Prague’s Beautiful Old Town Square
One of the main squares in Prague is The Old Town Square (StaromAi??stskAi?? nA?mAi??stAi??)
With its Romanesque, Baroque and Gothic styles buildings and magnificent churches, this is one of the most stunning historical places in Europe.
Once you enter the Old Town Square it is worth to see its most interesting sights – the Old Town Hall Tower & Astronomical Clock, Tyn Church and St. Nicholas Church.
At the centre of the Old Town Square is placed the colossal memorial of Jan Hus, a 14th century religious reformer who challenged the opulence and corruption of the catholic church. Jan Hus statue was erected in 1915 to mark the 500th anniversary of the reformerai??i??s death.
To really enjoy the beauty of the Old Town Square, sit back, have a cup coffee or glass of beer and soak up the atmosphere at one of the pavement cafAi??s along the square. Or climb the Old Town Hall Tower for a magnificent view over the square.
Other significant attractions in Prague’s Old Town are:
Wenceslas Square in Prague is one of the exciting areas full of hotels, apartments, restaurants, bars and clubs. This is PragueA?s main shopping disctrict with its local and international shops and popular nightlife and entertainment centre of Prague. It has history and culture, and more amenities than anywhere else in the city.
Wenceslas Square is one of the main squares in Prague and lies at the heart of the New Town (NovAi?? MAi??sto). Wenceslas Square is located centrally so iti??i??i??i??i??i??s very easy from here to visit other Prague sights and attractions. All three metro lines intersect at Wenceslas Square, and trams run through its centre.
Originally the Prague horse market laid out 650 years ago is really a boulevard measuring 750m long by 60m wide. All kinds of organisations and political parties have used this enormous space which can hold up to 400,000 people, from anti-communist uprisings to celebrations of national sporting achievements.
The best and frequently used meeting point is guarded by St. Wenceslas statue on the top of Wenceslas Square. Good King Wenceslas (SvatA? VA?clav) himself, murdered a thousand years ago by his brother. Memory plaques in front of St. Wenceslas are dedicated to Jan Palach, who set himself on fire in protest at the Soviet invasion and to those killed during the communist era.
The famous National Museum is just behind St. Wenceslas, and to the left you can find the PragueA?s beautiful State Opera.
Prague Jewish Town
Between the Old Town Square and the Vltava River is located The Jewish Quarter in Prague, known as Josefov. Its history dates back to the 13th century, when the Jewish community in Prague were ordered to vacate their disparate homes and settle in one area.
Over the centuries more and more people were crowded into the area, as Jews were banned from living anywhere else. Restrictions on their movements and the trades they were allowed to conduct underwent constant change.
The Jewish Quarter, which become known later as the Prague Jewish Ghetto underwent a lot of structural changes, the latest one was a vast redevelopment of the area between 1893-1913. As Jews were banned from living anywhere else, more and more people were crowded into the area. Most of the significant buildings from previous eras were saved for many centuries. These buildings form the best preserved complex of Jewish historical monuments in the whole of Europe. Six synagogues remain, including the Old-New Synagogue and the Spanish Synagogue plus the Jewish Town Hall and the Old Jewish Cemetery, which is the most remarkable of its kind in Europe.
Jewish Museum maintains many Jewish historical sites in the Jewish Quarter. To enter into all buildings you need single admission ticket.
The Old-New Synagogue requires a separate ticket. Built in early Gothic style in the late 13th century, this is the oldest preserved synagogue in Central Europe. All interior furnishings are originals.
To discover more about the Jewish Quarter, take the Jewish Quarter Walking Tour with one of our guides, which includes entrances to all the sights in the Jewish Museum.
The Charles Bridge
Charles Bridge (KarlA?v most) is the main pedestrian route connecting the Old Town with the Lesser Town and Prague Castle. This magnificent structure, a 14th century stone bridge, is one of the city’s finest attractions.
Its construction started in 1357 under the auspices of King Charles IV.The initial idea was to build a functional construction for knight tournaments, and for many years the only decoration on the bridge was a simple crucifix. Later, the Catholic desire for ornamentation resulted in 30 statues being erected between 1600 and 1800.There are now 75 statues on Charles Bridge, but most are copies, as floods and catastrophes over the centuries damaged the originals.
Fairy-tale views of Prague from the Charles Bridge are closed by towers at both sides: the Old Town Bridge Tower and the Lesser Town Bridge Tower. During the day Charles Bridge is crowded with people who enjoy the Charles BridgeA?s life: street artists, sketchers, musicians or a jazz band prepare the perfect atmosphere. For more romantic and less crowded experience try the early morning or any time in the evening.
To discover more about the Charles Bridge, take the Old Town Square Walking Tour with one of our guides.