History of Prague
The foundation of Prague is closely connected to a legend about Princess Libuse, who reigned the Bohemian land in the ancient times. She was supposed to be kind and honest and loved by her people. One night she had a dream about a city on the Vltava river that was prosperous, beautiful and famous. Excited by her dream Libuse decided to built a city from her dream.
According to historical sources first known Czech Prince Borivoj (880 – 890) was the founder of the first pre-roman castle in the place where Today’s Prague stands. The old town was also founded at this time. The place of today’s Old Town Square was known as a Market in the 12th century as it was conveniently situated on a crossroad between the Prague Castle and the Vysehrad castle.
Throughout centuries the Czech lands (often referred to as Bohemia) were ruled by many Kings from various European families – the Premysls, Luxembourgs, Jagello and the Habsburgs. During the rein of the Habsburgs the Bohemian land was part of the Habsburgs empire and from 1867 belonged to Austria-Hungary.
At the time of Charles IV. (1346 – 1378) Prague reached its greatest importance. The Czech King and Roman Emperor decided to transform Prague to a city of international significance. After his arrival he rebuilt the Prague castle which was greatly damaged during the fire of 1304. Charles the IV., together with his father founded the Prague archbishopric and started works on a new Cathedral. The next important step was the foundation of New Town, the University and of a stone bridge.
The next important period was during the period of reign of Rudolf II.von Habsburg (1576 – 1611) a great admirer of science, culture and the arts. He invited to his castle the most important scientists, philosophers and artists from the whole world, amongst them were Tycho de Brahe or Johannes Kepler. After his death the centre of the Habsburg empire was moved to Vienna.
28. 10. 1918 Prague becomes the Capital city of the newly established Czechoslovak Republic and Thomas Garrigue Masaryk was elected as the first President. The time of the 1st Republic is considered to be a successful period, which was interrupted by the two great wars. After World War II. Czechoslovakia became a socialist state, ruled by the Communist Party with centrally controlled economy and politically orientated on the Soviet Union. The socialist era was ended in 1989, with so called Velvet Revolution.
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