DAY 1 Travel day and introduction to Prague
Welcome by our guide Gontran Benoit, transfer with private bus to the center of Prague. Free lunch in the city and afterwards we would start with a visit of Vyšehrad.
This part of town is situated on a high cliff looking over the right bank of the river Vltava in the South of Prague. An ancient legend tells the story of how Vysehrad used to be the first seat of the Czech sovereigns, however archeological research showed that the first buildings here date from the 10th century. The history of the fort was turbulent and it had to be rebuilt constantly. Today Vyšehrad is a peaceful area and offers a nice and somewhat unusual view over the river valley going through the center of Prague. Also we find here the Slavin cemetery, which was established in 1869 as an honnorary burial place for famous Czech artists, scientists, statesmen, musicians, etc as for instance are the composers Bedrich Smetana and Antonin Dvorak…
St Peter and Paul church | Slavin cemetery | view from Vyšehrad fortress
DAY 2 The Old Town of Prague
After breakfast we start the day with a historical and cultural walk through the Old Town. We pass the Old Town Square, Tyn church, the Astronomical clock, the Clementinum, Charles bridge, etc… During this walk we also make an exclusive visit of the interiors of the Estates Theater where Mozart himself conducted the premiere of for instance his opera Don Giovanni. A glass of Sekt (local sparkling wine) and a mini concert to feel the atmosphere of the time is included.
Free time for lunch or a reserved meal in the center of town
In the afternoon our programme offers an extensive visit of the unique Jewish cemetery and museum.
The end of the day can be filled with some free time or with other visits which our guide will be more than happy to recommend according to your interests.
Dinner and overnight
The Estates Theater | Jewish museum | Pinkas Synagogue
DAY 3 – Prague Castle area
After breakfast we board the bus for a transfer to the magnificent Castle area.
Here we visit the library halls of the Strahov monastery, Hradcany square, the Prague Castle with St Vitus cathedral, the Old Royal Palace, St George Basilica and the famous “Golden Lane”.
During our visit of the castle, we’ll stop for a coffee and cake break.
After lunch time we continue with a walk down the hill of the castle and through the “Mala Strana” or Lesser Quarter area with its Saint Nicolas church. There are no less than three Saint Nicolas churches in Prague, but this one is the most famous in baroque style situated on the main square Malostranska. The interiors take your breath away with all its guilded and marble statues and decorations, completed with beautiful murals. We end our day with a spiritual visit at the Our Lady the Victorious church (miracle statue of the infant Jesus).
A bit of free time for a terrace.
Dinner and overnight
Prague Castle area | one of the St Nicolas churches | Our Lady the Victorious
DAY 4 Terezin & Nelahozeves
Today we would visit Terezin in the morning at about 65km North from Prague.
Terezin is a perfect example of a military fortress in classisist style. It was built by emperor Joseph II at the end of the 18th century. The fort has several parts: the main fortress which was a garrison town, the political prison Malá pevnost (the small fortress) and the upper and lower water sluice. The garrison town has a regular grid plan with a central marching ground and a classisist church from the 19th century. This military fortress with vast bastions and underground casemats has for the biggest part preserved its orignal character. During the Second World War the town became known as a internment camp for Jews from the whole of Europe and the small fortress was changed into a punishment and Gestapo prison. That is the part on which we concentrate our visit.
Nowadays you’ll find here a monument to the victims of the Nazi and this small fortress is conserved as a reminder to this dark page in modern European history.
In the afternoon we’ll continue towards the Renaissance château of Nelahozeves.
From 1623 till today (with the exception of the period 1950 -1992) this castle is the property of the noble family Lobkowicz.
The building was damaged during the 30 years war (1618-1648) and after that changed into a military hospital, during communist times it was a correctional boarding school. The castle went through a complete reconstruction in the last few years.
We could also have lunch at the château (on request) and afterwards we visit the historical interiors and art collections of the Lobkowicz from Roudnice family. A large knights hall, an armory, several castle parlours, a ” Spanish portraits” gallery with paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries and one of the largest privately owned art collections of Bohemia can be found here.
As the family owns also large vineyards, we can complete our visit with a small degustation.
Nelahozeves is also the village where famous composer Antonin Dvorak was born, and it would be a pity not to visit also his birth house and small museum.
Dinner and overnight
Terezin | chateau Nelahozeves | birth house Dvořák
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning we’ll finish our stay with the theme of Art Nouveau (or liberty style) Of course we encountered, during our walks through town, already many examples of this art movement as the people of Prague used to be totally charmed by it. However, the Mucha museum is worth a special visit, small but still able to drag you into the spirit of the time. There’s a more than interesting movie about the life of the artist and you will be surprised about the versatility of his work with for instance the design of postal stamps and the first Czechoslovak banknotes. Nice to have a look at is also the photograph collection with his workshop and even more famous impressionist friends from the time when he worked and lived as a painter in Paris.
After this little “art nouveau” introduction at the museum, we’ll end our cultural submersion into this style at the renovated Municipal House of Prague. Sometimes called ‘obecnak’ or ‘repré’ by the locals gives a somewhat degrading impression when asking them about it, but the “Obecni Dum” is one of the most beautiful architectural examples of Art Nouveau and you’ll find here the most splendid murals, mosaics and sculptures illustrating the mythology of Bohemia, you can have an excellent coffee within the art Déco interiors and you can also go to a concert by the Prague philharmonic orchestra in the magnificent Smetana Hall or visit the mayor’s private chambers with its decoration by Mucha himself.
Lunch, free time and transfer to the airport.