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Cities around World--Prague (Czech)

Prague (Czech)

Prague, capital of the Czech Republic and one of Europe's most beautiful cities, has finally come into full bloom. Its compact(紧凑的)medieval center remains an evocative maze of cobbled lanes, ancient courtyards, dark passages and churches beyond number(数不清的), all watched over by an 1100-year-old castle with liveried(穿规定制服的)guards.

In counterpoint to the city's venerable past, Prague's social life is incredibly youthful, mixing young Czechs in search of urban adventure with hordes of 20-something expats in search of the romanticism of Golden Prague. Though veteran travelers complain that their secret treasure has been discovered by the world, the evening sun still shimmers across the city's domes(圆顶)and spires(尖顶), the clatter(嘈杂的谈笑声)and chatter(喋喋不休的讲话)of Czechs enjoying an after-work drink spills from the open doors of back street pubs, and from the window of the public recreation center, Dvorak's(德沃
夏克,十九世纪下半叶捷克著名的音乐家)folksy(有民间风味的)symphonies are recounted with an out-of-tune(走调的)piano. In some ways, Prague carries on as it always has.

Prague sits amid the gentle landscapes of the Bohemian plateau(波西米亚高地), straddling(横跨)the Vltava River (伏尔塔瓦河), the Czech Republic's longest river. Central Prague consists of five historical towns: Hradcany, the castle district, on a hill above the west bank; Mala Strana, the 13th-century 'Little Quarter', between the river and castle; Stare Mesto, the gothic(哥特式的)'Old Town' on the Vltava's east bank; adjacent Josefov, the former Jewish ghetto(犹太人区); and Nove Mesto or 'New Town', to the south and east of Stare Mesto.

Within these historical districts - linked by the landmark Charles Bridge(查理大桥) - are most of the city's attractions. The whole compact maze is best appreciated on foot, aided by Prague's fine public transportation system.