History of the Old Town Square

Old Town Square

Prague is the Mother of Cities and the Old Town Square is the Prague´s heart. When the tourists see this pictoresque place for the first time they think it is a scene. Staromák as the square is familiarly called is really a remarkable place where the history of the whole country had been written.

Staromestske namesti

Old Town Square

Come with us and explore the real heart of Prague. Do you know the secret of the Old Town Astronomical Clock? Do you know where to find the Prague Meridian and the meaning of the crosses on the paving stones? Click here and explore the Old Town Square on your own!

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Introduction to the history of the square Prague 1,  Old Town Square  - Old Town Hall
There used to be an extensive market place in the places we are wandering about today. From of old the Old Town Square had been a very significant mercantile centre. Based on the historical records the market place used to have its own administrator since 1211, who was watching over here and also collected fees from the marketeers. There was an important historical turning point in 1338. The then king Jan Lucemburský (John of Luxembourgh) who reigned over our country granted a permit to the Old Town to build its own town hall. The Prague citizens selected the Old Town Square to be the most suitable place.

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The name of the square and its evolution Old Town Square and Coronation procession (1743)
The square was originally called Velké náměstí (Big Square), however later in the 13th century it was renamed Staré tržiště (Old Market Place) because there was the greatest market place of the country. In the 14th century the square was referred to as Staroměstský rynek (Old Town Square), or simply Rynk. Other changes took place in the 18th century when the names Staroměstský plac (Old Town Place), later Velké Staroměstské náměstí (Big Old Town Square) and finally only Velké náměstí (Big Square) were used abundantly. The current name was used since 1895 and was derived from Staré Město (Old Town), i.e. the district where the square is situated.

Significant historical events
Apart from other things, the square had also become the scene of many historical events. In 1422 Jan Želivský, representative of the Hussite movement, was executed here. Another execution took place on June 21st, 1621 during which twenty-seven Czech noblemen were executed in front of the Old Town Hall. They were

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the leaders of the Rebellion of the Czech Estates against the Habsbourgs. At present you can notice the twenty-seven white crosses in the paving in front of the town hall which commemorate this event.

Modern history Prague 1,  Old Town Square - Jan Hus Monument
There was a manifestation in the Old Town Square in 1902 striving to establish the universal suffrage. Also the year of 1915 was significant. It had been exactly five hundred years since Master Jan Hus was burned at the stake. In commemoration of the significant Hussite reformer his Memorial had been revealed in the heart of the square. Another demonstration was held on October 14th, 1918 – a demonstation in support of the declaration of the independence from the then Austria-Hungary. During WW2 in the occupation period by the Nazi Germany extensive combats took place here which resulted in the devastation of a great number of houses. The Old Town Hall was badly damaged – one part of had been pulled down and the Astronomical Clock burnt down. In 1948 the first communist president Klement Gottwald declared by his speech the republic government´s takeover by the communist party there.

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PRAGUECITYLINE Prague 1

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Present:
The square mainly serves as a tourist target these days. The main attention is foccussed especially on the Old Town Hall. Seasonal markets are another big attraction. For the Prague people Staromák becomes important mainly in the time of sports events. A screen is installed in the square and the citizens can watch the achievements of the Czech sportsmen.

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Photo Gallery:

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Map:

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The Gothic Church of Our Lady before Týn: 50.087712, 14.422667
Staroměstská radnice: 50.086997, 14.420457
House at the Stone Bell: 50.087850, 14.421701
Kostel sv. Mikuláše: 50.087809, 14.419706
Jan Hus Monument (Památník Mistra Jana Husa): 50.087644, 14.421144

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DOWNLOAD: Tourist Guide in the Area

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Průvodce Praha 1 - ENG - úvodní stránka

  Tourist guide PRAGUE CITY LINE - Prague 1 (unknown)

Prague 1 still belongs to one of the most attractive parts of the whole Prague. Probably nowhere else you can find such a concentration of historic monuments and places where the history and romance of bygone times are all around you. Hardly anywhere you can walk on the same paths where were walking Franz Kafka, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and the Golem of Prague.

 

Other interesting links - Read also

All about: Prague 1 Monuments more read here
All about: Prague 2 Monuments more read here
All about: Prague 3 Monuments more read here
All about: Prague Castle more read here
All about: Royal route and the coronation of King more read here
All about: Petrin Hill more read here
All about: Old Town Square more read here
All about: Jewish Prague more read here
All about: Prague Gardens and Parks more read here

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Staromestske namesti

Old Town Square

Come with us and explore the real heart of Prague. Do you know the secret of the Old Town Astronomical Clock? Do you know where to find the Prague Meridian and the meaning of the crosses on the paving stones? Click here and explore the Old Town Square on your own!

» More »


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obálky průvodců PCL

Enjoy a sights and life in Prague - Download FREE Guides !

Discover the most beautiful sights and places of Prague. Discover the real life of Praguers. Enjoy prepared vouchers in guidebooks. DOWNLOAD FREE GUIDES !

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