studio, the , the National Gallery, which manages the largest collection of art in the Czech Republic and the Kunsthalle Praha, the newest museum in the city.

There are hundreds of concert halls, galleries, cinemas and music clubs in the city. It hosts music festivals including the Prague Spring International Music Festival, the Prague Autumn International Music Festival, the Prague International Organ Festival, the Dvořák Prague International Music Festival, and the Prague International Jazz Festival. Film festivals include the , the One World Film Festival and Echoes of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The city also hosts the Prague Writers' Festival, the Prague Folklore Days, Prague Advent Choral Meeting the Summer Shakespeare Festival, the Prague Fringe Festival, the World Roma Festival, as well as the hundreds of and .

With the growth of low-cost airlines in Europe, Prague has become a weekend city destination allowing tourists to visit its museums and cultural sites as well as try its Czech beers and cuisine.

The city has many buildings by renowned architects, including (Villa Müller), () and ().

Recent major events held in Prague:

  • International Monetary Fund and Summit 2000
  • Summit 2002
  • International Olympic Committee Session 2004
  • IAU General Assembly 2006 (Definition of planet)
  • EU & USA Summit 2009
  • Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2009
  • USA & Russia Summit 2010 (signing of the New START treaty)

In popular culture
The early 1912 silent drama film Pro peníze was filmed mostly in Prague. Many films have been afterwards made at Barrandov Studios and at Prague Studios. Hollywood films produced in Prague include , Dungeons and Dragons, xXx, , Children of Dune, Alien vs. Predator, Doom, Chronicles of Narnia, Hellboy, , Van Helsing, , and . Many Indian films have also been filmed in the city including , Drona and Rockstar.

Among the most famous foreign filmed in Prague are: Never Tear Us Apart by , by , Silver and Cold by AFI, Diamonds from Sierra Leone by and Don't Stop the Music by .

set in Prague include Osman, , , , Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb, , Still Life, , , Forza Motorsport 5, 6 and .

In 2008, the Allegro restaurant received the first in the whole of the post-Communist part of Central Europe. It retained its star until 2011. , there were just two Michelin-starred restaurants in Prague: Bohême Bourgeoise and Field. Another six have been awarded Michelin's Bib Gourmand: Bistrøt 104, Divinis, Eska, Maso a Kobliha, Na Kopci and Sansho. However, as of 2022, there are 27 Michelin-starred restaurants in Prague which still include La Degustation Bohême Bourgeoise and Field.

Czech beer has a long history, with brewing taking place in Břevnov Monastery in 993. In Old Town, Žižkov and there are hundreds of restaurants, bars and pubs, especially with Czech beer. Prague also hosts several microbrewery festivals throughout the year. The city is home to historical Staropramen (Praha 5), U Fleků, U Medvídků, U Tří růží, Strahov Monastery Brewery (Praha 1) and Břevnov Monastery Brewery (Praha 6). Among many microbreweries are: Novoměstský, Pražský most u Valšů, Národní, Boršov, Loď pivovar, U Dobřenských, U Dvou koček, U Supa (Praha 1), Pivovarský dům (Praha 2), Sousedský pivovar Bašta (Praha 4), Suchdolský Jeník, Libocký pivovar (Praha 6), Marina (Praha 7), U Bulovky (Praha 8), Beznoska, Kolčavka (Praha 9), Vinohradský pivovar, Zubatý pes, Malešický mikropivovar (Praha 10), Jihoměstský pivovar (Praha 11), Lužiny (Praha 13), Počernický pivovar (Praha 14) and Hostivar (Praha 15).

Prague's economy accounts for 25% of the Czech GDP making it the highest performing regional economy of the country. As of 2021, its GDP per capita in purchasing power standard is €58,216, making it the third best performing region in the EU at 203 per cent of the EU-27 average in 2021.

Prague employs almost a fifth of the entire Czech workforce, and its wages are significantly above average (≈+20%). In 4Q/2020, during the pandemic, average salaries available in Prague reached CZK 45.944 (≈1,800) per month, an annual increase of 4%, which was nevertheless lower than national increase of 6.5% both in nominal and real terms. (Inflation in the Czech Republic was 3.2% in 4Q/2020.) Since 1990, the city's economic structure has shifted from industrial to service-oriented. Industry is present in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, printing, food processing, manufacture of transport equipment, computer technology, and electrical engineering. In the service sector, financial and commercial services, trade, restaurants, hospitality and public administration are the most significant. Services account for around 80 per cent of employment. There are 800,000 employees in Prague, including 120,000 commuters. The number of (legally registered) foreign residents in Prague has been increasing in spite of the country's economic downturn. As of March 2010, 148,035 foreign workers were reported to be living in the city making up about 18 per cent of the workforce, up from 131,132 in 2008. Approximately one-fifth of all investment in the Czech Republic takes place in the city. Almost one-half of the national income from tourism is spent in Prague. The city offers approximately 73,000 beds in accommodation facilities, most of which were built after 1990, including almost 51,000 beds in hotels and boarding houses.

From the late 1990s to late 2000s, the city was a common filming location for international productions such as Hollywood and Bollywood motion pictures. A combination of architecture, low costs and the existing motion picture infrastructure have proven attractive to international film production companies.

The modern economy of Prague is largely service and export-based and, in a 2010 survey, the city was named the best city in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) for business.

In 2005, Prague was deemed among the three best cities in Central and Eastern Europe according to 's livability rankings. The city was named as a top-tier nexus city for innovation across multiple sectors of the global innovation economy, placing 29th globally out of 289 cities, ahead of and for innovation in 2010.

Na příkopě is the most expensive street among all the states of the V4. In 2017, with the amount of rent €2,640 (CZK 67,480) per square meter per year, ranked on 22nd place among the most expensive streets in the world. The second most expensive is Pařížská street.

In the Eurostat research, Prague ranked fifth among Europe's 271 regions in terms of gross domestic product per inhabitant, achieving 172 per cent of the EU average. It ranked just above Paris and well above the country as a whole, which achieved 80 per cent of the EU average.

Companies with highest turnover in the region in 2014:


Prague is also the site of some of the most important offices and institutions of the Czech Republic

  • President of the Czech Republic
  • The Government and both houses of Parliament
  • Ministries and other national offices (Industrial Property Office, Czech Statistical Office, National Security Authority, etc.)
  • Czech National Bank
  • and other major broadcasters
  • Radio Free Europe – Radio Liberty
  • Galileo global navigation project
  • Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, Prague has become one of the world's most popular tourist destinations. Prague suffered considerably less damage during World War II than some other major cities in the region, allowing most of its historic architecture to stay true to form. It contains one of the world's most pristine and varied collections of architecture, from , to Gothic, , , , Neo-Renaissance, Neo-Gothic, , , and ultra-modern.

Prague is classified as an "Alpha-" according to studies, comparable to , and Washington, D.C. Prague ranked sixth in the world list of best destinations in 2016. Its rich history makes it a popular tourist destination, and the city receives more than 8.4 million international visitors annually, . Furthermore, the city was ranked 7th in the world ICCA Destination Performance Index measuring performance of conference tourism in 2021.

Main attractions

Hradčany and Lesser Town (Malá Strana)
  • with the St. Vitus Cathedral which stores the Czech Crown Jewels
  • The picturesque (Karlův most)
  • The Baroque Saint Nicholas Church
  • Church of Our Lady Victorious and Infant Jesus of Prague
  • Písek Gate, one of the last preserved city gate of Baroque fortification
  • Petřín Hill with Petřín Lookout Tower, Mirror Maze and Petřín funicular
  • The Franz Kafka Museum
  • , an island with a view of the Charles Bridge
  • The Baroque Wallenstein Palace with its garden

Old Town (Staré Město) and Josefov
  • The Astronomical Clock (Orloj) on Old Town City Hall
  • The Gothic Church of Our Lady before Týn (Kostel Matky Boží před Týnem) from the 14th century with 80 m high towers
  • Stone Bell House
  • The vaulted Gothic Old New Synagogue (Staronová Synagoga) of 1270
  • Old Jewish Cemetery
  • Powder Tower (Prašná brána), a Gothic tower of the old city gates
  • Spanish Synagogue with its elaborate interior decoration
  • Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí) with gothic and baroque architectural styles
  • The art nouveau , a major civic landmark and concert hall known for its architectural style and political history in the Czech Republic.
  • Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, with an extensive collections including glass, furniture, textile, toys, Art Nouveau, Cubism and Art Deco
  • Clam-Gallas Palace, a baroque palace from 1713
  • Church of St. Martin in the Wall
  • Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace, with elements of High and the later and Second-Rococo adaptations. Known today for its well-preserved dance hall
  • St. Clement's Cathedral, Prague

New Town (Nové Město)
  • Busy and historic
  • The neo-renaissance National Museum with large scientific and historical collections at the head of Wenceslas Square. It is the largest museum in the Czech Republic, covering disciplines from the natural sciences to specialized areas of the social sciences. The staircase of the building offers a nice view of the New Town.
  • The National Theatre, a neo-Renaissance building with golden roof, alongside the banks of the Vltava river
  • The (Fred and Ginger Building)
  • , the largest medieval square in Europe (now turned into a park)
  • The and "Prague to Its Victorious Sons" at Palacky Square (Palackého náměstí)
  • The museum of the Heydrich assassination in the crypt of the Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius
  • 's Jubilee Synagogue is the largest in Prague
  • The Mucha Museum, showcasing the works of
  • Church of St. Apollinaire, Prague
  • Church of Saint Michael the Archangel in Prague
  • Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and St. Charles the Great, Prague
  • Church of Our Lady on the Lawn
  • St. Wenceslas Church (Zderaz)
  • St. Stephen's Church

Vinohrady and Žižkov
  • National Monument in Vitkov with a large bronze equestrian statue of Jan Žižka in Vítkov Park, Žižkov – Prague 3
  • The neo-Gothic Church of St. Ludmila at Míru Square in
  • Žižkov Television Tower
  • New Jewish Cemetery in Olšany, location of 's grave – Prague 3
  • The Roman Catholic Sacred Heart Church at Jiřího z Poděbrad Square
  • The grand Neo-Renaissance, Art Nouveau, Pseudo Baroque, and Neo-Gothic buildings in the area between Míru Square, Jiřího z Poděbrad Square and Havlíčkovy sady park

Other places
  • Vyšehrad Castle with Basilica of St Peter and St Paul, Vyšehrad cemetery and Prague oldest Rotunda of St. Martin
  • The at Letná Park, a giant, functional metronome that looms over the city
  • in Troja, selected as the 7th best zoo in the world by magazine in 2007 and the 4th best by in 2015
  • Industrial Palace (Průmyslový palác), Křižík's Light fountain, funfair Lunapark and Sea World Aquarium in Výstaviště compound in Holešovice
  • Letohrádek Hvězda (Star Villa) in , a renaissance villa in the shape of a six-pointed star surrounded by a game reserve
  • National Gallery in Prague with large collection of Czech and international paintings and sculptures by artists such as , Kupka, , and
  • Opera performances in National Theatre – unlike drama, all opera performances run with English subtitles.
  • Anděl, a busy part of the city with modern architecture and a shopping mall
  • The large , spans the Valley, linking New Town to Pankrác, with the Metro running underneath the road
  • Strahov Monastery, an old Czech premonstratensian abbey founded in 1149 and monastic library
  • Hotel International Prague, a four-star hotel and Czech cultural monument

is a historic bridge from the 14th century.]]
is the biggest ancient castle in the world.]]
Theatre and Church of St. Ludmila]]
and host funfair Lunapark.]]
lying in the loft.]]
, selected in 2015 as the fourth best zoo in the world by ]]

Tourism statistics
Prague is by far the most visited Czech city. In 2022, Prague was visited by 8,044,324 guests who stayed overnight, of which 84.6% were from abroad. Average number of overnight stays of non-residents was 2.4. Most non-residents arriving to Prague and staying overnight were from the following countries:

In 2021, the most visited tourist destinations of Prague were:


Nine public universities and thirty six private universities are located in the city, including:

Public universities
  • Charles University (UK) founded in 1348, the oldest university in Central Europe
  • Czech Technical University (ČVUT) founded in 1707
  • University of Chemistry and Technology (VŠCHT) founded in 1920
  • University of Economics (VŠE) founded in 1953
  • Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (ČZU) founded in 1906/1952
  • Czech Police Academy (PA ČR) founded in 1993

Public arts academies
  • Academy of Fine Arts (AVU) founded in 1800
  • Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design (VŠUP) founded in 1885
  • Academy of Performing Arts (AMU) founded in 1945

Private universities
  • Jan Amos Komenský University (UJAK) founded in 2001
  • Metropolitan University Prague (MUP) founded in 2001
  • The University of Finance and Administration (VSFS) founded in 1999

Largest private colleges
  • University College of Business in Prague (VŠO) founded in 2000
  • (VŠEM) founded in 2001
  • (VŠPP) founded in 2000
  • (VŠH) founded in 1999
  • College of International and Public Relations Prague (VŠMVV) founded in 2001
  • (CEVRO) founded in 2005
  • (AMBIS) founded in 1994
  • (Vysoká škola zdravotnická) founded in 2005
  • Anglo-American University (AAVŠ) founded in 2000
  • University of New York in Prague (UNYP) founded in 1998

International institutions

Science, research and hi-tech centres
The region city of Prague is an important centre of research. It is the seat of 39 out of 54 institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences, including the largest ones, the Institute of Physics, the Institute of Microbiology and the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry. It is also a seat of 10 public research institutes, four business incubators and large hospitals performing research and development activities such as the Motol University Hospital or Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, which was the largest transplant center in as of 2019. Universities seated in Prague (see section Colleges and Universities) also represent important centres of science and research activities.

, there were 13,000 researchers (out of 30,000 in the country, counted in full-time equivalents), representing a 3% share of Prague's economically active population. Gross expenditure on research and development accounted for €901.3 million (41.5% of country's total).J. Pechlát (2010). " Prague as a knowledge city-region " In: Teorie vědy, XXXI/3–4 2009, The Institute of Philosophy of the AS CR, pp. 247–267.

Some well-known multinational companies have established research and development facilities in Prague, among them , , Oracle, and Broadcom.

Prague was selected to host administration of the EU satellite navigation system Galileo. It started to provide its first services in December 2016 and full completion is expected by 2020.

, Prague's transport by journey was 52% public transport, 24.5% by car, 22.4% on foot, 0.4% by bike and 0.5% by aeroplane.

Public transportation
The public transport infrastructure consists of the heavily used Prague Integrated Transport (PID, Pražská integrovaná doprava) system, consisting of the (lines A, B, and C – its length is with 61 stations in total), Prague tram system, Prague buses service, , , and seven . Prague has one of the highest rates of public transport usage in the world, with 1.2 billion passenger journeys per year.

Prague has about 300 bus lines (numbers 100–960) and 34 regular tram lines (numbers 1–26 and 91–99). As of 2022 the bus lines are being extended with lines.

There are also three , one on Petřín Hill, one on Mrázovka Hill and a third at the . The Prague tram system now operates various types of trams, including the Tatra T3, newer Tatra KT8D5, Škoda 14 T (designed by Porsche), newer modern Škoda 15 T and nostalgic tram lines 23 and 41. Around 400 vehicles are the modernized T3 class, which are typically operated coupled together in pairs.

The Prague tram system is the twelfth longest in the world (144 km) and its rolling stock consists of 857 individual cars, which is the third largest in the world behind Moscow and Budapest. The system carries more than 360 million passengers annually, the highest tram patronage in the world after , on a per capita basis, Prague has the second highest tram patronage after Zürich.

All services (metro, tramways, city buses, funiculars and ferries) have a common ticketing system that operates on a system. Basic transfer tickets can be bought for 30 and 90-minute rides, short-term tourist passes are available for periods of 24 hours or 3 days, and longer-term tickets can be bought on the smart ticketing system Lítačka, for periods of one month, three months or one year. Since August 2021, people up to the age of 14 and over 65 can use Prague's public transport free of charge (proof of age is required). Persons between 15 and 18 years and between 60 and 64 years pay half price for single tickets and day tickets.

Services are run by the Prague Public Transport Company and several other companies. Since 2005 the Regional Organiser of Prague Integrated Transport (ROPID) has franchised operation of ferries on the river, which are also a part of the public transport system with common fares. services make pick-ups on the streets or operate from regulated taxi stands.

Prague Metro
The has three major lines extending throughout the city: A (green), B (yellow) and C (red). A fourth Metro line D is under construction, which will connect the city centre to southern parts of the city (as of 2022, the completion is expected in 2028). The Prague Metro system served 589.2 million passengers in 2012, making it the fifth busiest metro system in Europe and the most-patronised in the world on a per capita basis. The first section of the Prague metro was put into operation in 1974. It was the stretch between stations Kačerov and Florenc on the current line C. The first part of Line A was opened in 1978 (Dejvická – Náměstí Míru), the first part of line B in 1985 (Anděl – Florenc).

In April 2015, construction finished to extend the green line A further into the northwest corner of Prague closer to the airport. A new interchange station for the bus in the direction of the airport is the station Nádraží Veleslavín. The final station of the green line is (Motol Hospital), giving people direct public transportation access to the largest medical facility in the Czech Republic and one of the largest in Europe. A railway connection to the airport is planned.

In operation there are two kinds of units: "81-71M" which is modernized variant of the Soviet Metrovagonmash 81-71 (completely modernized between 1995 and 2003) and new "Metro M1" trains (since 2000), manufactured by consortium consisting of , ČKD Praha and . The minimum interval between two trains is 90 seconds.

The original Soviet vehicles "Ečs" were excluded in 1997, but one vehicle is placed in public transport museum in depot Střešovice. The Náměstí Míru metro station is the deepest station and is equipped with the longest in . The is generally considered very safe.

The main flow of traffic leads through the centre of the city and through inner and outer ring roads (partially in operation).

  • Inner Ring Road (The City Ring "MO"): surrounds central Prague. It is the longest city in with a length of and five interchanges has been completed to relieve congestion in the north-western part of Prague. Called Blanka tunnel complex and part of the City Ring Road, it was estimated to eventually cost (after several increases) 43 billion. Construction started in 2007 and, after repeated delays, the tunnel officially opened in September 2015. This tunnel complex completes a major part of the inner ring road.
  • Outer Ring Road (The Prague Ring "D0"): this ring road will connect all major motorways and speedways that meet each other in Prague region and provide faster transit without a necessity to drive through the city. So far , out of a total planned , is in operation. Most recently, the southern part of this road (with a length of more than ) was opened on 22 September 2010. As of 2021, the next section between and Běchovice is planned to be completed in 2025.

The city forms the hub of the Czech railway system, with services to all parts of the country and abroad. The railway system links Prague with major European cities (which can be reached without transfers), including , , , , and (Germany); , and (Austria); and Kraków (Poland); , and Košice (Slovakia); (Hungary); and Zürich (Switzerland). Travel times range between 2 hours to Dresden and 13 hours to Zürich.

Prague's main international railway station is Hlavní nádraží, rail services are also available from other main stations: Masarykovo nádraží, Holešovice and Smíchov, in addition to suburban stations. Commuter rail services operate under the name , which is part of PID (Prague Integrated Transport).

Prague is served by Václav Havel Airport Prague, the largest airport in the Czech Republic and one of the largest and busiest airports in central and eastern . The airport is the hub of carriers and operating throughout Europe. Other airports in Prague include the city's original airport in the north-eastern district of Kbely, which is serviced by the Czech Air Force, also internationally. It also houses the Prague Aviation Museum. The nearby Letňany Airport is mainly used for private aviation and aeroclub aviation. Another airport in the proximity is aircraft factory to the north, used for testing purposes, as well as for aeroclub aviation. There are a few aeroclubs around Prague, such as the Točná airfield.

In 2018, 1–2.5 % of people commute by bike in Prague, depending on season. Cycling is very common as a sport or recreation. As of 2019, there were of protected cycle paths and routes. Also, there were of and of specially marked bus lanes that are free to be used by cyclists. As of 2021, there are four companies providing bicycle sharing in Prague, none of them is subsidized by the city: (1,000 bikes), (1,000 bikes), Bolt and Lime.

Prague is the site of many sports events, national stadiums and teams.

  • Sparta Prague (Czech First League) – football club
  • Slavia Prague (Czech First League) – football club
  • Bohemians 1905 (Czech First League) – football club
  • Dukla Prague (Czech 2nd Football League) – football club
  • Viktoria Žižkov (Czech 2nd Football League) – football club
  • HC Sparta Praha () – ice hockey club
  • HC Slavia Praha (Czech 2nd Hockey League) – ice hockey club
  • (National Basketball League) – basketball club
  • (European League of Football) –American football
  • O2 Arena – the second largest ice hockey arena in Europe. It hosted 2004 and 2015 Ice Hockey World Championship, NHL 2008 and 2010 Opening Game and Final Four.
  • Strahov Stadium – the largest stadium in the world
  • Prague International Marathon
  • Prague Open – Tennis Tournament held by the I. Czech Lawn Tennis Club
  • Sparta Prague Open – Tennis Tournament held in Prague 7
  • Josef Odložil Memorial – athletics meeting
  • World Ultimate Club Championships 2010 concluded in and .
  • Mystic SK8 Cup – World Cup of Skateboarding venue held at the Štvanice skatepark
  • Gutovka– sport area with a large concrete , the highest outdoor in Central Europe, four courts and children's playground; Central European Beach Volleyball Championship 2018 took place here.

International relations
The city of Prague maintains its own EU delegation in called Prague House.

Prague was the location of U.S. President 's speech on 5 April 2009, which led to the treaty with Russia, signed in Prague on 8 April 2010.Ratification of the START treaty is a step towards Obama's goal of a nuclear weapons-free world. (Official White House Photo) by Pete Souza Dec. 2010 .

The annual conference Forum 2000, which was founded by former Czech President Václav Havel, Japanese philanthropist Yōhei Sasakawa, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate in 1996, is held in Prague. Its main objective is "to identify the key issues facing civilization and to explore ways to prevent the escalation of conflicts that have religion, culture or ethnicity as their primary components", and also intends to promote democracy in non-democratic countries and to support civil society. Conferences have attracted a number of prominent thinkers, Nobel laureates, former and acting politicians, business leaders and other individuals like: Frederik Willem de Klerk, , , Oscar Arias Sánchez, , Hans Küng, and Madeleine Albright.

Twin towns – sister cities
Prague is with:

A number of other settlements are derived or similar to the name of Prague. In many of these cases, Czech emigration has left a number of namesake cities scattered over the globe, with a notable concentration in the .
  • Praha, Slovakia
  • Praha, Texas, United States
  • Prague, Oklahoma, United States
  • Prague, Nebraska, United States
  • New Prague, Minnesota, United States

Additionally, Kłodzko is sometimes referred to as "Little Prague" (Klein-Prag). Although now in , it had been traditionally a part of until 1763 when it became part of .

See also
  • Churches in Prague
  • List of people from Prague
  • Outline of the Czech Republic
  • Outline of Prague
  • List of museums in Prague

Further reading

Culture and society
  • . Prague Pictures: Portraits of a City. Bloomsbury, 2004.
  • Becker, Edwin et al., ed. Prague 1900: Poetry and Ecstasy (2000). 224 pp.
  • (2024). 9781588391612, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. .
  • Burton, Richard D. E. Prague: A Cultural and Literary History (2003). 268 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Cohen, Gary B. The Politics of Ethnic Survival: Germans in Prague, 1861–1914 (1981). 344 pp.
  • Fucíková, Eliska, ed. Rudolf II and Prague: The Court and the City (1997). 792 pp.
  • Holz, Keith. Modern German Art for Thirties Paris, Prague, and London: Resistance and Acquiescence in a Democratic Public Sphere (2004). 359 pp.
  • Iggers, Wilma Abeles. Women of Prague: Ethnic Diversity and Social Change from the Eighteenth Century to the Present (1995). 381 pp. online edition
  • Porizka, Lubomir; Hojda, Zdenek; and Pesek, Jirí. The Palaces of Prague (1995). 216 pp.
  • Rybár, Ctibor. Jewish Prague: Notes on History and Culture — A Guidebook (1991).
  • Sayer, Derek. Prague: Crossroads of Europe. London Reaktion Books, 2018. .
  • Sayer, Derek. Prague, Capital of the Twentieth Century: A Surrealist History (Princeton University Press; 2013) 595 pp.; a study of the city as a crossroads for modernity.
  • Sayer, Derek. "The Language of Nationality and the Nationality of Language: Prague 1780–1920", Past & Present 1996 (153): 164–210. in Jstor
  • Spector, Scott. Prague Territories: National Conflict and Cultural Innovation in Kafka's Fin de Siècle (2000). 331 pp. online edition
  • Svácha, Rostislav. The Architecture of New Prague, 1895–1945 (1995). 573 pp.
  • Wittlich, Peter. Prague: Fin de Siècle (1992). 280 pp.

External links

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