Starting Point Prague

Prague Travel Blog

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I'm not sure why Explore Worldwide chose to start a tour called Undiscovered Germany in Prague but as it is a city I hadn't been to before I didn't mind. Arrived at our backstreet Hotel mid morning and met up with the rest of the group for our walking tour of this beautiful old city.

The history of Prague is an epic story. Inhabitants of the city have witnessed a declaration of independence, Nazi control, brain washing communism & capitalist democracy. And that was just the 20th century.

Prague is home to a number of famous cultural attractions, many of which survived the violence and destruction of twentieth century Europe. Main attractions include Prague Castle, The Charles Bridge,The Old Town Square and the Jewish Quarter .

Since 1992, the extensive historic centre of Prague has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It's a lovely summers day in Prague, quite warm, meaning we have to stop a couple of times to sample another thing that Prague is famous for,it's beer! Czech beer is world famous. The Czech Republic is the No. 1 beer drinking nation on the planet, with an annual per capita consummation of some 156 litres. Beer is served almost everywhere in Prague, even in breakfast cafés.

The Czechs have been drinking beer since time immemorial. The secret for Czech beer brewing perfection is the agricultural conditions, which are ideal for growing hops. Chronicles place their cultivation in Bohemia as early as 859 A.D., while the first evidence of their export dates back to 903.

Bohemian hops were so prized that King Wenceslas ordered the death penalty for anyone caught exporting the cuttings, from which new plants could be grown.

The first mention of brewing in the Czech territories is in the foundation charter for the Vysehrad church, dating from 1088. In this document, the first Czech king, Vratislav II, decreed that his estates should pay a hop tithe to the church.

In the early days, only citizens in the Czech lands had the right to brew beer - and that for their own consumption - so most citizens had a micro brewery in their home. It wasn't long before some of these citizens banded together to form a co-operative central brewery, from which they would take beer extract home and finish the brewing process there; the medieval equivalent of today's "home brew" kits. The first of these breweries was built at Cerhenice in 1118.

King Wenceslas also played his part, convincing the Pope to revoke an order banning the brewing of beer - which may explain why he's called Good King Wenceslas! It was a small step up from there for breweries to start hawking their wares to the general public as well, and so the Czech beer industry was spawned.

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photo by: vulindlela