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Capital city
Hlavní město Praha
Montage of Prague, clockwise from top: Panorama of Prague Castle and Charles Bridge, Dancing House, Star Villa, Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, Wallenstein Palace, Royal Garden at Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral and Municipal House.
Montage of Prague, clockwise from top: Panorama of Prague Castle and Charles Bridge, Dancing House, Star Villa, Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, Wallenstein Palace, Royal Garden at Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral and Municipal House.
Flag of Prague
Coat of arms of Prague
Coat of arms
City of a Hundred Spires,
Praga Mater Urbium
(Prague, Mother of Cities; Latin)
Praga Caput Rei publicae
(Prague, Head of the Republic; Latin)
Location of Prague
Country  Czech Republic
Founded c. 885
 • Urban
496 km2 (192 sq mi)
Highest elevation
399 m (1,309 ft)
Lowest elevation
177 m (581 ft)
 • Capital city 1,267,449
 • Metro
Demonym(s) Praguer
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
100 00 – 199 00
Vehicle registration A
NUTS code 2012
 - Total €40 billion
 - Per capita €32,000([1])

Prague (Praha in Czech) is the capital and the largest city of the Czech Republic. It has a population of 1.24 million.

Prague has been known as one of the most beautiful European cities since the Middle Ages. Often called the "City of 100 Towers", the "Rooftop of Europe" or the "Heart of Europe", Prague was a place where many merchants, artists and inventors met.

Prague is full of historical monuments in all major artistic styles. The historical center of Prague is situated on both banks of the Vltava river. This historical center consists of six districts, which were once independent cities that joined together in the 18th century. These districts are Staré Město (Old Town), Pražský hrad (Prague castle), Josefov (Old Jewish Town), Nové Město (New Town), Malá Strana (Lesser Town), Hradčany (Prague Castle Quarter) and Vyšehrad. It was Prince Bořivoj who established Prague Castle. There are also lots of museums, galleries, theaters, concert halls, and other historical buildings.


The earliest inhabitants of the area that we know about lived in the valley of the Vltava river around 500 BC. Slavonic tribes came to Bohemia in about 500 AD. There is a legend about how the town of Prague started. Princess Libuše, the leader of a Slavonic tribe, chose a simple peasant Přemysl to be her husband. She told him to go and find a village on the banks of the Vltava and to start a town there. The town became Prague, ruled by the Přemyslid family.

In the second half of the 9th century the castle’s original fortifications were built. During the reign of Wenceslas I (Václav in Czech) in the 10th century the church of St Vitus was built at Prague castle. Wenceslas was murdered by his brother when he was going to church. He was later made a saint. In the early 11th century the Přemyslid family got power in Moravia, too. Vratislav II was the first monarch to be called King of Bohemia.

Another ruler, also called Wenceslas I, ruled as King of Bohemia from 1230. He encouraged the arts. A lot of Germans came to live in Prague. In 1257 King Otakar II founded the area of Prague called the Lesser Quarter for the Germans to live in. The last of the Přemyslid kings was King Wenceslas III. He was murdered in Moravia.

During the Middle Ages Prague became very important as the capital of the Holy Roman Empire ruled by Charles IV (1316-1378) who was the most powerful ruler in Europe at the time. Charles made Prague a great city, building St Vitus Cathedral, a university, and a famous bridge called Charles Bridge which still exists.

After Charles IV there were many arguments and fights in Prague. A priest called Jan Hus said that the Catholic Church had become too powerful. He was arrested and burned at the stake in 1415. A lot of people agreed with what Hus had been saying. These people were called Hussites. They threw a lot of important Catholic people out of the window (called "defenestration"). A lot more fighting followed, and for many years Bohemia was ruled by kings who lived in other countries.

Prague crowd Malá Strana
Packed with tourists on a busy summer day in Malá Strana. (Lesser Quarter), Prague
St Vitus Cathedral from south
St. Vitus Cathedral

From 1526 the Habsburg family ruled Bohemia. They were Catholics and ruled the Holy Roman Empire. In 1576 the Emperor Rudolph II moved the capital from Vienna to Prague. Prague became a rich town again, and people were free to worship as Catholics or Protestants. After Rudolph II there were a lot of religious fighting and more people were thrown out of windows. Eventually the fighting became part of the Thirty Years’ War. When Ferdinand II won the fighting a lot of Protestants left the country. New buildings in Prague were built in the Baroque style. The German language, not Czech, was spoken at court. Maria Theresa was the only queen to reign over Prague. One of her 16 children was Marie Antoinette who became queen of France. When her son Joseph II ruled, people stopped fighting about religion. The people were free to speak what they thought, and there was no more serfdom. Prague now had three parts: the Old Town, the Lesser Quarter and the New Town. Famous people such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart visited the town often.

In the 19th century industry came to Prague. Factories were built, a railway was built between Prague and Vienna. The Czech nationalist movement became very strong after 1848. They wanted to use their own language instead of German. The composers Smetana and Dvořák wrote music about their country, often using Czech folksongs. The National Theatre was opened in 1881.

In June 1914 the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Habsburg throne, was murdered. This led to World War I. After the war an independent republic called Czechoslovakia was formed with Prague as its capital. It consisted of Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia. In 1938 Hitler invaded the country. It was liberated by Soviet troops in May 1945. However, the communists soon seized power and the country was ruled by communists who had to obey the Soviet Union. The prime minister Alexander Dubček, gradually tried to make reforms. This period of time is called the "Prague Spring". In 1968 the Soviet Union sent tanks into Prague to Wenceslas Square to restore their power.

Democracy gradually came to Prague in 1989 when the Velvet Revolution took place. In 1993 the Czech Republic and Slovakia split into two countries. Today both these countries are part of the European Union.


Prague is situated on the Vltava river, at 50°05′N 14°27′E / 50.083°N 14.450°E / 50.083; 14.450. in the centre of the Bohemian Basin. Prague is approximately at the same latitude as Frankfurt, Germany; Paris, France; and Vancouver, Canada.

Prague Panorama
Sunrise in Prague


Historic Centre of Prague
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Prague from Powder Tower 01.jpg
Includes Historic Centre of Prague and Průhonice Park
Criteria Cultural: ii, iv, vi
Inscription 1992 (16th Session)
Area 1,106.36 ha
Buffer zone 9,887.09 ha
Praha Veletržní palác jih
Veletržní palác houses the largest collection of National Gallery art
Praha Rudolfinum isometric
Rudolfinum, a concert and exhibition hall
Prague Congress Centre (1)
Prague Congress Centre has hosted the IMF-WBG meeting and NATO summit

The city is traditionally one of the cultural centres of Europe, hosting many cultural events. Some of the significant cultural institutions include the National Theatre (Národní Divadlo) and the Estates Theatre (Stavovské or Tylovo or Nosticovo divadlo), where the premières of Mozart's Don Giovanni and La clemenza di Tito were held. Other major cultural institutions are the Rudolfinum which is home to the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and the Municipal House which is home to the Prague Symphony Orchestra. The Prague State Opera (Státní opera) performs at the Smetana Theatre.

The city has many world-class museums, including the National Museum (Národní muzeum), the Museum of the Capital City of Prague, the Jewish Museum in Prague, the Alfons Mucha Museum, the African-Prague Museum, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, the Náprstek Museum (Náprstkovo Muzeum), the Josef Sudek Gallery and The Josef Sudek Studio, the National Library and the National Gallery, which manages the largest collection of art in Czechia.

There are hundreds of concert halls, galleries, cinemas and music clubs in the city. It hosts music festivals including the Prague Spring International Music Festival, the Prague Autumn International Music Festival, the Prague International Organ Festival and the Prague International Jazz Festival. Film festivals include the Febiofest, the One World Film Festival and Echoes of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The city also hosts the Prague Writers' Festival, the Prague Folklore Days, Prague Advent Choral Meeting the Summer Shakespeare Festival, the Prague Fringe Festival, the World Roma Festival, as well as the hundreds of Vernissages and fashion shows.

Many films have been made at Barrandov Studios and at Prague Studios. Hollywood films set in Prague include Mission Impossible, xXx, Blade II, Children of Dune, Alien vs. Predator, Doom, Chronicles of Narnia, Hellboy, EuroTrip, Van Helsing, Red Tails, and Spider-Man: Far From Home. Other Czech films shot in Prague include Empties, Amadeus and The Fifth Horseman is Fear. Also, the romantic music video "Never Tear Us Apart" by INXS, "Diamonds from Sierra Leone" by Kanye West was shot in the city, and features shots of the Charles Bridge and the Astronomical Clock, among other landmarks. Rihanna's "Don't Stop the Music" video was filmed at Prague's Radost FX Club. The city was also the setting for the film Dungeons and Dragons in 2000. The music video "Silver and Cold" by AFI, an American rock band, was also filmed in Prague. Many Indian films have also been filmed in the city including Yuvraaj, Drona and Rockstar. Early 2000s europop hit "Something" by "Lasgo" was filmed at the central train station in Prague.

Video games set in Prague include Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb, Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption, Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix, Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon, Still Life, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.

With the growth of low-cost airlines in Europe, Prague has become a weekend city destination allowing tourists to visit its museums and cultural sites as well as try its Czech beers and cuisine.

The city has many buildings by renowned architects, including Adolf Loos (Villa Müller), Frank O. Gehry (Dancing House) and Jean Nouvel (Golden Angel).

Recent major events held in Prague:


Na Perštýně 5, U Medvídků
U Medvídků (A.D. 1466), one of the oldest pubs in the world

In 2008 the Allegro restaurant received the first Michelin star in the whole of the post-Communist part of Central Europe. It retained its star until 2011. As of 2018 there are two Michelin-starred restaurants in Prague: La Degustation Bohême Bourgeoise and Field. Another six have been awarded Michelin's Bib Gourmand: Bistrøt 104, Divinis, Eska, Maso a Kobliha, Na Kopci and Sansho.

In Malá Strana, Staré Město, Žižkov and Nusle there are hundreds of restaurants, bars and pubs, especially with Czech beer. Prague also hosts the Czech Beer Festival (Český pivní festival), which is the largest beer festival in Czechia, held for 17 days every year in May. At the festival, more than 70 brands of Czech beer can be tasted. There are several microbrewery festivals throughout the year as well.

Czech beer has a long history, with brewing taking place in Břevnov Monastery in 993. Prague is home to historical breweries Staropramen (Praha 5), U Fleků, U Medvídků, U Tří růží, Strahov Monastery Brewery (Praha 1) and Břevnov Monastery Brewery (Praha 6). Among many microbreweries are: Novoměstský, Pražský most u Valšů, Národní, Boršov, Loď pivovar, U Dobřenských, U Dvou koček, U Supa (Praha 1), Pivovarský dům (Praha 2), Sousedský pivovar Bašta (Praha 4), Suchdolský Jeník, Libocký pivovar (Praha 6), Marina (Praha 7), U Bulovky (Praha 8), Beznoska, Kolčavka (Praha 9), Vinohradský pivovar, Zubatý pes, Malešický mikropivovar (Praha 10), Jihoměstský pivovar (Praha 11), Lužiny (Praha 13), Počernický pivovar (Praha 14) and Hostivar (Praha 15).


Prague has been important in the economy of what is now the Czech Republic since the region developed industry in the 19th century. Textiles and machinery are made and exported to many countries. Food, electronics and chemicals are produced. Nearly half the people who work are women.

Prague is becoming a city where many international companies have their headquarters. Since the late 1990s, Prague has become a popular filming location for international productions and Hollywood motion pictures.

There are no ghettos in Prague.

Colleges and universities

The city contains several universities and colleges including the oldest university in Central and Eastern Europe: the Charles University, founded in 1348.


Prague has three metro lines, 20 tram lines, and buses that connect to the suburbs. There is also a funicular rail link to the top of the Petřín Hill and a chairlift at Prague Zoo. All these services have a common ticketing system.

Prague metro is one of the best in Europe for quality and speed. It has got 3 lines (A, B, and C), 65 kilometers and 61 stations.

Trains from Prague connect to major cities in neighbouring countries.

There is a modern airport, Václav Havel airport Prague, used by many airlines including Czech Airlines.


Prague has many parks and gardens, including a park for culture, sports and entertainments which is named after Julius Fučík, a resistance leader of World War II. It has three stadiums, the largest of which, Spartakiádní stadion, holds 250,000 people.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Praga para niños

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