AAU Academy LovePrague Course

Urban Maze of Prague

Prague Architecture 101 – a historical perspective of how different styles developed, their iconography, and how these can be used to interpret art and monuments across other European cities.  

30 Years of Education
Track LovePrague
Instructor Marek Červený
Date - - -
Format Four-week course
Delivery On campus / in city
Price 6,000 CZK
Language English

Prague is described by many as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, or at least in Europe. For the untrained eye, this beauty is simply represented by all the beautiful monuments, richly decorated palaces and churches, nice gardens, historical bridges or winding streets. But is that all? 

Once you get a deeper understanding of the history of the city and its people, of the rulers who resided here and how all this is reflected in the different forms of architecture and artworks you will become able to read the city as a textbook just by looking around yourself. You will be able to understand the meaning and symbolism hidden behind all the monuments and decoration you encounter almost everywhere in the city.

In this course we will discuss different styles, decorative forms, their iconography or meaning usually based on a longer tradition or on the ideas of the patrons who commissioned them. All this will be explained on the background of the history of the city and on the examples of both the most important monuments as well as some hidden gems.

The course is fully experiential, with classes held in Prague, visiting actual places and exploring architectural styles. Relevant literature and readings will be provided to all participants in advance.

Learning Outcomes

  • Analyze the historical and stylistic development of Prague’s most important districts and monuments
  • Interpret the iconography, meaning and background of the key monuments and artworks connected with the story of the city and its people.
  • Apply this knowledge to other monuments and artworks around Europe.


This is an active learning course involving dialogue, experiential learning around the city, group activities and reflection. It is an academic course and the instructor will provide insights from research, historical accounts, and leadership literature.

Schedule and Course Content

For a detailed course schedule and content, please download the Course Outline.

Session 1

From kings to presidents, from cities to City, from style to ornament. Introduction to Chronology, Iconography and the City of Prague. Terminology basics while walking in the neighborhood. (2 hours)

Introductory session focused on chronology of the city, basic terminology, popular topics. Easy walk in the neighborhood.


Course Reader and Terminology booklet will be provided during the session.

Session 2

Medieval Prague. How Charles IV and his ideas shaped the city and the nation. The Castle and beyond. Romanesque And Gothic. (2 hours)

Visit to Prague Castle examining famous examples of Medieval architecture – Basilica of St. George, Cathedral of St. Vitus, Royal Palace.


Relevant texts will be provided at the beginning of the session.

Session 3

Is leadership for everyone? Jan Palach’s journey to Habsbourg legacy: Renaissance reason, religious wars and Baroque ecstasy. Renaissance and Baroque. (2 hours)

Exploring examples of Renaissance and Baroque style in the historical center – Belveder, St. Nicholas Church, Church of Our Lady of Victory, Vrtba Garden (according to the season).


Relevant texts will be provided at the beginning of the session.

Nation Reborn: Vyšehrad and first tones of the modern era. Revival and rebellion. 19th century and Modern styles. (4 hours)

Excursion to Vyšehrad Castle and its neighborhood focusing on the importance of Vyšehrad in Czech modern history and its role in the National Revival. In the Podskalí district we will explore famous examples of Modern architecture


Relevant texts will be provided at the beginning of the session.

Session 4

Big Boom 1918. Prague the capital of dreams. Cubism, Poetism, Surrealism,Socialism, anything. (2 hours)

Walking around the New Town we will witness the national and social conflicts between Czechs and Germans and the young and old reflected in the monumental architecture of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries


Relevant texts will be provided at the beginning of the session.

Your Instructor

AAU Academy Instructor, LovePrague Courses
AAU Lecturer 

Marek studied at Charles University where he obtained his master’s degree at the Department of Art History of the Faculty of Arts. He worked as an assistant to Prof. David Holeton (Charles University), Prof. Nicholas Sawicki (Lehigh University) and for the Cahen Archives, Canada. His own research focuses on modern Czech art, official art commissions and funeral art. He also works as a private tour guide.

See what our students have to say

We do almost all of our projects in small international teams, and we work together like we would in a business company and synergize our different ideas. There's flexibilities to meet with teachers outside of class, and ask them questions, not just specifically things we learn in the class.

Ann Connolly
Business Administration, United States of America

AAU makes networking incredibly easy to do. I was able to participate in various events that don't necessarily connect to my coursework like conferences, literature festivals, debates, lectures, etc. When I was President of the Diplomatic Club, AAU helped me get in touch with event-organizers, which, for example, allowed us to host an event during the Festival of Democracy organized by the famous Forum 2000 conference.

Anastasia Mezenina
Business Administration, Russian Federation

Meet the people

Dana Aleksic, MPP

External Outreach Manager / Alumni Relations dana.aleksic@aauni.edu

Eva Rivera, Ph.D.

Vice-President for Institutional Advancement eva.rivera@aauni.edu
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Do you have questions?

We are happy to help!

Kateřina Fundová Admissions Counselor katerina.fundova@aauni.edu
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