Czech Mate! Photos of the Czech Republic

 
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Constructed in the mid- to late-1300s, the Charles Bridge in Prague was the first stone bridge to span the city's Vltava River.  
Credit: Czech Tourism 
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Originally, the Charles Bridge featured only a simple crucifix—30 other statues were added over the next couple of centuries at the urging of the Catholic church. Now, at least 75 sculptures decorate the expanse.  
Credit: Czech Tourism 
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Every autumn, the Prague International Jazz Festival takes over the ancient city's most famous jazz venues, such as the Lucerna Music Bar and Reduta. To bookend the city's renowned spring and autumn international music festivals, the week-long celebration of jazz features top acts from the Czech Republic as well as international jazz luminaries.  
Credit: Czech Tourism 
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On December 5, well-behaved children throughout the Czech Republic are rewarded with the charming old tradition of Mikulas, the first part of the Christmas celebration.  
Credit: Czech Tourism 
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During Mikulas, a devil, an angel, and St. Nicholas parade through the streets handing out candy to children who sing songs to the trio. If the children are naughty, the devil will deliver his punishment, a sack of coal, to the often terrified offender.  
Credit: Boris Tylevich\Flickr 
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The original Cesky Krumlov castle was founded by the lords of Krumlov in the first half of the 13th century. The present chateau complex, which includes the Baroque Theater, Castle Tower, and Castle Gardens, is one of the largest in Central Europe and has been in the UNESCO List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage since 1992.  
Credit: Czech Tourism 
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In terms of Czech historical significance, Olomouc ranks second only to Prague. The first documented evidence of the town dates back to 1055, and today you can still marvel at the remains of a town from the Middle Ages.  
Credit: Ana Paula Hirama\Flickr 
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A large collection of Olomouc's historical architecture and cultural monuments have been meticulously preserved in their original design. The Saint Trinity Column, rising above the central town square, is included on the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites.  
Credit: Ana Paula Hirama\Flickr 
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Karlovy Vary, also called Carlsbad, is the largest spa town in the Czech Republic and is world famous for its 12 mineral springs that rise from the earth. Many people believe that the compounds in these waters have healing powers.  
Credit: Jim Linwood\Flickr 
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Though founded by Charles IV in the 14th century, Karlovy Vary now boasts stunning architecture that was heavily influenced by late-19th-century style.  
Credit: Chiara Marra\Flickr 
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Known for its astounding array of gothic architecture, Kutna Hora and the neighboring town of Sedlec are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Perhaps the most famous attraction in town is the Saint Barbara Cathedral. Construction began in 1388 and was not completed until 1905. The cathedral wows with spectacular vaulted ceilings, flying buttresses, and stained-glass windows.  
Credit: Wikipedia 
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The south Bohemia town of Sedlec once flourished because of its mined silver reserve. Just one hour by train from Prague, the quaint suburb is a worthy day trip.  
Credit: lyng883\Flickr 
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The most intriguing site in Sedlec is the Ossuary, or the Bone Church as it is more commonly known. The Roman Catholic Church contains the skeletons of an estimated 40,000 people, and features a bone chandelier as the center attraction. The chandelier is constructed of at least one of every bone in the human body.  
Credit: lyng883\Flickr 
 
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