The city of Prague in the Czech Republic is so completely filled with opulent beauty that many have referred to the entire area as an open-air museum.

One of the most popular attractions of Prague is the Prague Castle, which in Czech is called Prazsky hrad. While many gorgeous castles speckle the European landscape, it is unlikely that you have ever seen one like this before. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, it is the largest coherent castle complex in the entire world. Its entire area is about 230,000 square feet. Think about how many of your houses would fit inside that area!

The Prague Castle is known as the city’s most significant Czech monument, and one of the most important cultural institutions in the Czech Republic. It is actually unknown exactly when this massive structure was built. It is thought to have most likely been founded around the year 880 by Prince Bořivoj of the Premyslid Dynasty.

As I’m sure you can imagine, it is an absolute architectural marvel. It is an UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage site, and over the years has undergone many different repairs and reconstructions. The entire castle consists of a large-scale composition of palaces and ecclesiastical buildings of various architectural styles, from Roman-style buildings from the 10th century through Gothic modifications in the 14th century.

One of the most magnificent times to visit the Prague Castle is during the summer tourist season, which takes place from April 1 to October 31. This is the season during which you can tour the castle’s beautiful gardens.

The many gardens of the castle include:

  • The Royal Garden, which was created as a Renaissance garden in 1534. Preceding this date, the Royal Garden was a vineyard. Currently the garden follows the tradition of an “English-style” park, but it also contains elements of Renaissance character as well as Baroque elements such as ornamental flower beds.
  • The Garden on the Bastion, which covers the area at the entrance to the Spanish Hall. This garden, which is laid out in the design of architect Josip Plecnik, is styled to reflect Italian and Japanese design elements.
  • The Southern Gardens, which are actually comprised of three separate gardens: The Paradise Garden, Garden on the Ramparts, and the Hartig Garden. All together, these three gardens run the entire length of the castle’s southern façade.

If you’re planning your trip to the Prague castle during the fall or winter season, don’t worry, there’s still plenty to see. You can visit the Old Royal Palace, the Basilica of St. George, and the Golden Lane, among many other historical sites.

Want to take a sneak peek before you visit this amazing castle? Click on the following link to take a virtual tour: http://www.hrad.cz/en/prague-castle/virtual-tour-of-prague-castle.shtml

Now when you are visiting the Prague Castle, along with the other popular tourist spots of Prague, you’ll find that many people speak English.

In the case that you do need to speak a little bit of Czech, the official language of the country, here are a few phrases to help you along:

  • “Hello” in Czech is dobrý den! This translates literally to “good day!” The way that you pronounce it is “dobree den.”
  • In order to ask “do you speak English,” you will ask “mluvíte anglicky?” Pronounce it like this: “mloo-vee-teh un-glits-key?”
  • When you have enjoyed your magnificent vacation in Prague, don’t forget to say “thank you!” “Thank you” translates to “děkuji.” This one is pronounced “dyah-koo-yi.”
Stuart