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I took a crash course on field of architecture, which is much advertised in Prague and not without reason. There are old style buildings in every corner. Most of the nice buildings are spoiled from ground floor so you should look up and you’ll see Prague very differently. Here is some tips about architecture so that you may show your talents to your friends.


Oldest style you can find from Prague is Romanesque style. You’ll know it from barrel vaults and small windows. Because of small windows they are quite dark inside. Buildings are very simple and sometimes contain Greek pillars.



Gothic Church in Kutna Hora

Gothic style is perhaps the most visible and well known in Prague. Typical example is Cathedral of St. Vitus. Gothic buildings are tall with pointed archs and pinnacles. Churches often include some gargoyles. All gothic buildings in Prague are dark ones but there are some white ones in Czech. Windows are often decorated with traceries and vaults end up sharply. Through gothic architecture they could make taller windows, which made buildings more lightly inside.



Renaissance brought its own style to buildings from Italy. Renaissance buildings you’ll recognize from arcades, special rectangular windows and graffito paintings.

Renaissance building



Prague has many baroque style buildings. Most easily you’ll recognize these buildings from statues that are on the roof. Baroque buildings are also heavily decorated with relieves. Buildings will give you an image that someone else also wanted just to show up for everyone else.



It is usual to use piano nobile in baroque and rococo styles. That means that one of the upper floors are taller then ground floors. This way they wanted to show the position of nobles and separate it from the mob. This piano nobile is easily recognised from Archbishops Palace in Prague’s Castle.

Archbishops Palace


Municipal House
Art Nouveau

Most of the buildings in Prague are not that old you would first figure. Most of the important buildings are from 19th and 20th century. If you don’t know what style buildings are, you can always blame art nouveau. Most famous art nouveau buildings in Prague are National Theatre, National Museum and Municipal house. You’ll recognize art nouveau from fresco like paintings and iron balconies.


Neo Styles

So that your showing up would not be so easy I must tell that there is many different neo styles used in Prague. You might recognize same elements from them as old styles but these are mixed with new ideas. Most famous example about neo style from Prague is again the Cathedral of St. Vitus. It is mostly neo gothic as two out of its three towers are built in 1960’s.

So what have learned? If you walk in the streets of Prague it is wise to lift your glance a little higher. At the same time you can forget for a moment that you are not alone, as tourist masses are trying to give way to that lunatic not looking forward. Your lovely day walk might cut in short, or should we say cut in tall, into a two hundred pounds laddy who is also looking up. Well, at least in that case you are looking up, as you should in Prague.

Pay attention to small Romanesque windows around Prague that are on ground level. Prague was once raised few metres to avoid flood damages and that’s why you’ll see these windows very near to ground.

Window in ground level