Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic, the 13th largest city in the European Union and the historic capital of Bohemia. Located on the Vltava river, Prague has a population of about 1.3 million and the metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of 2.7 million. The city has a warm oceanic climate, with relatively warm summers and chilly winters.
Prague is the political, cultural and economic center of Central Europe and has a rich history. Founded during the Romanesque era and flourishing during the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque eras, Prague was the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia and home to several Holy Roman Emperors, especially Charles IV (1346–1378). It was an important city for the Habsburgs and their Austro-Hungarian Empire. The city played a major role in the Bohemian and Protestant Reformation, the Thirty Years’ War, and the history of the 20th century as the capital of Czechoslovakia during World War II and the post-war communist era.
Prague has many famous cultural attractions, many of which survived the violence and destruction of Europe in the 20th century. Major attractions include Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square with Prague Astronomical Clock, Jewish Quarter, Petrin Hill and Vysehrad. Since 1992, Prague’s vast historic center has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The city is home to more than 10 major museums, numerous theaters, galleries, cinemas and other historical exhibits. Large modern public transport connects the city. There are a variety of public and private schools, including Charles University in Prague, the oldest university in Central Europe.
According to a GaWC survey, Prague was classified as an “Alpha” global city and was ranked 6th on TripAdvisor’s 2016 Best Destinations in the World. In 2019, Prague was ranked by Mercer as the 69th most livable city in the world. That same year, the PICSA Index ranked the city as the 13th most livable city in the world. Its rich history has made it a popular tourist destination, and as of 2017, the city is visited by more than 8.5 million international visitors annually. In 2017, Prague was listed as the fifth most visited European city after London, Paris, Rome and Istanbul.
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