Page C2.1 . 24 April 2002                     
ArchitectureWeek - Culture Department
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Old Prague and New

by Don Barker

Built on seven hills and intersected by the meandering River Vltava (Moldau), Prague offers a stunning array of architecture. From Romanesque and Gothic to cubist and functionalist, the Czech Republic capital is one of the few cities where so many diverse forms of architectural expression coexist comfortably. Every era of the city's history is reflected in its buildings.

The Old Town centers on Prague Castle. Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, baroque, and rococo facades combine to create majestic results. The structure dates back to the 9th century, with many modifications over the years. The most extensive renovation was conducted in the early 20th century by Slovenian architect Joze Plecnik, student of Otto Wagner.

Roman Emperor Charles IV founded the New Town in the early 14th century, enlisting the services of German architect, Peter Parler to design it. The emperor was to prove very influential on Prague's architecture, being responsible for constructing Prague University and Charles Bridge. The New Town was planned around Wenceslas Square, and when completed it doubled the size of the city.   >>>



ArchWeek Image

Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral at night.
Photo: Don Barker

ArchWeek Image

Considered the epitome of communist design, the Zizkov TV Tower next to the remaining Jewish cemetery.
Photo: Don Barker


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