Laurie Mariba
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Laurie Mariba

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Prague (IPA: /ˈprɑːɡ/, Czech: Praha (IPA: [ˈpraɦa]), see also other names) is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Its official name is Hlavní město Praha, meaning Prague, the Capital City.

Situated on the River Vltava in central Bohemia, Prague has been the political, cultural, and economic centre of the Czech state for more than 1100 years. The city proper is home to more than 1.2 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 1.9 million.[1]

Since 1992, the extensive historic centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. According to Guinness World Records, Prague Castle is the largest medieval castle in the world.[citation needed] Nicknames for Prague have included "the mother of cities" (Praga mater urbium, or "Praha matka měst" in Czech)", "city of a hundred spires" and "the golden city"[2].
Contents
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* 1 Etymology
* 2 History
o 2.1 Ancient Prague
o 2.2 The era of Charles IV
o 2.3 The Habsburg era
o 2.4 20th century
+ 2.4.1 The 1st Republic
+ 2.4.2 Second World War
+ 2.4.3 Prague during the Cold War
+ 2.4.4 Era after the Velvet Revolution
* 3 Sights
* 4 Climate
* 5 Culture
* 6 Economy
* 7 Colleges and universities
* 8 Transport
o 8.1 Rail
o 8.2 Air
o 8.3 Taxis
* 9 Sport
* 10 Miscellaneous
* 11 Prague as a venue
* 12 International relations
* 13 Namesakes
* 14 See also
* 15 References
* 16 External Links and Readings

[edit] Etymology

The name Prague comes from an old Slavic root, praga, which means “ford”, referring to the city's origin at a crossing of the Vltava River. This root is found in other toponyms in the region. For example, a district of Warsaw bears the name of Praga.

The native name of the city, Praha, is also related to the modern Czech word práh, which means “threshold.” A popular etymology connects the name of the city to the fact that the city is located on the threshold of the Slavic and German worlds.

A legendary etymology connects the name of the city with Libuše, prophetess and mythical founder of the Přemyslid dynasty. She is said to have ordered the city to be built where a man stood on the threshold of his house. Others finally, fascinated by the magic character of the city, affirm that Prague lies on the threshold of a door of access to other worlds or other dimensions[3].

[edit] History
Vltava river
Charles Bridge.
Prague seen from Spot Satellite
A view of one of the bridge towers of the Charles Bridge.
Prague Castle at night.
St. Vitus Cathedral.
Main article: History of Prague
This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unverifiable material may be challenged and removed. (August 2008)

The history of Prague spans thousands of years, during which time the city grew from the Vyšehrad Castle to the multicultural capital of a modern European state, the Czech Republic.
[edit] Ancient Prague

The area on which Prague was founded was settled as early as the Paleolithic Age. Around 200 BC the Celts had a settlement in the south, called Závist, but later they were replaced by the Marcomanni a Germanic people and later by the Slavic people. According to a legend, Prague was founded by Libuše and her husband, Přemysl, founder of the dynasty with the same name. Whether this legend is true or not, Prague's first nucleus was founded in the latter part of the 9th century as a castle on a hill commanding the right bank of the Vltava: this is known as Vyšehrad ("high castle") to differentiate from another castle which was later erected on the opposite bank, the future Prague Castle.

Under emperor Otto II the city became a bishopric in 973. Until Prague was elevated to archbishopric in 1344, it was under the jurisdiction of the Archbishopric of Mainz. Soon the city became the seat of the dukes and later kings of Bohemia.

It was an important seat for trading where merchants from all of Europe settled, including many Jews, as recalled in 965 by the Jewish merchant and traveller Ibrahim ibn Ya'qub. The Old New Synagogue of 1270 survives.

King Vladislav II had a first bridge on the Vltava built in 1170, the Judith Bridge, which collapsed in 1342.
Jenna Mariba (sister)
March 10th, 2009
Our sincere condolences for your loss. We're here for you if you have any questions about using our service.
iLasting Staff
March 10th, 2009
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