Travel: Medieval Dreams of Prague

Prague, how can I even begin to describe the city that beckoned to me, the land that shimmers of fairytales, and the nights filled with good friends, appetizing beer, and laughter. This city succeeded where others have failed, she completely disarmed my strategic schedule, teasing me with her untarnished history, her colorful culture, and her people.

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This city’s origins are from the Paleolithic age. In 200 BC, the celts established an oppidum in the south, and at the end of the 1st century BC, this population was primarily composed of the Germanic Tribes. This gave way to Slavics in the 6th century AD, following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire.

Legend says that a Czech Duchess and Prophet  Slavics and her husband, Přemysl, founded this as a simple fortified fort in the year 800. They were also the founders of the Přemyslid dynasty. The first masonry beneath Prague Castle dates from 885.

This region became the seat of the dukes, and in time, the capital for the kings of Bohemia. During this time, it was elevated to archbishopric, and became a vibrant merchant city for individuals from all regions of europe. In the 14th century, Prague flourished as the third largest city and Imperial Capital of the Holy Roman Empire. During this time, under the reign of emperor Charles IV, construction of the Saint Vitus Cathedral was completed. He also personally laid the first foundation stone for the Charles Bridge.

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However, the flourishing was not to last, the trade guilds became increasingly more powerful as the craftsmen deftly wielded the economy  As a result a large differentiation in social strate occurred  and the number of poor people continued to increase. You can still see remains of a fortification wall that was built, despite being unnecessary  in the 1360s to provide employment to workers and food for their families.

I like Charles IV already! He seemed sympathetic to the struggles of the commoners, and tried to alleviate their suffering during the famine. Unfortunately, He died in 1378, and during the reign of his son, King Wenceslaus IV, intense religious turmoil began to invade the city…

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