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Czech Republic
  | Prague

Prague – Old Town (Stare Mesto)

Old Town Square - Prague
  Old Town Square – Old Town Square, heart of the Golden City, is a great place to start exploring medieval Prague with kids. The square is a large area, surrounded by beautiful pastel-colored Baroque buildings, spikey-spired Tyn Cathedral, and the Rathaus (town hall). In the center is the impressive Jan Hus monument, symbol of the Czech people.
Astronomical clock - Prague
    Astronomical Clock – The Astronomical Clock, built in the 15th century, was a mechanical marvel of its day – it not only tells time, but it shows the position of the earth, sun and moon, signs of the zodiac, time of sunrise and sunset, day of the week and month of the year. On the hour, you can watch the figures on the clock move – twelve apostles progress past two windows at the top of the clock, the grim reaper skeleton bangs his bell, until the cock flaps his wings and the hour is chimed.
      Rathaus Climb up the tower of the Rathaus (or you can take the elevator). It's a great 360 degree view of Prague, red roofs, colorful buildings, and a bird's eye view of the Old Town Square below.
      Tyn Cathedral is not really open, except for services. But take a quick look, the interior of the cathedral has lavish black and gold decorations in the Baroque chapels.
      Ride in horse-drawn carriage – Hop into a horse-drawn carriage, and take a clip-clop ride around Prague.
      Snacks and crafts – Grab a nice sausage and bun from one of the stalls or watch the blacksmiths, making candlesticks, bells and metal ornaments over a charcoal fire.
Charles Bridge - Prague
  Charles Bridge (Karlov Most) – For years, the bridge across the Vltava River connected the two sides of the city, but when that bridge washed away, Charles IV had a new, better bridge built in the 14th century, and this one has lasted. In legend, a water goblin named Josef lives under the bridge. This is a pedestrian-only bridge, and as you walk across, stop to watch the buskers making music on the bridge.
      The bridge is decorated with a slew of Baroque statues, dramatic blackened sandstone, bronze or marble, some with gold trimmings. Starting at the western edge, kids will want to check out the statue of King Wenceslas (Vaclav in Czech), Saint Vitus (who was eaten by lions in the Roman amphitheater), Prince Bruncvik (also called Roland, whose miraculous sword is buried in the Charles Bridge, and will appear if the country is in peril), Saint Ludmilla, wife of the first Christian ruler of Prague, and many more saints.
      At the eastern edge of the Charles Bridge, climb up the Stare Mesto bridge tower, for a view of the bridge and river below. Check out Gothic decorations on the outside, sculptures of the kings and patron saints of Bohemia.
Prague Castle
  Toy Museum (Husova 20, Clam-Gallas Palace) – Don't miss this charming toy museum, with lovely European toys from the late 19th and early 20th century – tin toys driven by a small steam engine, turn of the century doll houses, old fashioned dolls with porcelain heads, miniature trains, wind-up toys, and traditional wooden folk toys. Upstairs is an amazing collection of Barbie dolls. Exhibits are labeled in English.
    Wax Museum (Melantrichova 5) – The Wax Museum is an introduction to figures from recent Czech history – Communist rulers, Stalin, Brezhnev, plus writers and composers such as Kafka, Dvorak and Smetana. There's also a cool 3-D movie with images of Prague that feels like you're in a big kaleidoscope.
    Powder Tower (Prasna brana) – In earlier centuries, when Prague was surrounded by walls, watch towers guarded the city. The Powder Tower is one of the few remaining Gothic watch towers. As you climb up the smooth stone steps to the top, there are really beautiful colored glass windows decorated with crowns and heraldic shields on each level. From the top, you'll get a great view of the spires of Prague. The Powder Tower is near the Namesti Republiky metro stop.
travel for kids | czech republic | prague | old town (stare mesto)
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