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Both monumental and intimate, and somehow more than the sum of its extraordinary parts, Prague wears its thousand years of history like a finely cut cloak. Alone among the great capitals of central Europe, it has been practically undamaged by war or natural disaster, a city that seems to exist outside of time even as cataclysmic events played out just beyond its walls. This fairy tale impression, however, is inaccurate. A tour of Prague is a tour through European intellectual history. For centuries it was the heart of Mitteleuropean culture, a turbulent and fertile synthesis of Bohemian, German and Jewish influences that produced writers like Rainer Maria Rilke and Franz Kafta, revolutionary thinkers like Jan Hus and Johannes Kepler, and composers like Bedrich Smetana and Leoš Janácek. Its architectural achievements are no less splendid. Prague represents the high point of three distinct eras, boasting some of the finest Gothic, Baroque and Modernist buildings anywhere in the world. This Art Pursuits Study Tour will explore this city's riches, from the best-known monuments of Prague Castle and the Old Town to less familiar quarters, and a number of hidden treasures not accessible to the public, concealed among the hundred spires of the Golden City.
Fly from London Heathrow to Prague and transfer by coach to the Old Town. Check in to our hotel before joining a walk to Obecní dům for a private visit of its beautiful Art Nouveau interiors including the Smetana concert hall. Afterwards, a short introductory walk will take us past the Old Town Hall on our way to our first group dinner at a restaurant overlooking the magnificent 14th-century Charles Bridge.
A morning spent discovering Prague’s Old Town on foot begins with the quintessentially mediaeval Old Town Square, including the Astronomical Clock and the great Týn Church. We cross the Charles Bridge to enter the Lesser Town followed by a visit of the spectacular church of St. Nicholas, one of the great masterpieces of the 18th-century Baroque ecclestial architecture. Lunch in the Lesser Town followed by a short coach transfer to the Old Town to visit the 13th-century Convent of St. Agnes, a splendid collection of medieval Bohemian and Central European paintings. In the evening, enjoy a performance of a Mozart's Magic Flute opera at the 18th-century Estates Theatre.
We start the day with a walk through the haunting Jewish Quarter. In former Josefov, there remain six synagogues, the town hall and cemetery. After a refreshment break, the coach takes us to explore sites further afield such as the Summer Royal Palace “Belvedere” and Vyšehrad. We finish the afternoon with the New Town walk visiting Wenceslas Square to view the exterior of the Hotel Europe, Lucerna, Church of Our Lady of the Snow. Farewell dinner at a restaurant in the Old Town.
Please note that it is necessary to have a good level of fitness as there will be at times extensive walking and inevitably some long periods of standing.
Single Room Supplement from £260.00 (5 days).
Located in the heart of Prague Old Town, the Hotel Paris is a 5-star luxury retreat housed within a magnificent Neo-Gothic building, recognised as a historical monument. Immerse yourself in timeless elegance with stylishly designed rooms and indulge in the spa, complete with a jacuzzi, sauna, steam bath and fitness centre. Explore the vibrant city from this ideally-located and enchanting establishment.
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