Originating in France in the 12th century, awe-inspiring Gothic architecture lasted until the 16th century and then popped up in the 18th through the 20th century England – usually seen in grand churches and university buildings in places such as Oxford and Cambridge. Characteristics of this ornate architectural style include flying buttresses, pointed arches, and ribbed vaulting, the engineering feats that enabled massive stained glass windows – one of the most recognizable elements in Gothic architecture. Gothic architecture has the power to wow; if you look at the majority of Gothic churches and cathedrals with their massive widths and dizzying heights, you can experience, for example, just how small you really feel once you step inside one of these glorious gems. This is what Gothic architecture was made to do; it was made to install fear and awe in the worshipper, ensuring that the worshipper would feel small in comparison to the power of the Church and of Christ.
 

St. Vitus Cathedral

You can see the magnificent Cathedral of St. Vitus from nearly any elevated place in Prague. The cathedral towers over Prague Castle and is the architectural trademark of the city. History whispers from every corner of this monumental structure, taking visitors back in time. In 1344 French architect Matthias of Arras was commissioned to plan and bu...

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Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge, which connects the left and right embankments of the Vltava River, is the oldest bridge in Prague. Every day many tourists and locals cross and admire this gorgeous architectural gem. Charles IV lay the main stone of this bridge on July 9th 1357 at 5:31 a.m. on the recommendation of royal astronomers who felt the date and time were...

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Church of our Lady Before Tyn

The Gothic spires of the mid 14th century Church of Our Lady Before Týn are a symbol for all that is magnificent and magical about Prague. One of the signature landmarks in Prague's Old Town the church originally belonged to the followers of Jan Hus (whose statue stands in Old Town Square), but was reclaimed by the Counter-Reformation. The golden M...

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Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia

The exhibition of Medieval and early Renaissance art in Bohemia and Central Europe is on permanent display in the first convent located north of the Alps of the Order of Saint Clare, also known as the Order of Poor Ladies or the Poor Clares. This Prague convent was founded by the famous Bohemian Saint and Princess Agnes of the Premyslid dynasty, th...

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Powder Tower

Located off of Republic Square and attached to the Art Nouveau Municipal House, this impressive Gothic tower is one of the original 13 gates to Prague's Old Town. The Powder Tower dates back to 1475; under the reign of King Vladislav II Jagiello this tower was constructed and known then as the Mountain Tower. It wasn't until the 17th century that i...

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House at the Stone Bell

The House at the Stone Bell got its name from the house sign that was placed at the corner of the building in the 16th century, as was common at the time. However, the origin of the house, which is now used as an exhibition space for important short-term exhibition projects by the City Gallery Prague, dates back as far as the second half of the 13t...

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