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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.
Town, Hradcany and Mala Strana are created
the settlements grew large, King Wenceslas I enclosed the right bank settlement
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.
Flourishes under Charles IV
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)
Arises - Church Reform and Martyr Jan Hus
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.
dynasty ascended the throne of Bohemia
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.
Thirty Year War
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
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
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).
Swedes try to Invade Prague
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
The Bohemian National Revival
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.
the fall of the Astro-Hungarian Empire after World
War I, Czechoslovakia
was formed. On October
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.
Invade - Surge of Prosperity in Prague HALTED
World War II, the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia
halted the surge of Prague's
prosperity. As US liberated Western
the Soviets came from the East and liberated most of Eastern
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!).
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.
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 1993, Czechoslovakia
ceased to exist. The divorce of of the Czech
from the Slovak republic gave Prague
the seat to the capital of the Czech
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