May 15, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Planning to do a medical placement in Liberec in the Czech Republic? The city of Prague, capital of the Czech Republic and Europe’s hippest destination, is only about an hour’s drive away. With plenty of stunning Gothic cathedrals, fairytale castles and chic cafes, a day spent rambling the streets of Prague will make for some fabulous memories of your time in this beautiful country.
This spectacular castle is the largest ancient castle in the world. Built around the year 880, Prague Castle is approximately the size of 7 football fields and includes several royal residences, churches and gardens. To see the entire complex would take several days but if you are short on time, you will have to choose your exhibits carefully. The St. Vitus Cathedral within the castle is a must-see for its gorgeous stained glass windows and the tomb of St. John of Nepomuk- a massive vault that is held up by an army of angels. The permanent exhibition “The Story of Prague Castle” offers an interesting snapshot of more than 1000 years’ history of Prague Castle. The Chapel of the Holy Cross houses an astonishing display of masterpieces amassed from the 11th century and is also worth a visit.
The Old Town Square is a place where everybody congregates, whether it’s to admire the hodgepodge of architecture or just to hang out. The Gothic Tyn Cathedral, the Rococo Kinsky Palace and the Baroque St. Nicholas Church are just a few of the captivating structures that surround the place. An ever-changing cast of dance troupes, musicians, vendors and punks make the square as colourful as the buildings around it.
Constructed in 1357, Prague’s most impressive bridge features 16 arches. The 1,700 ft. cobblestone bridge is lined with 30 Baroque statues of religious figures. Every afternoon, painters, musicians, mimes and food carts fight for vantage space on the bridge so they can be ready to entertain or serve the hordes of tourists who venture here every day for a famed view of the Vltava River. It’s best to visit the Charles Bridge early morning to beat the crowds and enjoy a glorious, undisturbed view of the river.
A charming funicular railway takes you to the top of the 1,000-ft. Petrin Hill, from where you can get a bird’s eye view of several points of interests in the city, from a mirror maze and a miniature version of the Eiffel Tower to immaculately landscaped gardens and the quirky Church of St. Michael. This is a 17th century wooden building, which was relocated here from a village in the Ukraine.
During the time that Czechoslovakia was under communist rule, several thousand Czechs were arrested or shot dead as they attempted to flee across the border. The Memorial to the Victims of Communism is a simple but moving structure that captures the agony of that time.