Prague is bursting at the seams with things to do. Highbrow pursuits rival opportunities for more frivolous entertainment. Whether you choose the city’s rich musical heritage or simply enjoy a pint of Pilsner in one of its legendary beer cellars, this is the city where there really is something for everyone.
With its world-class productions of opera, ballet and classical music, its exceptionally beautiful and historic venues and its incredibly affordable ticket prices, it’s no surprise that Prague is one of the world’s true cultural hubs. So it would be a shame to visit the Czech capital without taking in a show. Prague’s musical history is a rich and varied one. Not only is the city renowned for producing some of history’s great composers, including Antonin Dvořák or Bedřich Smetana, but it also attracted great composers from overseas, like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (who premièred Don Giovanni in the city in 1787).
The monastery, which became known as the Strahov monastery, was not much of a success until 1143, when a group of Premonstratensians settled here. The Premonstratensians are a Roman Catholic order of canons founded in 1120 by St. Norbert. They are also known as the Norbertians or White Canons. During communist times, the monastery was closed and many monks were imprisoned.
This exquisite Baroque church was built between 1704-1755 by Kilian Dientzenhofer, it is one of the most beautiful Baroque churches in Europe. Building was completed in 1735, but in 1781 Emperor Jozef II ordered the closure of monasteries and the decorations were removed.
Prague has played host to a huge amount of different composers in its long history. Mozart visited here often, as did Haydn and Tchaikovsky, with the former even naming one of his pieces after the city. It isn’t just visitors to the city who have put Prague on the classical map though, as there are a number of composers to have been born in the country, with the most famous of these being the world renowned Dvorak.
During the 1770s and 1780s Prague was one of the jewels of Europe – a city that could rival anywhere in terms of culture and opulence. When the city was victim to a terrible fire, the rebuilding effort only enhanced the look and feel of the city, with architects from various countries all leaving their mark on the buildings and providing some of the incredible palaces, churches and gardens that can still be found today.
Marianske Lazne is an elegant Neo-Classical and Art Noveau spa town (though less well-known than Karlovy Vary) with a wide spectrum of natural therapeutic resources and excellent climatic conditions, set among an amazing natural mountain panorama. The city is situated about 150km from Prague.