Copenhagen, Lisbon, Prague

 Copenhagen, Lisbon, Prague, three European capital cities


Activity 1

In which European capital cities would you see these landmarks?

COPENHAGEN little mermaid















1. Little Mermaid


charles bridge karluv

2. Charles Bridge


torre belm principal pasarela

3. Torre de Belém


Activity 2

Read the texts and complete each sentence with the name of the correct city.

1. ____________________   faces the Atlantic Ocean.

2. ____________________   has a bridge with 31 statues.

3. ____________________   has a bronze statue that comes from a fairytale.

4. ____________________   has a clock that shows the time in other countries.

5. ____________________   has a garden full of plants from around the world.

6. ____________________   has a number of buildings that are protected by UNESCO.

7. ____________________   has some amazing gothic buildings.

8. ____________________   is built on seven hills.

9. ____________________   is built on two sides of the river Vltava.

10. ____________________   is famous for its fountains.

11. ____________________   is situated on an island.

12. ____________________   was rebuilt after an earthquake.

13. ____________________ was ruled by Charles IV. 1

14. ____________________ was started in the 13th century.

15.____________________ was twice destroyed by fire.    






Copenhagen has been the capital of Denmark for over 600 years. It is situated on the island of Sjælland and faces East towards Sweden. Copenhagen actually means ‘Merchants Harbour’ but it is more commonly known as the city of green spires because of the green roofs that cover many of its churches and castles. Many of the buildings are around 200 years old and are built of brick and stone. This is because much of the medieval city burnt down in two great fires in 1728 and 1795.

At the heart of the city is Rådhuspladsen, but this was not always the centre of the city. In fact, just over 100 years ago the square was actually outside the gates of the old town. Leading from one of these gates is Strøget, the longest pedestrian street in Europe. On the square is the Rådhuset, or Town Hall. Just inside the entrance is Jen Olsen’s world clock which shows the time around the world, the position of the planets and the Gregorian calendar. Outside the building is a statue of Hans Christian Anderson, the famous fairytale author and, a little further out in the square, the dragon fountain.

Not far from the square is the famous Tivoli Gardens. The park, opened in 1843, is a mixture of gardens, a lake, cafes, a concert hall, open-air dancing space and an amusement park and has more than five million visitors every year. However, probably the most famous of all the sights in Copenhagen is The Little Mermaid. Walk down cobbled streets to the waterfront to get a look at this bronze statue which was inspired by one of Hans Christian Anderson’s stories.



Lisbon Facing the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon is the most western of all European capital cities. Like Rome it is built on seven hills and it was the centre of sea exploration in the 17th century. At the heart of the city is Baixa, which was laid out after the great earthquake of 1755. Overlooking Baixa is Castelo São Jorge which was built by the Moors. Now only ten towers, the ruins of the palace and the walls are left, but it is still an imposing place and has some beautiful gardens and fountains.

The miradouro, or lookout spot, has amazing views of much of the city. Walk down from the Castelo through the narrow streets of Alfama towards the riverside and you will come to the Sé, or Cathedral. Although a lot of the cathedral has been restored over the years, the two towers, that are probably the most striking feature, are the originals. Inside the cathedral is the tomb of St Vincent, the patron saint of Lisbon.

The Portuguese love gardens and Lisbon is full of green spaces. Probably the best of these, and within walking distance of the city centre, is the Jardim Botânico full of palm trees, banana trees and many tropical plants. No visit to Lisbon is complete without heading west to Belém. It is here that you can find the Torre de Belém and the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos built in honour of Vasco da Gama’s successful voyage to India in 1498. In 1983 these two buildings were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.



Prague With a population of less than 1.5 million Prague is one of the smallest capitals in Europe, certainly if compared to London, Madrid or Paris. The oldest part of the town, Staré M˘esto, dates back to the 13th century. It is in this part of the city that you can find Starom˘estské nám˘estí, or Old Town Square, with its amazing astronomical clock, the Hus monument and the gothic Týn church. On the opposite bank of the river Vltava is Pra˘zský hrad, Prague Castle, and the beautiful Malá Strana, or Little Quarter, with its winding cobbled streets.

The right bank of the river with Staré M˘esto and the left bank with the castle are connected by probably Prague’s most famous monument, Karluv Most – Charles Bridge. For many years Charles Bridge was the only link between the two parts of the city. The bridge is named after Charles IV as it was during his reign that the bridge was started. However, it was originally called the Stone Bridge and was only given its modern name in 1870.

The most striking feature of the bridge is the 31 statues that decorate its entire length. The first of these statues wasn’t added to the bridge until 1683, more than 300 years after it was started. This statue is of St John of Nepomuk and can be found about half way along on the right side as you walk across the bridge from Staré M˘esto.


Activity 3

Read the texts and find the words that have the following meanings.

1. (n) the central part of something (Copenhagen & Lisbon)

2. (adj) covered in small stones to make the surface of the road (Copenhagen & Prague)

3. (n) an image of an animal or human usually made from stone, wood or metal (Copenhagen & Prague)

4. (v) to give someone the idea for a particular piece of work (Copenhagen)

5. (n) the parts of a building that remain after it has been damaged (Lisbon)

6. (adj) large and impressive (Lisbon)

7. (v) to clean and repair something old, dirty or damaged so that it looks the same as the original (Lisbon)

8. (adj) attracting your interest or attention because of something unusual about it (Lisbon & Prague)

9. (adj) not straight / with lots of bends and curves (Prague)

10. (v) to make something look attractive by putting nice things on it (Prague)