A short presentation for a ..."big" M.I.C.E. destination
Have you ever travelled …back in time? Well, it’s easy; all you have to do is …fly to Prague!
The 2nd World War vanished, among many others, the rich heritage of many European cities. Luckily, Prague escaped this destiny, as it was bombed only once (by mistake) and remained almost intact with all its great monuments and heritage for us to see and admire today.
P.C.O.’s want the delegates / participants of their events to leave with great memories. Prague can prove especially useful for this as it provides a most enchanting setting!
Strolling around at night in the old city (mainly Praha 1) gives a weird feeling to the visitor – as if you may have an encounter with Franz Kafka, at the very next corner. You feel the past all around you, even with the many groups of tourists that flood the city on May.
Despite the hordes of invaders, the magic is still there and it’s no coincidence that the whole old city of Prague is included in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, something extremely rare. And the best part comes by nightfall.
How many cities in the whole world can present such a magnificent spectacle, like the one below?
Other cities have treasuries – Prague is a city of treasures instead and (almost) all of them are in public view!
Take for example the Charles Bridge, built by Charles IV. Founded in 1357, is no doubt one of the most beautiful bridges ever made! The 620 meters long and 10 meters wide stone bridge is decorated with 30 statues and statuaries (replicas, to be exact, as the originals were destroyed) - there are three towers and at the edges of the bridge and the Old Town bridge tower is widely considered as one of the most astonishing gothic style buildings in the world.
But the jewel in the crown of Prague is not a big structure – it’s the astronomical clock (or Prague Orloj). Every hour, the animated figures around it start to move which ignites thousands of clicks from the tourists that wait patiently for this moment!
I thought that this clock would have been made either by Tycho Brahe or Johannes Kepler, the two famous astronomers that lived and worked in Prague, however I was surprised to learn that the clock was made before any of these guys was even born!
It’s estimated to have been made around 1410, which makes it the oldest (still) functional astronomical clock in the world! Almost nothing is known for the maker of this clock – there are some writings that mention a “Master Nicholas”, possibly a teacher of the Charles University (1348), one of the oldest Universities in the world.
Now, this is supposed to be an article about P.C.O.’s, you know, these …poor creatures that struggle to organize events that will keep their customers happy – instead, I just realized that I am only praising the charms of the city…, my apologies dear event makers, seems that none can escape the song of this siren, so how would I (or your customers)?
Setting an event here is halfway to success – any delegate / participant would anticipate an interesting destination experience and Prague guarantees life-long memories, even the most unexpected.
Let’s take, for example, the Lobkowicz Palace inside the Prague Castle complex – imagine you are walking in the corridors of the art collection of this enchanting building and you hear from the audio guide that exhibit no. 21, is the …manuscript of Ludwig Van Beethoven’s 5th Symphony…! Doesn’t that send shivers down your spine?
The manuscript that contains the most famous musical introduction ever, was devoted by Ludwig himself to his patron the 7th Prince of this famous family – the highlights of this important collection include also Beethoven’s 4th Symphony, Mozart’s re-orchestration of Handel’s Messiah, paintings from masters such as Canaletto, Brueghel the Elder, Velazquez and a wide array of decorative arts etc. The Lobkowicz Palace library with 65.000 volumes, including manuscripts from the middle Ages, is also amazing!
This family has had a turbulent history in the 20th century as they lost their property twice, once when the Germans invaded Czechoslovakia and then again when the Communist regime took over. After the fall of the Soviet Union, their property was returned and the Palace is now home to the most important private art collection of the Czech Republic. The Palace itself is a unique choice for receptions, business meetings and private events.
There’s no lack of wonderful Palaces in this amazing city – not far from the castle, the Zofin Palace, a neo-renaissance jewel, located on a small island in the river is a magnet for music lovers, as well. Antonin Dvorak’s debut concert was given here and its splendid halls hosted repeatedly world class composers, such as Hector Berlioz, Franz List, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Franz Schubert and Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky!
The Municipal House of such a city would not be left behind – right next to Powder Tower, it is a masterpiece itself that gives shelter to famous Czech artworks.
Its halls are painted by the most famous Czech painters like Alphonse Mucha with his Art Nouveau masterpieces – his ethereal female illustration-like paintings are a familiar image to many, even if we don’t know the creator.
On the ground floor of the Old City Hall, there’s another landmark of Prague, the Francouzcka Restaurant, with French, Czech and international plates served in a Belle Époque atmosphere – actually, it has not changed much since it started its operation in the 1920’s. The restaurant has been used for filming in many movies.
You will also find the Plzenska restaurant (only Czech dishes) and the Americky Bar (American Bar) on the lower floor.
Not far, from there, in the important Wecenclas Square, where Vaclav Havel, playwright, leader of the Velvet Revolution and the first President of the (new) Czech Republic spoke to the people of the country, after the communist regime was swept away, you will find another atmospheric lodge, the Ambassador Zlata Husa Hotel, , built in 1920, with 162 rooms. Its Congress Hall is another time machine and will make you feel as if you are back in 1920’s - with a capacity of up to 800 persons, it’s an interesting venue.
If you would prefer modern venues instead, Prague offers a wide choice too. The Intercontinental Praha offers many rooms for every use, most of them with daylight and great views to the Prague Castle and the …Metronome – an unsual creation, this giant Metronome, that was erected in 1991 on the hill of Letna Park, after the collapse of the Communist regime, as a symbol that time passes and things …change!
Its terrace restaurant “Zlata Praha” offers a spectacular 360o view to the city. The specific hotel was the first international hotel to open in Prague, back in its “stone years” and followed the, so called, “brutalite” architectural style that was a standard for many building of the communist era.
The Four Seasons Prague is yet another choice - just in front of the Vlatva River and just meters from Charles Bridge, it offers a great location and views, while its many conference rooms have a discrete luxury atmosphere.
Need of even bigger venues? No problem, the Prague Congress Centre is there to cover all your congress organizing needs! The huge building of 1981, reconstructed on 2000, fully equipped with latest technology infrastructure, offers 20 halls and 50 meeting rooms with a total capacity of up to 9.300 persons, while it also offers an exhibition space of 13.000 square meters and has hosted many international events.
Looking for a “high experience” in Prague? Why don’t you try the “Zivkov Tower”? The ex-TV tower of Prague, was refurbished a few years ago, with the addition of …crawling babies on its pillars in 2001, by artist David Cerny!
The tower, 261 meters high, has observation rooms at 100 meters that can be used also to host events for 300-400 persons offering a stunning view of the city. One of them is also a hotel room for the daredevils that wish to sleep high …above ground level, as well as a restaurant, named Oblaca (Clouds) and a café bar!
There’s something in Prague for everyone: a boat ride at the city canals (Prague Venice), a sightseeing walk in the Jewish Town and Old Town (for more info, click here ) , a show at the famous Black Theatre, the new Avantgarde Restaurant, with great fusion cuisine and…so, so much more!
Prague is a destination of many virtues and many faces, a city with a vibrant and mystical aura and there’s something to charm every visitor, but the red thread that connects it all, is the magic of this city!
For more information, be assured that the Prague Convention Bureau will be at your service; for DMC services, check out with Liberty Incentives & Congresses.