Prague, Czech Republic
The City of Phoenix and City of Prague established a Capital Cities relationship in May 1991. Over the ensuing years, changes in each city’s administration resulted in a reduced emphasis on the importance of the relationship to the point where exchanges and activities were put on hold. However, both cities have recently experienced changes in both administrations and decided that the relationship should be reactivated, but elevated to full sister cities status. As of April 2013, Prague officially became a full Sister City. One of the jewels of Europe, Prague is renowned for its beauty and rich culture. Furthermore, the Czech Republic is a strategic economic center in the heart of Central and Eastern Europe, and provides great opportunity for Arizona’s trade and business community. Numerous Phoenix-based companies already have a strong presence in Prague as well, such as Honeywell and On-Semiconductor.
More than 1.4 million people live in the city of Prague (Praha in Czech), the political, administrative, financial and commercial heart of the Czech Republic.
Situated along the Moldau (Vltava) river, Prague is also an industrial city, producing goods ranging from machinery, rolling stock, chemicals, textiles, furniture, food, and beer. The city is served by rail, highways and the Elbe-Moldau waterway, and it has an international airport.
The history of the city goes back to the foundation of the Prague Castle (Hradcany) which, after 870 became the main seat of the oldest ruling dynasty of the state of Bohemia, the Premyslid princes. Medieval Prague flourished during the reign of the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia Charles IV (1346-1378). Charles founded the oldest university in Central Europe in Prague (1348), founded and built the New Town and adorned his residential town with numerous structures and public buildings (Charles Bridge, St. Vitus’s cathedral, the Slavonic Abbey, the church at Karlov, etc.).
Even today, Old Prague has retained much of its original appearance, with narrow streets and all historic buildings. It is the site of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and also some more recent architectural treasures. Its Jewish Town with its synagogues and one of the oldest cemeteries attracts visitors from all over the world.
Traditionally, Prague has been one of the principal intellectual and artistic centers of central Europe and was a home to some famous people like the religious reformer Jan Hus, astronomers Kepler and Tycho de Brahe, mathematician Bolzano, composers Smetana and Dvorak, writer Franz Kafka, philosopher (and later president) Tomas G. Masaryk and last but not least playwright Vaclav Havel, who led the fight to overthrow communism, and became a president of the once again free republic.
Prague has an extensive and inexpensive public transportation system provided by buses, trams and subway, which is an envy of many American cities, including Phoenix.
The Capital City relationship between Prague and Phoenix was established in May 1991.