From Romanesque buildings and Baroque structures to towering monuments of Communist Prague, this city’s historical buildings have been restored, renovated and revered for many, many years. Add to this a more modern crop of construction across the Czech capital and you have the dream destination for architecture aficionados. Take a look at our guide to architecture in Prague and discover everything from castles to crawling babies.
Begin your architectural tour of Prague by going back in time to the 10th century, when the city was home to many Romanesque buildings. See one of the finest existing examples of this period at St. George’s Basilica, hidden away within the historic Prague Castlecomplex. Considered something of a work in progress, the basilica has been reinvented and redeveloped many times over the years, resulting in a patchwork of different styles – luckily, its Romanesque twin steeples remain.
The oldest Romanesque rotunda in the city, St. Martin Rotunda is also worth stopping by. Having escaped demolition on a fair few occasions – and once used as a gunpowder store – this is the largest of its kind in the city.
Skip forward to the Gothic period at the famed 14th century Charles Bridge, with its imposing statuary and views down the Vltava River. Best enjoyed at dawn, (before the crowds make a leisurely amble out of the question), the bridge also affords fantastic vistas of the “City of One Thousand Spires”.
And two of the most famous spires to look out for top the impressive Church of Our Lady Before Tyn, dominating one side of Old Town Square. Built on the bones of a Romanesque church, construction began for this particular building in the 14th century and its spiked towers, legend has it, gave Walt Disney the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.
Another great example of Gothic architecture in Prague can be found at St. Vitus Cathedral, also within the Prague Castle complex. Built over six centuries, this vast Cathedral includes a richly decorated façade and high vaulted ceilings, typical of the Gothic style, as well as Neo-Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and 20th century elements, incorporated over the many generations it took to build.