The Metropolis by the Vltava
Prague's situation on the banks of Vltava in the heart of Europe, made the city a magnet for tradesmen early on, thus contributing significantly to the wealth, splendour and importance of a city, the control of which was the cause of many a battle.
The beauty of the city has also resulted in a great many pictorial representations of it. Two of these are shown here.
First is the view of the Bohemian metropolis of Prague from 1562. It depicts the different towns of Prague. Farthest away, on the left side of the river, lies Prague Castle and Hradcany, while nearer the foreground is Malá Strana (or Lesser Town). In the foreground on the right hand side of the River Vltava is Nové Mesto (or New Town), while Stare Mesto (Old Town) and Josefov (the Jewish Quarter) lie farther away.
The picture is from the Renaissance, at the beginning of the great period of prosperity when Prague had approximately 60,000 inhabitants.
The view, entitled "The Bohemian metropolis of Prague, accurately described" was created by J.Kozel and M. Peterle, and is known as the Vratislav xylograph.
The original of the work was a gift to the Habsburg Czech King and Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I. It was moved to the Royal Library in Stockholm in 1648.