The Czech Republic is a land-locked country in central Europe that is bordered by Germany, Austria, Poland and Slovakia.
Old Town Charms 古都古韵
When you ask a local about Prague, they’re proud to point out that Prague is the heart of Europe. Prague was settled about 500 AD, and about 300 years later, because of war and turmoil, two fortresses were built. One of them was the Prague Castle. Now if you look inside the castle, the churches, the halls, the gates, everything has maintained its charm from each period of its history.
Once inside the castle walls you’ll be greeted by Prague’s most distinctive landmark. This is the St. Vitus Cathedral. Construction originally started in 1344, but what’s interesting is that construction didn’t end until about the 20th century. Now over the centuries, this place has seen many 1)coronations and a lot of burials of kings. Today it’s the most prominent building in the Prague Castle. It also now houses the crown jewels and also the kings’ tombs.
A leisurely boat cruise along the Vltava River is a great way to see the Charles Bridge and the surrounding area.
Guide: The Charles Bridge was built in the 14th century by the Emperor Charles IV. It is very well 2)fortified by towers on both sides. So all this area in the Middle Ages used to get flooded every spring. It was a very 3)fertile area. And because the Charles Bridge was the only bridge here for about 439 years, it was built over this place to make a safe and reliable crossing. This bridge was one of the most important trade routes of Europe. And of course we collected tax for the crossing. That’s the reason why this city became so rich.
The Charles Bridge is the most visited site in Prague. The bridge has 30 statues lining both of its sides.
Cozy Town Magic 小镇天堂
Karlovy Vary is a very fashionable and glamorous town and it gained 4)notoriety in the early 14th century by chance, when one of Emperor Charles IV’s hunting dogs fell into a natural hot spring. After Charles IV’s hunting incident, it was realized that great profit could be made from the warm springs. The town soon became a magnet for European 5)aristocrats.
Situated on the 6)confluence of the rivers Teplá and Ohře it is surrounded by three mountain ranges, where the picturesque river valley winds through wooded hills. More than 70 hot mineral springs can be found in the surrounding region. In Karlovy Vary there are 12 hot springs that are used for various spa treatments, which include mostly drinking cures and baths. The water temperatures vary from 39℃ to 73℃.
What goes better with spa treatments and natural hot springs than shopping? And Karlovy Vary has no lack of it. From high-end shops to shops for the rest of us, they’ve got you covered. Make sure you look for porcelain, glassworks and a7)potent herb 8)liqueur that the Karlovy Varyans are popular for.
Several centuries ago the region began attracting a growing population of aristocrats with plenty of money and time to kill in between spa treatments. As a result, it became a centre for the arts. One of the art forms that gained popularity was porcelain-making. First produced in 9)Bohemia while under the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the number of factories jumped to 77 by 1928. The factories employed almost 20,000 people and produced over 35,000 tonnes of porcelain annually.
Czech glassware is also a famous export of the region. Dating back to the Renaissance period, the first stonecutters came to the court of the Czech king and produced what they referred to as “mountain crystal,” and since then Czech glasswork companies have become official suppliers to many imperial courts, including the British royalty.
After the discovery of the hot springs the town’s popularity was further enhanced in 1790 by Dr. David Behr. Now, while analyzing the water source of the town, he managed to make a potent herb liqueur. What’s interesting about it is not only does it make you 10)tipsy, but it also makes you healthier when you drink it.