For those thinking of taking their students on an educational tour, there are few more memorable destinations than Prague. It is a city of incredible beauty, full of history, culture and art – as well as an extremely welcoming and student-friendly atmosphere. From its museums and galleries to its breathtaking historic monuments to its modern cultural scene, there is no shortage of sights and experiences to keep young people informed and inspired. The capital of today’s Czech Republic, and formerly the capital of Bohemia, Prague has seen a great deal of change in the thousand years since its founding. Read on for a taste of what this enchanting city has to offer school groups.
The most famous of Prague’s many striking architectural gems that can be seen on an educational tour, Prague Castle dates from the 9th century and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Filled with historic treasures, it offers the perfect window into the regal splendour of Prague’s past. Guided tours of the castle include an opportunity to watch the ceremonial changing of the guard, while an exploration of its gardens is a good opportunity for students to stretch their legs. In all, it makes for an ideal introduction to the city and its history, and is well worth considering as a starting point.
One area in which Prague really comes into its own as an educational tour destination is in the quality of its museums and galleries. As one of Europe’s preeminent cultural capitals, it is home to a fantastic array of cultural institutions, with something to suit every subject focus. The best known include the National Museum, which offers a comprehensive look at the city’s history; the National Gallery, which is ideal as an introduction to Czech art; the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, with its extensive collections of crafts from the time of the Bohemian Empire; and the Jewish Museum, which sheds vital light on the history of Czech Jewish culture and history. For art students, a must-see is the Mucha Museum, dedicated to the work of Alphonse Mucha, who was a heavily influential figure in the Art Nouveau school; for those studying world literature, meanwhile, the Kafka Museum is not to be missed.
No matter what the focus of your educational tour, the Vltava River is sure to feature prominently in students’ experience of the city. The river defines not only Prague’s geography but its very origin – the city’s name derives from the Slavic word ‘praga’, meaning ‘ford’: a reference to the earliest iteration of the city as a river crossing. Today, the grandeur of the arched bridges that cross the river, and the architectural treasures of Old Prague that line its banks, make it a fascinating vantage point from which to view the city, and a river cruise is sure to prove a memorable experience.