Prague is the most spectacular of all European cities. Because the Czech Republic was not of major strategic importance in either of the great wars of the twentieth century, Prague escaped the ravages which leveled comparable cities. The so-called "city of a hundred spires" is largely unblemished, and the river Vltava (or Moldau) is incomparably majestic. In the center of Bohemia, Czech's westernmost province, Prague is a sumptuous blend of nature and architecture. Like Rome, it is built on seven hills and it is divided by a river which is spanned by 15 bridges. The city, everywhere dotted with parks, waterways and gardens, overwhelms the visitor with its architecture. As in many European cities and towns you can see layers of architectural styles: Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Neoclassical, Art Nouveau and Modern.Prague, first the seat of the Holy Roman Empire, then of the Hapsburgs was the capital of the kingdom of Bohemia for centuries.It came into full glory during the reign of Charles IV (1346-78). Charles founded the New Town, built Charles University, reconstructed Prague castle in the Gothic style and initiated the construction of St. Vitus Cathedral.