Charlese de Gaulla 9, Prague 6, Dejvice
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Panoramic photo by Jeffrey Martin PRO EXPERT MAESTRO Taken 10:21, 19/11/2011 - Views loading...

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Charlese de Gaulla 9, Prague 6, Dejvice

The World > Europe > Czech Republic > Prague

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Here is Charles de Gaulle street in Prague. It really has nothing to do with the man, except that he's a bit of a hero in Prague. There are quite a lot of streets and monuments named after foreigners, which as a foreigner myself I find a bit strange - most countries' heroes are from the country itself!

This panorama was shot handheld using a Samsung Nexus S

From Wikipedia:

Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle (22 November 1890 – 9 November 1970) was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969.

A veteran of World War I, in the 1920s and 1930s de Gaulle came to the fore as a proponent of mobile armoured divisions, which he considered would become central in modern warfare. During World War II, he reached the temporary rank of Brigadier General, leading one of the few successful armoured counter-attacks during the 1940 Battle of France, and then briefly served in the French government as France was falling.

He escaped to Britain and gave a famous radio address, broadcast by the BBC on 18 June 1940, exhorting the French people to resist Nazi Germany and organised the Free French Forces with exiled French officers in Britain. As the war progressed de Gaulle gradually gained control of all French colonies except Indochina most of which had at first been controlled by the pro-German Vichy regime. Despite earning a reputation for being a difficult man to do business with, by the time of the Allied invasion of France in 1944 he was heading what amounted to a French government in exile, but although he insisted that France be treated as a great independent power by the other Allies, the Americans in particular remained deeply suspicious of his motives. De Gaulle became prime minister in the French Provisional Government, resigning in 1946 due to political conflicts.

After the war he founded his own political party, the RPF. Although he retired from politics in the early 1950s after the RPF's failure to win power, he was voted back to power as prime minister by the French Assembly during the May 1958 crisis. De Gaulle led the writing of a new constitution founding the Fifth Republic, and was elected President of France, an office which now held much greater power than in the Third and Fourth Republics.

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This panorama was taken in Prague

This is an overview of Prague

  Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, has long attracted artists and wandering spirits, although it was originally inhabited by prehistoric fish. Their inland sea filled the basin contained by the Tatras and Carpathian mountains, but when it eventually dried up they were forced to yield the terrain to dinosaurs, wooly mammoths and Neanderthals.
    In human times the Celtic tribes came to reside here, leaving remains dating back to the 4th Century B.C.  Their tribal name, Boii, gives the root of the word "Bohemia".  The three separate territories of Bohemia, Silesia and Moravia now make up the modern Czech Republic, which split from Slovakia in the 1993 "Velvet Divorce."
    Thanks to its enigmatic founder, the city of Prague derives a magnetic appeal for visionaries, scientists and astronomers.  The historical figure credited with the launch of Prague is Princess Libuse, a visionary prophet and warrior who once stood atop the hill at Vysehrad and made the prophecy as follows,

    "I see a vast city, whose glory will touch the stars!"

    This indeed came to pass after she took Otokar Premysl to be her husband and King, launching the Premyslid dynasty, and leaving it to rule for the first four hundred years of Czech history.  When the last Premyslid king, Wenceslas III, died without producing a male heir, the fourteen year-old John of Luxembourg came to take the throne of the Czech lands.
    Hot-headed John died in battle, but his diplomatic son Charles IV inherited the throne and, through keen multi-lingual savvy, managed to both keep it and earn the title "Father of the Czech Nation."
    Charles IV was the first of the Holy Roman Emperors here; he ruled during the height of Prague's elegance and splendour. This is the man to know if you want to understand Prague's layout.  He sponsored the construction of such landmarks as the Charles Bridge, the Hunger Wall and St. Vitus' Cathedral, as well as personally designing the neighborhood called New Town (Nove Mesto) which has for its center Karlovo Namesti or Charles Square.
    The city displays every branch of architecture across the last thousand years, including Cubism, a style which you will be hard-pressed to find applied to buildings anywhere else in the world.  Beyond the stunning visual makeup of the city, there is a wealth of nightlife and entertainment, beginning with the legendary concert halls including the Rudolfinum, National Theater, Estates Theater and the Municipal House.
    After investigating the Castle and Bridge, which are the most heavily-trafficked tourist areas, take a look around Zizkov and Letna, two of the cooler neighborhoods for bars and restaurants.
    However quiet it may seem after ten PM, Prague is alive and throbbing in an endless array of basement bars, pubs, clubs, discos and pool halls waiting to be discovered by the intrepid subterranean adventurer.  To get an idea of what lies in store, check out the panoramas for Chateau and Palac Akropolis and when you're out and about, make sure you look for the stairs down to the cellar. 
    Apart from shopping, eating, drinking and wearing out your digital camera, delve into the rich green carpet of Prague's parks, many of which lie only walking-minutes from the city center.

Text by Steve Smith.

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