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Before the city of Prague, the Prague basin met the Slavic tribes in the 5th century. In the period between 870 to 890, Prince Borivoj of the Czech tribe founded a castle named Praha overlooking the Vltavariver. This important event is a point in Czech history when a state with a principal city was formed. This castle was the seat of the Premyslid family. Then in the first half of the 10th Century, on the other side of the Vltava, another castle was built, Vysehrad.

Old Town, Hradcany and Mala Strana are created
As the settlements grew large, King Wenceslas I enclosed the right bank settlement with fortifications.
And sometime after 1230, the fortified area acquired the first town privileges with a royal blessing thus giving it a town status. It was called PragueTown but latter to be known as OldTown(Stare Mesto). On the left bank, in 1257, King Premysl the II, with the help of foreign colonists, gave the town the name Lesser Town ofPrague. In the early 14th century, the settlement west of the castle gained town status and was given the name Hradcany.

Prague Flourishes under Charles IV
Prague went through prosperity during the reign of King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor Charles the IV(Karel IV 1346-1378). He reconstructed Prague in High Gothic Style and added new expensive buildings at the castle, at Vysehrad, and in the town. He also expanded the city with New Town of Prague(Nove Mesto Prazske) in 1348. Along with this, he founded the oldest University in Central Europe(1348),CharlesUniversity and built CharlesBridge. At this point in Prague's history, it had more inhabitants(around 40,000) than Paris!

Trouble Arises - Church Reform and Martyr Jan Hus
After King Charles' death in 1378, trouble arose. Economic difficulty along with demands for Church reform appeared. Jan Hus emerged and lead a movement against secularization and materialization of the Church. In 1415 he was ordered by the Church to be burned at the stake. This lead to the Hussite Revolution in the years 1419 to 1434. During the wars in this period, Prague suffered quite a bit of damage. On the other hand, it gained huge political gains. Around the time of the 15th/16th century, Prague castle was reconstructed in the Late Gothic style.

Habsburg dynasty ascended the throne of Bohemia
In the year 1526, the Habsburg dynasty ascended the throne of Bohemia.This lead to the first anti-Habsburg uprising of the Bohemian Estates in 1547. This uprising was defeated and the consequence was that the Prague Towns lost a large portion of their property and political privileges. Although of all what was going on, this period was the era of when culture flourished.

The Thirty Year War
In 1618, the Imperial Governors were thrown out of the window of PragueCastle which began the first act of the Czech revolt against the Habsburgs. This ultimately led to the devestating Thirty Years War. Then on November the 8th in the year 1620, the battle at White Moutain(Bila Hora - just next to the city) took place. The defeat of this battle was the final defeat of the Czech revolt. The victorious army of Emperor Ferdinand II and the Catholic League looted Prague(one of the richest towns, at this time, in Europe) with absolutely no mercy, none what so ever! As a result, Prague lost the rest of its political privileges and 27 insurgents were beheaded in 1621 on the Old Town Square(today there are white crosses on the spots where the executions took place). Many others were given prison sentences. Thousands of non-Catholic people then left because they did not wish to convert to Catholism. By the year 1630, Prague was entirley Catholicized. Thereafter, the city ceased to exist as the residential city of the Austrian Habsburgs. The results of the Thirty Year War were devestating which also included huge loss of life(Czech).

The Swedes try to Invade Prague
In 1648, the invasion of Prague by the Swedes was not successful and Prague held its own ground. Vienna thus decided that Prague would be turned into a fortress. In 1654, work began on the new Baroque fortifications. This lasted a whole half a century. Prague also was reconstructed in the Baroque style. This, though, was at the expense of a decline in civic life. In 1784, Emperor Jospeh II merged the four historical Prague Towns(OldTown, New Town, Lesser Town and Hradcany) into a unified CapitalCity of Prague.

Rewakening: The Bohemian National Revival
Now with the capital city in place, the Bohemian national revival began.
The revival accumulated and the pinacle was reached in 1848. Many important things happened in Prague for the Czech National Revival. This included the construction of the National Theater in 1881 to 1883, the establishment of a CzechUniversity in 1882, the foundation of the CzechAcademy of Science and Arts in 1890 and the construction of a representative building of the NationalMuseum in 1890. From 1848 to World War I(1914), Prague grew at a fast pace. It became one of the most industrialized cities in the Austrian-Hungarian empire. Despite this, Prague was still a provincial city.

October 28 1918:Independence
After the fall of the Astro-Hungarian Empire after World War ICzechoslovakia was formed. On October 28, 1918Prague was established as the capital city of the CzechoslovakRepublic. In 1920, Prague city limits were expanded to include 37 neighbouring towns and villages. Now the city was known as the Great(er) Prague. By the year 1938, Prague had around one million inhabitabts and entered European consciousness as an important cultural center.
Nazis Invade - Surge of Prosperity in Prague HALTED
Before World War II, the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia halted the surge of Prague's prosperity. As US liberated Western Europe, the Soviets came from the East and liberated most of Eastern Europe. The US army made it to Plzen, but they let the Soviets get to Prague first. Maybe the only "good" thing to be said was Prague was virtually unscathed by the destruction that most other European cities saw(like Warsaw!).

By 1948, the Communists were elected in Prague to lead the government. By 1968, Dubcek tried to mix Socialism with some freedom. This led to the Prague Spring in 1968 which was crushed by a Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. During Communism, prosperity was not to be found. Prague began to lag behind other European metropolises. Prague saw huge housing developments taking place. Over 150,000 "flats" (those ugly-looking apartment hosing structures) were constructed! Maybe the only "good" thing to come out was a well developed metro system.

Velvet Revolution
OnNovember 17 1989, the Czech and Slovak peoples spoke out and protested against Communist rule. Their demonstrations eventually led to the end of fourty some years of Communist rule. Democracy had come to Czechoslovakia and now Prague was the seat to the free Czechoslovakia. But on January First 1993Czechoslovakia ceased to exist. The divorce of of the Czech Republic from the Slovak republic gave Prague the seat to the capital of the Czech Republic. Today Prague is the heart of Europe. It is the city filled with tourists and the city of hopes by optimitic Czechs looking for a bright future which is the result of a bitter past 50 years.