Prague, Czech Republic.
I arrived to Prague on Friday, after spending all day Thursday flying. Before I left, I met with Professor Schuette to discuss my JanTerm research.
Before telling you all about my travels the past few days, I will tell you what I've learned this far in my Prague and Central/Eastern European research. Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic, as well as the largest city, making it the political and economic center of the Czech Republic. Prague's economic contribution to the Czech Republic's accounts totals approximately 25% of all Czech accounts. In addition, Prague is the location for many international headquarters. In the past twenty years, their has been a major shift in Prague's economic status. While once industrial based, Prague's economic stimulation now thrives from a service-oriented base.
Of the emerging democracies in Central and Eastern Europe, the Czech Republic has one of the most developed and industrialized economies. Of the post-Communism states in Central and Eastern Europe, it is the most stable and prosperous nation. The Czech Republic joined the European Union in 2004 and continued a prosperous growth trend in the years to follow. Unlike many EU states, the Czech Republic was not affected by the Financial Crisis in 2007-2010. Initially, the Czech Republic planned to adopt the euro in 2010, but that date was noted unlikely; therefore, the Czech Republic still uses the Czech koruna (pronounced crown).
Now for the exciting part...
I have been to four prominent places in Prague since my arrival: Wenceslas Square, Prague Castle, Old Town Square and Charles Bridge.
Wenceslas Square is one of the main city squares in the "New Town" of Prague. It was formerly a horse market during the Middle Ages. The square took it's name after Saint Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia.Prague Castle has housed the Kings of Bohemia, the presidents of Czechoslovakia and Czech Republic, as well as the Holy Roman Emperors. The Bohemian Crown Jewels are currently housed there. According the Guinness Book of World Records, it is the largest castle complex in the world. Construction of the Castle began in the 9th century!! During the 14th century, under the crown of Charles IV, the Castle was rebuilt in the Gothic style it largely represents today. However, the Prague Castle has been rebuilt many times, so it represents almost every architectural style of the past millennium.
Old Town Square is a historic square in the "Old Town" of Prague.
It is located between Wenceslas Square and Charles Bridge. Huge celebrations, such as New Years, Christmas and Easter, are held there.
Charles Bridge is a famous bridge that crosses the Vitava River. It's construction also began under the crown of Charles IV during the 14th century.
My travels have been very exciting! Tomorrow I'm off to the Museum of Communism. Until next week, Ahoj (Bye).