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(präg, prāg), Czech Praha, Ger. Prag, city (1993 pop. 1,216,500), capital and largest city of the Czech RepublicCzech Republic,
Czech Česká Republika, or Czechia
, Czech Česko, republic (2015 est. pop. 10,604,000), 29,677 sq mi (78,864 sq km), central Europe.
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 and former capital of CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovakia
, Czech Československo , former federal republic, 49,370 sq mi (127,869 sq km), in central Europe. On Jan. 1, 1993, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic (see Slovakia) became independent states and Czechoslovakia ceased to exist.
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, on both banks of the Vltava (Ger. Moldau) River. A road, rail, and air transportation hub, the city also has an inland harbor that is the terminus of shipping on the Vltava river. Prague is a leading European commercial and industrial center and is the Czech Republic's most important industrial city. There are large engineering plants, machine-building and machine tool enterprises, printing and publishing houses, electronics factories, chemical plants, and breweries.

Prague is also the see of a Roman Catholic archbishop, an Eastern Orthodox archbishop, and the archbishop of the Czechoslovak Hussite Church. Educational and cultural facilities in the city include Charles Univ. (founded 1348), one of the oldest and most famous in Europe; a technical university (1707); the Czech Academy of Sciences; the National Gallery; the National Museum; and many other museums and theaters.

Culture and Landmarks

Until World War II, Prague was characterized by the generally peaceful coexistence of Czech, German, and German-Jewish cultures. It was the city of RilkeRilke, Rainer Maria
, 1875–1926, German poet, b. Prague, the greatest lyric poet of modern Germany. Life

Rilke's youth at military and business school was not happy. His relations with his father were difficult, and he was able to attend the Univ.
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 and KafkaKafka, Franz
, 1883–1924, German-language novelist, b. Prague. Along with Joyce, Kafka is perhaps the most influential of 20th-century writers. From a middle-class Jewish family from Bohemia, he spent most of his life in Prague.
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 as well as of SmetanaSmetana, Bedřich
, 1824–84, Czech composer, creator of a national style in Czech music. He studied in Pilsen and in Prague, where in 1848, with the encouragement of Liszt, he opened a music school. From 1856 to 1860 he was a conductor at Göteborg, Sweden.
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, DvořákDvořák, Antonín
, 1841–1904, Czech composer. He studied at the Organ School, Prague (1857–59) and played viola in the National Theater Orchestra (1861–71) under Smetana.
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, and ČapekČapek, Karel
1890–1938, Czech playwright, novelist, and essayist. He is best known as the author of two brilliant satirical plays—R. U. R. (Rossum's Universal Robots, 1921, tr.
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. The city's literary, artistic, and musical life, which has a long and distinguished tradition, was very active between the two World Wars.

The old section of Prague, which occupies the center of the city, is an architectural treasure enhanced by the beauty of its location on the hilly banks of the Vltava. Hradčany Castle dominates the city; the seat of the president of the Czech Republic and the former royal residence, it is an imposing and many-winged structure, dating mostly from the reign of Charles IVCharles IV,
1316–78, Holy Roman emperor (1355–78), German king (1347–78), and king of Bohemia (1346–78). The son of John of Luxemburg, Charles was educated at the French court and fought the English at Crécy, where his father's heroic death made
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. Next to it stands the largely Gothic Cathedral of St. Vitus, first built in the 10th cent., which contains the tomb of St. WenceslausWenceslaus, Saint
, d. 929, duke of Bohemia. He was reared in the Christian faith by his grandmother, St. Ludmilla. He became duke at an early age, and during his minority his mother, Drahomira, acted as regent.
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. The Hradčany quarter also contains many other fine churches and palaces, notably the Romanesque basilica of St. George; the baroque churches of Our Lady of Victory (with the miraculous statuette of the Infant Jesus or Holy Child of Prague) and of Loretto; the magnificent Waldstein Palace, built for the imperial general WallensteinWallenstein or Waldstein, Albrecht Wenzel Eusebius von
, 1583–1634, imperial general in the Thirty Years War, b. Bohemia.
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; and the Czernin Palace.

The Old Town, on the Vltava's east bank, contains the Carolinum, the oldest part of the university; the adjacent Stavovske Theater, where Mozart's Don Giovanni had its first performance; the vast Clementinum Library; the Gothic Old Town Hall (13th cent.; burned in May, 1945) and its astronomical clock (1410); the baroque Church of St. Nicholas (18th cent.) and the Gothic Tyn Cathedral (14th cent., formerly the main Hussite church, with the tomb of Tycho BraheBrahe, Tycho
, 1546–1601, Danish astronomer. The most prominent astronomer of the late 16th cent., he paved the way for future discoveries by improving instruments and by his precision in fixing the positions of planets and stars.
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); the Powder Tower (15th cent., the last city gate), and the art nouveauart nouveau
, decorative-art movement centered in Western Europe. It began in the 1880s as a reaction against the historical emphasis of mid-19th-century art, but did not survive World War I.
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 Municipal House (1912). Situated in the adjacent former Jewish quarter is the Old Synagogue (c.1270), Europe's oldest remaining synagogue.

In the heart of modern Prague is Wenceslaus Square, with its statue of St. Wenceslaus. It was the center of Czech resistance to the 1968 Soviet invasion and a rally site for the support of political change in 1989.


The earliest settlements, dating from at least the 9th cent., began around the castles standing on top of the Hradčany and Vysehrad hills (on the left and right bank, respectively, of the Vltava) that still dominate Prague's skyline. Already an important trading center by the 10th cent., it achieved real prominence after King Wenceslaus I of Bohemia established (1232) a German settlement there.

Prague grew rapidly in size and prosperity as Bohemia's capital and became under Emperor Charles IV (14th cent.) one of the most splendid cities of Europe. The city's location at the intersection of vital trade routes stimulated its economy, while scholars and students from all over Europe came to its university. From the 14th to the early 17th cent., the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire resided at Prague as well as at Vienna. Rivalry between the Czech and German elements in the city was a major factor in the popular religious reform movement led by John HussHuss, John
, Czech Jan Hus , 1369?–1415, Czech religious reformer. Early Life

Of peasant origin, he was born in Husinec, Bohemia (from which his name is derived). He studied theology at the Univ. of Prague, was ordained a priest c.
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, a professor at the university. Huss, who also condemned the secular power of the Roman Catholic Church, was burned at the stake in 1415; his martyrdom sparked the Hussite WarsHussite Wars,
series of conflicts in the 15th cent., caused by the rise of the Hussites in Bohemia and Moravia. It was a religious struggle between Hussites and the Roman Catholic Church, a national struggle between Czechs and Germans, and a social struggle between the landed
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. Prague's attempt to follow a moderate course in the wars was frustrated (1424) by an army led by John ZizkaZizka, John
, Czech Jan Žižka , d. 1424, Bohemian military leader and head of the Hussite forces during the anti-Hussite crusades of Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund.
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Hapsburg rule of Prague began in 1526, when the Ottoman Turks were threatening Europe. In the late 16th and early 17th cent., under Emperor Rudolf IIRudolf II,
1552–1612, Holy Roman emperor (1576–1612), king of Bohemia (1575–1611) and of Hungary (1572–1608), son and successor of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II.
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, Prague shone as a center of science where the astronomers Tycho Brahe and Johannes KeplerKepler, Johannes
, 1571–1630, German astronomer. From his student days at the Univ. of Tübingen, he was influenced by the Copernican teachings. From 1593 to 1598 he was professor of mathematics at Graz and while there wrote his Mysterium cosmographicum (1596).
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 worked. In 1618, when the Protestant Czech nobles felt the liberties of Bohemia threatened by Emperor Matthias, they vented their dissatisfaction by throwing two royal councilors and the secretary of the royal council of Bohemia out of the windows of Hradčany Castle (May 23, 1618). Although none of the victims of the so-called Defenestration of Prague were hurt, the event opened the Thirty Years WarThirty Years War,
1618–48, general European war fought mainly in Germany. General Character of the War

There were many territorial, dynastic, and religious issues that figured in the outbreak and conduct of the war.
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. The battle of the White MountainWhite Mountain
or White Hill,
Czech Bílá Hora, hill near Prague, Czech Republic. There, in Nov., 1620, the Czech Protestants under Christian of Anhalt were routed by the combined armies of the empire and of the Catholic League, under Tilly.
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 (1620), fought near Prague, resulted in Bohemia's subjugation to Austrian rule. Until 1860, German was Prague's only official language. The Peace of Prague (1635) failed to end the Thirty Years War, in the last year of which (1648) a section of the city was occupied by the Swedes.

In the War of the Austrian SuccessionAustrian Succession, War of the,
1740–48, general European war. Causes of the War

The war broke out when, on the strength of the pragmatic sanction of 1713, the Austrian archduchess Maria Theresa succeeded her father, Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, as ruler
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, Prague was occupied by the French (1742) and the Prussians (1744); and in the Seven Years WarSeven Years War,
1756–63, worldwide war fought in Europe, North America, and India between France, Austria, Russia, Saxony, Sweden, and (after 1762) Spain on the one side and Prussia, Great Britain, and Hanover on the other.
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 it was (1757) the scene of a major victory of Frederick IIFrederick II
or Frederick the Great,
1712–86, king of Prussia (1740–86), son and successor of Frederick William I. Early Life

Frederick's coarse and tyrannical father despised the prince, who showed a taste for French art and literature and no
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 of Prussia. Although it had lost much of its former importance, Prague in the 18th cent. remained a brilliant cultural center. The building activities of Empress Maria TheresaMaria Theresa
, 1717–80, Austrian archduchess, queen of Bohemia and Hungary (1740–80), consort of Holy Roman Emperor Francis I and dowager empress after the accession (1765) of her son, Joseph II.
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 and the great Bohemian nobles gave the city a predominantly baroque and rococo character. The center of the Czech national revival in the 19th cent., Prague played an important part in the Revolution of 1848 until its bombardment and capture by the Austrian field marshal WindischgrätzWindischgrätz or Windisch-Grätz, Alfred, Fürst zu
, 1787–1862, Austrian field marshal. He was military governor of Bohemia when the revolutions of 1848 broke out in the Hapsburg empire.
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In 1918, Prague became the capital of the newly created Czechoslovak republic. Occupied (1939–45) by the Germans, it suffered hardship in World War II, but little structural damage. Prague was liberated in May, 1945, by Soviet troops after an anti-German rebellion (May 5). In 1968 the "Prague Spring," a brief period of liberal reforms attempted by the government of Alexander DubčekDubček, Alexander
, 1921–92, Czechoslovakian political leader. A member of the Slovakian national minority, he was active in the Communist underground in World War II and rose in the party hierarchy after the war, becoming head of the Slovakian Communist party and a
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, was ended with the invasion of the Soviet military. In 1989 the city was the scene of massive demonstrations during the "Velvet Revolution," which brought down the Communist regime. With the breakup of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993, Prague became the capital of the Czech Republic.


See P. Demetz, Prague in Black and Gold (1997); D. Sayer, Prague, Capital of the Twentieth Century (2013).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Praha), the capital of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the Czech Socialist Republic; the administrative center of the Central Bohemia District. Prague is Czechoslovakia’s most important political, economic, scientific, and cultural center. It is situated along both banks of the Vltava River at an elevation of 200–300 m, near the Vltava’s confluence with the Elbe (Labe). The climate is temperate and continental, with an average January temperature of 0°C and an average July temperature of 19.2°C. Annual precipitation totals approximately 500 mm (at Clementinum).

Prague has an area of 496 sq km, using the administrative city limits set on July 1, 1974. As of 1974, the population was 1.2 million, which constitutes more than 7.5 percent of the country’s total population. (In 1850, Prague had a total population of 157,000; in 1900, 373,000; in 1921, 678,000; in 1950, 951,000; in 1961, 1 million; and in 1970, 1.1 million.) The city is divided into ten administrative districts.

Administration. Prague is under republic jurisdiction and constitutes an autonomous administrative unit. The National Committee of Prague, directly subordinate to the organs of state power of the Czech Socialist Republic, is the city’s organ of state power and administration. It is elected to a five-year term by a universal, equal, direct, and secret vote. The committee directs the city’s business and its public and cultural activities, ensures the preservation of public order, and adopts and supervises the implementation of the city’s economic plans and budget. From among its own members it elects a council as its executive body. It forms divisions, branch bodies, and standing commissions made up of deputies and representatives of the public community. Local national committees, which operate under the direction of the municipal national committee, are elected in the districts of Prague.

History. The area that is now Prague was first settled in the fourth millennium B.C. by tribes of unknown origin. It was settled in the fifth century B.C. by the Boii, and in the sixth century A.D. by the Slavs. The turn of the ninth century saw the building of Pražský Hrad—the residence of the Bohemian princes and kings—and Vyŝehrad, which together make up the historical center of Prague. In the second half of the ninth century, the fortified settlement of Prague came under the rule of the Přemyslids, and during the tenth century, Prague became the center of the Bohemian state. The Prague bishopric was founded in 973; in 1344 it became an archbishopric. During the 13th and 14th centuries, next to Pražský Hrad and its adjoining territory, arose the Little Town (Malá Strana) on the left bank of the Vltava and the Old Town (Staré M ěsto) and the New Town (Nové Město) on the right bank. Prague’s growth was furthered by its geographic location at the juncture of the Polabian Plain and the forested regions of southern Bohemia, near rivers that had long been important trade routes.

In the 14th century, Prague, with a total population of about 40,000, was one of the great economic, political, and cultural centers of Europe. On July 30, 1419, a Hussite uprising broke out in Prague. Prague and Tábor were the foremost political centers of the Hussite revolutionary movement, and Prague was a stronghold of the Calixtines. In 1420 the Crusaders were defeated near Prague. The city was governed by radical Hussites headed by J. Želivský for a brief time in 1421.

In 1547, Prague was deprived of its municipal rights because of its participation in an uprising against the Hapsburgs. An outbreak by the city’s population against the imperial regime in 1618 marked the beginning of the Czech Rebellion of 1618–20. During the Thirty Years’ War (1618–48), Prague was devastated. Its importance declined after the defeat of the Czech troops in the battle of Bíla Hora (1620) by the Imperial Bavarian Army. By the mid-17th century Prague had become an unimportant city.

At the end of the 18th century, Prague’s economy was stimulated; a number of manufactories were opened, and the population rose to 80,000. After the Revolution of 1848–49 (a major occurrence of which in Bohemia was the Prague Uprising of 1848), Prague became one of the most industrially developed cities of the Hapsburg monarchy and the center of the Czech workers’ movement. In 1878 the Czech Slavonic Social Democratic Labor Party was founded in the city. In January 1912 the Sixth (Prague) All-Russian Conference of the RSDLP, led by V. I. Lenin, was held in Prague.

On October 28, 1918, the Czechoslovak Republic was proclaimed in Prague, with Prague as its capital. The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (CPC) was founded in Prague in 1921. During the fascist German occupation (March 1939 to May 1945), Prague was the center of Czechoslovakia’s national liberation struggle, and on May 5, 1945, an antifascist uprising broke out, marking the beginning of the People’s Uprising of 1945 in the Czech lands. On May 9, Prague was liberated by the Soviet Army, which had arrived to aid the insurgents.

In 1947 the World Festival of Youth was held in Prague, and in 1949, the first World Congress of the Defenders of Peace. The journal Problemy mira i sotsializma (Problems of Peace and Socialism) has been published in Prague since 1958. The Secretariat of the World Federation of Trade Unions (since 1956) and the Secretariat of the International Union of Students are located in Prague.

Economy. The structure of Prague’s economy can be charac

Table 1. Distribution of population according to principal types of occupations
 Number of personsPercentage of country’s total labor force
Heavy and light industry ........179,1006.6
Construction ...............79,60013.1
Transportation ..............36,1009.8
Commerce (including public catering) .74,70014.8
Science ..................39,80037.7
Culture and education..........49,00012.3
Health care................24,4009.1
City administration and management .27,30025.9
Municipal services ............16,80011.0

terized by a breakdown of the labor force (a total of 605,000 persons in 1972) according to basic types of occupations (see Table 1).

Industry has developed intensively. It has become more specialized as a result of the modernization of technological processes, and from 1960 to 1970 labor productivity more than doubled. The structure of Prague’s industry is being improved by developing the most advanced production techniques through the experimental and design projects of highly skilled engineering, technical, and labor staffs and in cooperation with other industrial centers.

The Kladno Coal and Metallurgical Complex has been instrumental in the development of Prague’s industry. The city’s power supply has greatly increased owing to the petroleum and natural gas imported from the USSR. (See Table 2 for the structure of industry.)

Table 2. Structure of industry (1970)
Branch of industryPercentage of Prague’s total industrial workersPercentage of Prague’ gross industrial product
Machine building and metalworking .58.948.7
Garment manufacture.........5.52.1
Chemical production..........3.55.6

Prague is a major national center of metalworking and machine building. An especially important branch of the city’s industry is the manufacture of heavy machinery, which employs one-fifth of the country’s labor force engaged in this branch and is concentrated, for the most part, in the plants of the ČKD (Českomoravská-Kolben-Daněk). Heavy machinery produced by the ČKD plants includes rectifiers, diesels, compressors, refrigeration units, boilers, diesel engines, mining equipment, truck-mounted and self-propelled cranes, streetcars, and equipment for heat and power plants. The city also produces automobiles, aircraft, motorcycles, and electric-power equipment, including turbines and generators. Radios and electronic products are manufactured by the Tesla Plant, while optical equipment and instruments are manufactured by the Aritma, Chirana, and Metra plants. The food-processing industry, especially beer brewing, has traditionally been important, and the printing industry has also been long established. There are chemical and rubber—including tire—industries, as well as a building-materials industry. Of lesser importance are the garment, textile, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, leather-goods, and haberdashery industries. Prague’s main industrial sections are located in the northeast (Vysočany and Liben) and the southwest (Smíchov and Jinonice).

Czechoslovakia’s most important transportation junction, Prague has ten railroad lines and a number of highways; the transportation junction is also of international importance. The city’s airport is located in Ruzyně. The port of Holeŝovice on the Vltava River links Prague with the Most Brown-coal Basin and with the German Democratic Republic. The Druzhba Oil Pipeline and the Trans-European Natural Gas Pipeline pass close by the city. A subway, constructed with the technical assistance of the USSR, is very important for urban transport; the first section, with a length of 6.7 km, was opened on May 9, 1974. The subway line is being constructed without marring the old appearance of the center of Prague.


Architecture and city planning. Prague is situated on five hills, which are separated by the Vltava River valley. Its abundant greenery and numerous architectural landmarks, which form expressive compositions, and its rhythmic skyline make it one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Prague is dominated by structures in the Gothic style—with majestic towers crowned by spires— and in the baroque style—churches with massive domes and bell towers and palaces with gardens, parks, and numerous sculptures. The city grew out of settlements that arose near the fortresses of the Hrad in the northwest and Vyŝehrad (founded in the ninth century) in the southeast. During the 19th century, numerous suburbs sprang up around the historical districts of Prague—the Hradč any, Little Town, Old Town, and New Town. These suburbs included Královské Vinohrady (Vinohrady), Žižkov, Karlín, Smíchov, and Břevnov; in 1922 they were incorporated into Prague.

The city’s old districts have for the most part retained their crowded, medieval aspect and irregular street plan. Situated on the left bank of the Vltava is Pražský Hrad, which dominates the city and includes remains of fortifications from the 12th to 15th centuries. Also on the left bank are the Romanesque basilica of St. George, dating from the 12th to 18th centuries; the Gothic cathedral of St. Vitus, 1344—1929, begun by Matthias of Arras and Peter Parler; and the Royal Palace, 12th to 18th centuries, with its late Gothic Vladislav Hall. The districts of the Hrad čany and Little Town have Renaissance palaces, including the Royal Summer Palace (Queen Anna’s summer house, or the Belvedere, 1535–63, architect G. da Spatio) with its famous Singing Fountain (mid-16th century) and the Schwarzenburg Palace, now the Museum of Military History (1545–63, architect A. Vlach).

These districts also have baroque palaces, including the Ŝternberk (Sternberg) Palace (late 17th and 18th centuries), and the Valdŝtejn (Waldstein) Palace (1624–30, architects A. Spezza and G. Pierroni), with its park and loggia; collections of the National Gallery are now located in both buildings. Another palace in the baroque style is the Černín Palace (1669–1750). The districts’ baroque religious structures include the Capuchin Convent, the Loretto Church (1626–1736), and the church of St. Nicholas in Little Town (1704–55, architects, C. Dientzenhoffer, K. I. Dientzenhoffer, and A. Luragho). There are baroque houses dating from the 17th to 19th centuries, including At the Black Eagle, built at the end of the 19th century, with sgraffito by M. Aleŝ on its facade.

Located on the right bank of the Vltava are the districts of Old Town and New Town (which has a regular street plan) with their central squares. In these districts are remains of fortifications from the 14th and 15th centuries, including the Praŝná Brána (the Powder Tower, begun in 1475) and houses in the Gothic, Renaissance, and baroque styles, which frequently have ground-level galleries, bay windows, and sgraffito on the facades. Also of note are the Gothic Old Town Hall (14th to 17th centuries) with its clock tower (15th to 19th centuries), and Charles University (Carolinum), dating from the 14th century. Churches include the Týn Church and the Church of Our Lady of the Snows, both dating from the 14th to 17th centuries, and the St. Agnes Convent, from the end of the 13th century. Baroque structures include the Kinský Palace (from the second half of the 18th century, architect K. I. Dientzenhoffer), the Clam-Gallas Palace (c. 1713, architect J. B. Fischer von Erlach), the Church of St. Nicholas (1732–35, architect K. I. Dientzenhoffer), and the Jesuit College (Clementinum, 17th century).

During the second half of the 19th century the modern center of Prague (Wenceslas Square) took shape in the New Town district. Esplanades were rebuilt, and magnificent public buildings in an eclectic style were erected, including the National Museum (1885–90, architect J. Schulz) and the National Theater (1868–81, architect J. Zítek) with sculptures by J. V. Myslbek on the facade and interior murals (1880’s) by M. Aleŝ.

During the first third of the 20th century, a number of buildings in the style of modern architecture and functionalism were built, including the building of the Central Council of Trade Unions (1929–34, architects J. Havliček and K. Honzik) and the exhibition house of the Mánes Society (1930, architect O. Novotný). The right and left banks of the Vltava are connected by numerous bridges, including the Charles Bridge (1357–78, by Peter Parler, completed in the 15th century, with sculpture dating from the late 17th and early 18th centuries), F. Palacký (1876–78, with sculpture by J. V. Myslbek), and J. Ŝverma (1951, architect V. Hofman, engineer O. Ŝirc). In accordance with the reconstruction plan of 1963, housing developments with all the modern conveniences and open-plan layouts have been built. These developments include Pankrác, Petřin, Maleŝice-Straŝnice, and Praha-Invalidovna. Other new building projects include an aquatic-sports stadium (begun during the 1960’s, architect R. Podzemny), the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry (1960–65) and the National Assembly Building (1970–73, both by architect K. Práger), and the Polytechnic

Institute. Construction is currently underway in the northern and southern districts of the city. The most important monuments are the Jan Hus (1915, by L. Ŝaloun), St. Wenceslas (1912–13, by J. V. Myslbek), and B. Němcová (1954, K. Pokorný) monuments, the National Liberation Monument on Vitkov Hill (1929–32, architect J. Zázvorka) with a memorial to Jan Žižka (1950, B. Kafka), the K. Gottwald Mausoleum, and the Hall of the Soviet Army (1950’s). There are memorial cemetery ensembles to outstanding Czech figures in the Slavin Cemetery (1870’s-, architect A. Wiehl) and in the Cemetery of Soviet Servicemen in Olŝany (1950’s, architect Beneŝ, sculptor J. Brúna). Located in the environs of Prague are Zbraslav Castle (13th to 18th centuries, now the Museum of Sculpture) and Karlŝtejn (Karlstein) Castle (14th century).

Educational, scientific, and cultural institutions. Prague’s institutions of higher learning include Charles University, the University of 17 November, the Technical University of Prague, the College of Chemical Technology, the School of Economics, the Prague Agricultural College, the Academy of Music, the Academy of Fine Arts, the Conservatory of Music, and the Academy of Industrial Arts. Also in Prague are the Presidium of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences and various institutes and laboratories of the academy, including mathematics and physics institutes and institutes of nuclear physics, geology, and geography. Other institutes in Prague include the Institute of International Politics and Economics, the Research Institute of Education, and the Central Geological Institute. The most important libraries are the State Library of the Czech Socialist Republic, the Library of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, the National Museum Library, the Strahov Library, the Public Library, the State Technical Library, the Comenius State Pedagogical Library, and the National Medical Library. Museums include the National Museum, National Gallery, Museum of the Capital City of Prague, State Jewish Museum, ethnographic, agricultural, and anthropological museums, J. A. Komenský Pedagogical Museum, National Technical Museum, V. I. Lenin Museum, Klement Gottwald Museum, Smetana Museum, and Antonín Dvořák Museum.

Prague has 26 theaters, including the National Theater, which has three buildings—the National Theater proper, the Smetana Theater, and the Tyl Theater, where operas, ballets, and dramatic works are performed. Other theaters include the Municipal Theater of Královské Vinohrady, the Prague municipal theaters (the ABC, Chamber, and Comedy Theaters), the E. F. Burian Theater (formerly the D-34 Theater), the S. K. Neumann Theater, the Z. Nejedlý Realistic Theater, the J. Wolker Young People’s Theater, and the Laterna Mágika (Magic Lantern) company. The Ŝpejbl and Hurvínek Theater is a well-known puppet theater. Other, smaller, theaters include the Činoherni Club and the Zábradlí, Semafor, and Rococo theaters. Also in Prague are the Karlín Musical Theater and a philharmonic society.


Praga: Putevoditel’, 2nd ed. Prague, 1960. (Translated from Czech.)
Georgievskaia, E. B. Praga. Moscow, 1967.
Rybar, T. Praga: Putevoditel’. Prague, 1972. (Translated from Czech.)
Guenne, J. Prague: Ville d’art. Paris [1930].
Fehr, G. Prag: Geschichte und Kultur. [Berlin, 1967.]
Dějiny Prahy. Prague, 1964.
Mench, V. Praha. Prague, 1969.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic, on the Vltava River: a rich commercial centre during the Middle Ages; site of Charles University (1348) and a technical university (1707); scene of defenestrations (1419 and 1618) that contributed to the outbreak of the Hussite Wars and the Thirty Years' War respectively. Pop.: 1 164 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005