Europe is very, very old and cities like Prague have a long, culturally rich history that extends for centuries into the past. With all that time to accrue art and culture, it's no wonder Prague is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and a surprising sight for first time travelers to take in.
It is often the totally unexpected that pleases most. When I thought of Prague I imagined castles, cathedrals, cobbled lanes, old stone bridges and spires. Prague is rightfully proud of a thousand years of art and architecture. The surprise is the plethora of Art Nouveau buildings, stained-glass windows, paintings and applied arts.
Initially, it's not Art Nouveau I notice. I begin exploring the city. Soon I'm lost in the maze of lanes that veer off at unusual angles. It's a pleasant kind of lost, passing stone buildings, bars in basements, dinky shops and centuries-old solid wood doors.
The lanes lead to Old Town Square, Prague's main public place since the 10th century. It's expansive and edged by neoclassical architecture.
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