The Rudolfinian period is well known for its architecture. Prague turned from a cold Gothic city into a place where cultural and religious differences went hand in hand with tolerance and economic boom.
The Jewish ghettos had their own "nobility" – rich rabbis and merchants who gave Prague beautiful synagogues. Rudolph II, a hedonist with empty pockets, borrowed money from rich Jews and was fascinated by their tradition. The legend of Golem, a “robot” made out of clay and his creator Rabbi Löw is world-known and the ties between Czech, Austrian and Jewish culture were very strong.
Only 15 % of the Czechs were Catholic and the nobility was also largely Protestant. The nobles were very powerful and this explains a rather tolerant approach to religious differences. Rich noblemen made a huge step from their traditional lifestyle to business, most notably the Rosenbergs who built large fishponds on the South.
Rudolph’s contribution to Prague’s beauty was almost destroyed in 1611, when he hired bravos to fight Mathias. He couldn’t pay them and so the aggressive soldiers raided Prague, raping women and killing men until they were stopped by Mathias who then became King.