Tennis at the Summer Olympics
Tennis was part of the Summer Olympic Games program from the inaugural 1896 Summer Olympics, but was dropped after the 1924 Summer Olympics due to disputes between the International Lawn Tennis Federation and the International Olympic Committee over how to define amateur players. After two appearances as a demonstration sport in 1968 and 1984, it returned as a full medal sport at the 1988 Summer Olympics and has been played at every edition of the Games since then. In 1896, 1900, 1904, 1988, 1992, semifinal losers shared bronze medals. In all other years, a playoff match for the bronze medal was staged. From the 2004 Athens Olympics until the 2012 London Olympics, results from the Olympics was counted towards both the ATP and WTA world rankings in singles for that calendar year. While the ranking points distribution did not equate to those given at the Grand Slam tournaments, the Olympic tournaments have increased in perceived importance since their reintroduction, with some players and sports pundits considering winning the gold at the Olympics just as prestigious as winning a Grand Slam title.
A player who wins an Olympic gold medal and all four Grand Slam events in the same year is said to have won a Golden Slam. As of 2016, Steffi Graf is the only player to have completed this achievement; the playing surface of the court varies between Olympic Games. It has been on hard court for every game since 1984 except for the 1992 Olympics and the 2012 Olympics; the changing playing surface gives certain players different advantages and disadvantages not seen in most other Olympic sports. = demonstration event, = exhibition event Italics represents that tennis was an exhibition or demonstration tournament at that Olympics. List of Olympic venues in tennis Tennis at the Youth Olympic Games Tennis at the Mediterranean Games Tennis at the Pan American Games List of Olympic medalists in tennis Wheelchair tennis at the Summer Paralympics Olympic Tennis Event website
The Australian Open is a tennis tournament held annually over the last fortnight of January in Melbourne, Australia. The tournament is the first of the four Grand Slam tennis events held each year, preceding the French Open and the US Open, it features women's singles. Prior to 1988 it was played on grass courts, but since two types of hardcourt surfaces have been used at Melbourne Park – green coloured Rebound Ace up to 2007 and, blue Plexicushion. First held in 1905 as the Australasian championships, the Australian Open has grown to become the largest annual sporting event in the Southern Hemisphere. Nicknamed "the happy slam" and referred to as the "Grand Slam of Asia/Pacific" the tournament is the highest attended Grand Slam event, with more than 780,000 people attending the 2019 edition, it was the first Grand Slam tournament to feature indoor play during wet weather or extreme heat with its three primary courts, the Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Arena and the refurbished Margaret Court Arena equipped with retractable roofs.
The Australian Open is managed by Tennis Australia the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia, was first played at the Warehouseman's Cricket Ground in Melbourne in November 1905. This facility is now known as the Albert Reserve Tennis Centre; the tournament was first known as the Australasian Championships. It became the Australian Championships in 1927 and the Australian Open in 1969. Since 1905, the Australian Open has been staged in five Australian and two New Zealand cities: Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Hastings. Though started in 1905, the tournament was not designated as being a major championship until 1924, by the International Lawn Tennis Federation at a 1923 meeting; the tournament committee changed the structure of the tournament to include seeding at that time. In 1972, it was decided to stage the tournament in Melbourne each year because it attracted the biggest patronage of any Australian city; the tournament was played at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club from 1972 until its move to the new Melbourne Park complex in 1988.
The new facilities at Melbourne Park were envisaged to meet the demands of a tournament that had outgrown Kooyong's capacity. The move to Melbourne Park was an immediate success, with a 90 per cent increase in attendance in 1988 on the previous year at Kooyong; because of Australia's geographic remoteness few foreign players entered this tournament in the early 20th century. In the 1920s, the trip by ship from Europe to Australia took about 45 days; the first tennis players who came by boats were the US Davis Cup players in November 1946. Inside the country, many players could not travel easily; when the tournament was held in Perth, no one from Victoria or New South Wales crossed by train, a distance of about 3,000 kilometres between the east and west coasts. In Christchurch in 1906, of a small field of 10 players, only two Australians attended and the tournament was won by a New Zealander; the first tournaments of the Australasian Championships suffered from the competition of the other Australasian tournaments.
Before 1905, all Australian states and New Zealand had their own championships, the first organised in 1880 in Melbourne and called the Championship of the Colony of Victoria. In those years, the best two players – Australian Norman Brookes and New Zealander Anthony Wilding – did not play this tournament. Brookes took part once and won in 1911, Wilding entered and won the competition twice, their meetings in the Victorian Championships helped to determine the best Australasian players. When the Australasian Championships were held in Hastings, New Zealand, in 1912, though three times Wimbledon champion, did not come back to his home country, it was a recurring problem for all players of the era. Brookes went to Europe only three times, where he reached the Wimbledon Challenge Round once and won Wimbledon twice. Thus, many players had never played the Australian amateur or open championships: the Doherty brothers, William Larned, Maurice McLoughlin, Beals Wright, Bill Johnston, Bill Tilden, René Lacoste, Henri Cochet, Bobby Riggs, Jack Kramer, Ted Schroeder, Pancho Gonzales, Budge Patty, others, while Brookes, Ellsworth Vines, Jaroslav Drobný, came just once.
In the 1960s and 1970s, when travel was less difficult, leading players such as Manuel Santana, Jan Kodeš, Manuel Orantes, Ilie Năstase and Björn Borg came or not at all. Beginning in 1969, when the first Australian Open was held on the Milton Courts at Brisbane, the tournament was open to all players, including professionals who were not allowed to play the traditional circuit. Except for the 1969 and 1971 tournaments, many of the best players missed this championship until 1982, because of the remoteness, the inconvenient dates and the low prize money. In 1970, George MacCall's National Tennis League, which employed Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Andrés Gimeno, Pancho Gonzales, Roy Emerson and Fred Stolle, prevented its players from entering the tournament because the guarantees were insufficient; the tournament was won by Arthur Ashe. In 1983, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe and Mats Wilander entered the tournament. Wilander won the singles title and both his Davis Cup singles rubbers in the Swedish loss to Australia at Kooyong shortly after.
Following the 1983 Australia
Orange Bowl (tennis)
The Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships, known as the Dunlop Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships from 2008 to 2013 with Dunlop as the title sponsor, renamed the Metropolia Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships from 2013 onwards, is a prestigious junior tennis tournament, one of five that are rated by the ITF as'Grade A'. Established in 1947 in Miami Beach, the tournament has for years featured both boys and girls singles and doubles draws at both'18 and under' and'16 and under' age categories. From 1999 to 2010, the tournament had been held each December at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne, Florida. Since 2011, it has been held at the Frank Veltri Tennis Center in Florida; the Orange Bowl Tennis Championship began at Miami Beach. This facility, still in use today, hosted the tournament until 1998, when it was moved to its current site at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne, Florida; the Orange Bowl was started by Eddie Herr, who wanted to bring some winter competition to South Beach for his tennis playing daughter, Suzanne.
The tournament soon grew in prestige and importance, being considered the initiation rite of future world tennis champions. Decades of tournament winners are posted on a brass plaque at the entrance to Flamingo Tennis Center. Players who have competed at the Orange Bowl reads as a virtual who's who of modern tennis, including Andre Agassi, Arthur Ashe, Boris Becker, Björn Borg, Jimmy Connors, Jim Courier, Stefan Edberg, Chris Evert, Roger Federer, Steffi Graf, Justine Henin, Ivan Lendl, Hana Mandlíková, Andy Roddick, Gabriela Sabatini, Monica Seles, Guillermo Vilas, Mats Wilander; as of 2017, Miami's Mary Joe Fernandez is the only player, male or female, to win in every age division of the Orange Bowl and Junior Orange Bowl tournaments: 12s, 14s, 16s, 18s. However, Miami's Lynn Epstein, won the 12s, 14s and skipped the 16s to play up winning the 18s two years in a row. Epstein is the only player, to this day. In 1983, during the tournament's heyday, a professional stadium was built in Flamingo Park.
The Abel Holtz stadium seated 9,000 fans. During the 1990s however, Flamingo Park Tennis Center fell victim to poor maintenance; the standards of the Orange Bowl could not be maintained so in 1999 the tournament was moved to the Tennis Center at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne, home of today's professional tour event, the Miami Open. The City of Plantation has restored the Orange Bowl Tournament's allure and luster, hosting the best administered and best managed tournament in decades.. There has been a tennis revival in Miami Beach. A $5.5M master plan to renovate the Flamingo tennis facility has begun. The project includes a new 5,000 sq ft tennis building and 17 clay hydro-courts. A large bronze plaque containing the names of all the great tennis champions who began their career playing in the tournament in Flamingo park will be restored, along with a plaque honoring local players who went on to tennis fame, such as Jerry Moss. Since 1962, the two younger age groups are held at a separate site in Coral Gables.
Hence today, the Junior Orange Bowl is in Coral Gables. And the Orange Bowl has moved in 2011 from Miami to Plantation, FL thus changing surfaces from Hard Courts to Clay, the first time since 1998 that the tournament will be on clay. Dunlop has been the tournament's title sponsor since 2008. From 2013 onwards, Metropolia International Holdings became the title sponsor of the tournament. Players unders. Junior Orange Bowl Official website 1930 Master Plan Flamingo Park Orange Bowl International Tennis Championship at usta.com
Swedes are a North Germanic ethnic group native to Sweden. They inhabit Sweden and the other Nordic countries, in particular Finland, with a substantial diaspora in other countries the United States; the English term "Swede" has been attested in English since the late 16th century and is of Middle Dutch or Middle Low German origin. In Swedish, the term is svensk, believed to have been derived from the name of svear, the people who inhabited Svealand in eastern central Sweden, were listed as Suiones in Tacitus' history Germania from the 1st century AD; the term is believed to have been derived from the Proto-Indo-European reflexive pronominal root, *se, as the Latin suus. The word must have meant "one's own"; the same root and original meaning is found in the ethnonym of the Germanic tribe Suebi, preserved to this day in the name Swabia. Sweden enters proto-history with the Germania of Tacitus in 98 AD. In Germania 44, 45 he mentions the Swedes as a powerful tribe with ships that had a prow in both ends.
Which kings ruled these Suiones is unknown, but Norse mythology presents a long line of legendary and semi-legendary kings going back to the last centuries BC. As for literacy in Sweden itself, the runic script was in use among the south Scandinavian elite by at least the 2nd century AD, but all that has survived from the Roman Period is curt inscriptions on artefacts of male names, demonstrating that the people of south Scandinavia spoke Proto-Norse at the time, a language ancestral to Swedish and other North Germanic languages. In the 6th century Jordanes named two tribes, which he calls the Suehans and the Suetidi, who lived in Scandza; these two names are both considered to refer to the same tribe. The Suehans, he says, has fine horses just as the Thyringi tribe; the Icelander Snorri Sturluson wrote of the 6th-century Swedish king Adils that he had the finest horses of his days. The Suehans supplied black fox-skins for the Roman market. Jordanes names the Suetidi, considered to be the Latin form of Svitjod.
He writes that the Suetidi are the tallest of men—together with the Dani, who were of the same stock. He mentions other Scandinavian tribes as being of the same height. Originating in semi-legendary Scandza, a Gothic population had crossed the Baltic Sea before the 2nd century AD, they reaching Scythia on the coast of the Black Sea in modern Ukraine, where Goths left their archaeological traces in the Chernyakhov culture. In the 5th and 6th centuries, they became divided as the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, established powerful successor-states of the Roman Empire in the Iberian peninsula and Italy respectively. Crimean Gothic communities appear to have survived intact in the Crimea until the late-18th century; the Swedish Viking Age lasted between the 8th and 11th centuries. During this period, it is believed that the Swedes expanded from eastern Sweden and incorporated the Geats to the south, it is believed that Swedish Vikings and Gutar travelled east and south, going to Finland, the Baltic countries, Belarus, Ukraine the Black Sea and further as far as Baghdad.
Their routes passed through the Dnieper down south to Constantinople, on which they did numerous raids. The Byzantine Emperor Theophilos noticed their great skills in war and invited them to serve as his personal bodyguard, known as the varangian guard; the Swedish Vikings, called "Rus" are believed to be the founding fathers of Kievan Rus. The Arabic traveller Ibn Fadlan described these Vikings as following: I have seen the Rus as they came on their merchant journeys and encamped by the Itil. I have never seen more perfect physical specimens, tall as date palms and ruddy; each man has an axe, a sword, a knife, keeps each by him at all times. The swords are grooved, of Frankish sort; the adventures of these Swedish Vikings are commemorated on many runestones in Sweden, such as the Greece Runestones and the Varangian Runestones. There was considerable participation in expeditions westwards, which are commemorated on stones such as the England Runestones; the last major Swedish Viking expedition appears to have been the ill-fated expedition of Ingvar the Far-Travelled to Serkland, the region south-east of the Caspian Sea.
Its members are commemorated on the Ingvar Runestones. What happened to the crew is unknown, it is not known when and how the'kingdom of Sweden' was born, but the list of Swedish monarchs is drawn from the first kings who ruled both Svealand and Götaland as one province with Erik the Victorious. Sweden and Gothia were two separate nations long before that into antiquity, it is not known how long they existed, Beowulf described semi-legendary Swedish-Geatish wars in the 6th century. During the early stages of the Scandinavian Viking Age, Ystad in Scania and Paviken on Gotland, in present-day Sweden, were flourishing trade centres. Remains of what is believed to have been a large market have been found in Ystad dating from 600–700 AD. In Paviken, an important centre of trade in the Baltic region during the 9th and 10th centuries, remains have been found of a large Viking Age harbour with shipbuilding yards and handicraft industries. Between 800 and 1000, trade brought an abundance of silver to Gotland, according to some scholars, the Gotlanders of
Younes El Aynaoui
Younes El Aynaoui is a professional tennis player from Morocco. He is a five-time singles winner on the ATP Tour and reached his career-high singles ranking of world No. 14 in March 2003, at the age of 31. His long career has been plagued by injuries and he did not play competitive tennis between September 2008 and January 2010. However, in December 2009 he scheduled to play at the ATP Champions Tour tournament in London, where he made his debut at the senior tour. El Aynaoui is an popular figure in Morocco, he received a gold medal – the nation's highest sporting honor – from King Mohammed VI. In a 2003 poll by leading Moroccan newspaper L'Economiste, readers named El Aynaoui their favorite role model for society, ahead of the prime minister and athletics star Hicham El Guerrouj; the center court of the Royal Tennis Club in Marrakech is named after El Aynaoui. In 1990, at the age of 18, El Aynaoui traveled to Bradenton, Florida, to spend a week at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, after which he decided to turn professional.
He continued to hone his skills at the academy for the next two years where, in order to afford the fees, he drove the academy bus, cleaned the gym, strung rackets, tossed practice balls to campers, helped to babysit younger players. He saved money in a high interest account. In 1993, he reached his first top-level Grand Prix singles final in Casablanca, where he lost to the Argentinian player Guillermo Pérez Roldán. After finishing runner-up in three tour events in 1996, El Aynaoui suffered a broken right ankle, he had surgery on his ankle in November that year. He missed seven months of the season in 1997 and had a second surgery in February 1998, he returned to the tour that summer ranked World Number 444, enjoyed a run of strong results. He finished runner-up at one top-level event in Santiago. By the end of the year he had improved his ranking to World Number 49, was named the ATP Comeback Player of the Year for 1998. In 1999, El Aynaoui won his first top-level singles title in Amsterdam and the following year he reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open where he lost to Yevgeny Kafelnikov.
El Aynaoui won his second top-level title in 2001 at Bucharest. He was runner-up in Amsterdam that year, losing in the final to Àlex Corretja in a five-set, 53-game match, the year's longest tour final, he was runner-up in Lyon, defeated by Ivan Ljubičić in final. El Aynaoui captured two tour titles in 2002, reached the quarter-finals of the US Open; the following year, he reached the quarter-finals of the Australian and US Opens and finished the season ranked a career-high World Number 14. The most famous match of El Aynaoui's career came in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in 2003. In the Round of 16, El Aynaoui defeated the World No. 1, Lleyton Hewitt, 6–7, 7–6, 7–6, 6–4, in a high quality match, thus setting up a quarter-final showdown with the up-and-coming American Andy Roddick. The five-set, five-hour match included the longest fifth set in Grand Slam tennis history. Roddick won the battle 4–6, 7–6, 4–6, 6–4, 21–19. Both players saved match points. El Aynaoui's one match point came in the tenth game of the fifth set, with Roddick serving at 4–5.
Roddick saved the match point with a cross-court forehand winner after a short rally. Roddick broke El Aynaoui's serve at 10–10 to go up 11–10 and serve for the match, but El Aynaoui broke straight back for 11–11. Roddick broke El Aynaoui's serve again at 19–19 to serve for the match for the second time at 20–19, with Roddick clinching the match on his second match point. After a three-year hiatus due to injury, El Aynaoui made a comeback to the ATP tour in January 2007, was awarded a wildcard at the Qatar Open, Doha, he beat former Australian Open winner Thomas Johansson with two tie-breaks in the first round, but was defeated 6–3 6–4 in the second round by the World Number 5 and eventual winner Ivan Ljubičić. In March 2008, after a seven-month lay-off due to injuries, he won a Futures event in Castelldefels, Spain on clay, in April he won a challenger event in Chiasso, Switzerland. In May, he reached the semi-finals of the BMW Open in Munich, he was oldest player to reach the semi-finals of an ATP Tour level event since Jimmy Connors in 1993.
He reached the quarter-finals of the Casablanca Open in Morocco, retiring to Juan Mónaco due to an injury in his left calf. El Aynaoui made his debut as a wild card at the senior tour in London, the last stop on the tour, joining Stefan Edberg, Patrick Rafter, Cédric Pioline, Pat Cash, Goran Ivanišević, Mark Philippoussis and Greg Rusedski, he won two matches, against Philippoussis. In the 2010 Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha, Qatar, El Aynaoui received a wildcard to participate in the tournament, he played American Ryler DeHeart in the first round of this tournament and won 7–6 7–6, thus becoming at age 38 the oldest player to win a main tour ATP match since Jimmy Connors in 1995. However, El Aynaoui's run came to an end when he was defeated 6 -- 6 -- 1 by Belgian Steve Darcis. In March 2017, at the age of 45, El Aynaoui participated in a $15,000 USD tournament in Manama, Bahrain on the ITF Men's Circuit. El Aynaoui won two qualifying matches, as well as his first-round match in the main draw.
By doing so, he became the oldest player to have an ATP ranking. El Aynaoui contested the doubles draw in Manama, Koksijde, Belgium. A = did not attend tournament Younes El Aynaoui at the Association of Tennis Professionals Younes
Patrick Michael Rafter is an Australian former professional tennis player. He reached the Association of Tennis Professionals world No. 1 singles ranking on 26 July 1999. His career highlights include consecutive US Open titles in 1997 and 1998, consecutive runner-up appearances at Wimbledon in 2000 and 2001, winning the 1999 Australian Open men's doubles tournament alongside the Swede Jonas Björkman, winning two singles and two doubles ATP Masters titles, he became the first man in the Open Era to win Canada Masters, Cincinnati Masters and the US Open in the same year, which he achieved in 1998. To date, only 2 players have followed this feat: Andy Roddick in 2003 and Rafael Nadal in 2013. Rafter is the third man in the Open Era to reach semifinals or better of every Grand Slam tournament in both singles and doubles, after Rod Laver and Stefan Edberg, remains the last man to date to accomplish this. Rafter is the only player to remain undefeated against Roger Federer with at least three meetings.
He is the only player who has a winning record against the 20-time Grand Slam winner on all the three main tennis surfaces: hard and grass. Rafter turned professional in 1991, he twice was twice the runner-up at Wimbledon. He was known for his natural serve-and-volley style of play. Rafter was on the Australian Davis Cup Team that lost in the final in 2000 and 2001, he was unable to play in the 1999 Davis Cup final – where Australia beat France to win the cup – because of injury. Rafter was on the Australian teams that won the World Team Cup in 1999 and 2001, he retired from the professional tour at the end of 2002. He returns to the courts annually to play World Team Tennis for the Philadelphia Freedoms. Rafter won his first tour level match at Wimbledon, he reached the third round, before losing to Andre Agassi. He reached the semifinals in Indianapolis, he defeated Pete Sampras in the quarterfinals in three tight sets, before losing to Boris Becker in the semifinals. Rafter finished 1993 with a ranking of 66.
Rafter won his first career singles title in 1994 in Manchester. Prior to 1997, this was the only ATP singles title. Pat got to the QFs of Miami where he lost to 17 year old future star Ivo Karlovic in the juniors tournament. Rafter's breakthrough came in 1997. At that year's French Open he reached the semifinals, falling in four sets to two time former champion Sergi Bruguera, he surprised many by winning the US Open, defeating Andriy Medvedev, Magnus Norman, Lionel Roux, Andre Agassi, Magnus Larsson, Michael Chang and Greg Rusedski in a four-set final. This was his first Grand Slam title, catapulted him ahead of Chang to finish the year ranked #2 in the world, behind only Pete Sampras; the unexpected nature of his U. S. Open title led many, including Hall-of-famer and four-time U. S. Open champion John McEnroe to criticise Rafter as a "one-slam wonder". 1998 was a strong year for Rafter, who won the Canadian Open and Cincinnati in a row. Rafter defeated ninth ranked Richard Krajicek in the Toronto final and second ranked Pete Sampras in the Cincinnati final.
When asked about the difference between himself and Rafter following their titles, Sampras stated "10 grand slams", that a player has to come back and win a Grand Slam again in order to be considered great. Following his title at Cincinnati, Rafter won a US Open warm-up tournament in New York. Entering the US Open as the defending champion, he reached the final again by defeating Hicham Arazi, Hernán Gumy, David Nainkin, Goran Ivanišević and Jonas Björkman before defeating Sampras in a five-set semifinal. Rafter pointedly took issue with Sampras' refusal to show him respect in defeat: "That is what upsets me about him", Rafter said, "and the reason why I try to piss him off as much as I can."Rafter defended his U. S. Open title by defeating fellow Australian Mark Philippoussis in four sets, committing only five unforced errors throughout the match; when asked about Sampras' earlier comments about having to win another Grand Slam in order to be considered great, Rafter replied: "Maybe you can ask him that question, if he thinks that now.
For me, I won another Slam, it hasn't sunk in yet. It's very exciting for me to repeat it". Altogether, Rafter won six tournaments in 1998. At the 1999 French Open, Rafter drew future World No. 1 and 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer in the first round, making him the first opponent of Federer in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament. Rafter defeated him after losing the first set. Rafter reached the Wimbledon semifinals for the first time in 1999, where he lost in straight sets to Agassi, the first of three consecutive years that the two met in the Wimbledon semifinals. July 1999 saw Rafter holding the world No. 1 men's singles ranking for one week, making him the shortest-reigning world No. 1 in ATP tour history. As the two-time defending US Open champion, Rafter lost in the first round of the tournament, retiring in the fifth set against Cédric Pioline after succumbing to shoulder tendinitis. Rafter's shoulder injury wound up being serious enough to necessitate surgery, he won the Australian Open men's doubles title in 1999, making him one of few players in the modern era to win both a singles an
Prague is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic, the 14th largest city in the European Union and the historical capital of Bohemia. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of 2.6 million. The city has a temperate climate, with chilly winters. Prague has been a political and economic centre of central Europe complete with a rich history. Founded during the Romanesque and flourishing by the Gothic and Baroque eras, Prague was the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia and the main residence of several Holy Roman Emperors, most notably of Charles IV, it was an important city to its Austro-Hungarian Empire. The city played major roles in the Bohemian and Protestant Reformation, the Thirty Years' War and in 20th-century history as the capital of Czechoslovakia, during both World Wars and the post-war Communist era. Prague is home to a number of well-known cultural attractions, many of which survived the violence and destruction of 20th-century Europe.
Main attractions include Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square with the Prague astronomical clock, the Jewish Quarter, Petřín hill and Vyšehrad. Since 1992, the extensive historic centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites; the city has more than ten major museums, along with numerous theatres, galleries and other historical exhibits. An extensive modern public transportation system connects the city, it is home to a wide range of public and private schools, including Charles University in Prague, the oldest university in Central Europe. Prague is classified as an "Alpha −" global city according to GaWC studies and ranked sixth in the Tripadvisor world list of best destinations in 2016, its rich history makes it a popular tourist destination and as of 2017, the city receives more than 8.5 million international visitors annually. Prague is the fourth most visited European city after London and Rome. During the thousand years of its existence, the city grew from a settlement stretching from Prague Castle in the north to the fort of Vyšehrad in the south, becoming the capital of a modern European country, the Czech Republic, a member state of the European Union.
The region was settled as early as the Paleolithic age. A Jewish chronicler David Solomon Ganz, citing Cyriacus Spangenberg, claimed that the city was founded as Boihaem in c. 1306 BC by an ancient king, Boyya. Around the fifth and fourth century BC, a Celts tribe appeared in the area establishing settlements including an oppidum in Závist, a present-day suburb of Prague, naming the region of Bohemia, which means "home of the Boii people". In the last century BC, the Celts were driven away by Germanic tribes, leading some to place the seat of the Marcomanni king, Maroboduus, in southern Prague in the suburb now called Závist. Around the area where present-day Prague stands, the 2nd century map drawn by Ptolemaios mentioned a Germanic city called Casurgis. In the late 5th century AD, during the great Migration Period following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, the Germanic tribes living in Bohemia moved westwards and in the 6th century, the Slavic tribes settled the Central Bohemian Region.
In the following three centuries, the Czech tribes built several fortified settlements in the area, most notably in the Šárka valley and Levý Hradec. The construction of what came to be known as Prague Castle began near the end of the 9th century, growing a fortified settlement that existed on the site since the year 800; the first masonry under Prague Castle dates from the year 885 at the latest. The other prominent Prague fort, the Přemyslid fort Vyšehrad, was founded in the 10th century, some 70 years than Prague Castle. Prague Castle is dominated by the cathedral, which began construction in 1344, but wasn't completed until the 20th century; the legendary origins of Prague attribute its foundation to the 8th century Czech duchess and prophetess Libuše and her husband, Přemysl, founder of the Přemyslid dynasty. Legend says that Libuše came out on a rocky cliff high above the Vltava and prophesied: "I see a great city whose glory will touch the stars." She ordered a town called Praha to be built on the site.
The region became the seat of the dukes, kings of Bohemia. Under Holy Roman Emperor Otto II the area became a bishopric in 973; until Prague was elevated to archbishopric in 1344, it was under the jurisdiction of the Archbishopric of Mainz. Prague was an important seat for trading where merchants from all of Europe settled, including many Jews, as recalled in 965 by the Hispano-Jewish merchant and traveller Ibrahim ibn Ya'qub; the Old New Synagogue of 1270 still stands in the city. Prague was once home to an important slave market. At the site of the ford in the Vltava river, King Vladislaus I had the first bridge built in 1170, the Judith Bridge, named in honour of his wife Judith of Thuringia; this bridge was destroyed by a flood in 1342, but some of the original foundation stones of that bridge remain in the river. It was named the Charles Bridge. In 1257, under King Ottokar II, Malá Strana was founded in Prague on the site of an older village in what would become the Hradčany area; this was the district of the German people, who had the right to administer the law autonomously, pursuant to Magdeburg rights.
The new district was on the bank opposite of the Staré Město, which had borough status and was bordered by a line of walls and fortifications. Prague flourished dur