The Old Town Square – modern events

Old Town Square

The Old Town Square has always been a place where people were gathering, uttering their opinions and fighting for theit rights. The situation was not different in the

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previous century. At the end of WW2 the Old Town Square was the scene of the resistance against the Nazi regime. Unfortunatelly it was also the place where the communists declared the takeover of the power in Czechoslovakia.

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Old Town Square

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Demonstrations in the Old Town Square Prague 1,  Old Town Square - Church of st. Nicholas
A great amount of demonstrations and protests had taken place in the Old Town Square in the modern history during which people protested against the contemporary power and claimed their rights. The first demonstration was held in 1902 when the citizens demonstrated for the regulation of the universal suffrage. In 1918, precisely on October 14th, the people of Prague demonstrated to support the formation of the independent state no more subject to the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy. The people waited to experiencce that several days later because the independent Czechoslovakian state was declared on October 28th, 1918.

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Prague Uprising
The next event we will learn about now ranks among the most significant events of the Czech national revolts against the Nazi occupation during WW2. It is the so-called Prague Uprising which took place between May 5th – 9th in1945. After the first information concerning the defeat of the Hitler´s Germany had been received the people of Prague started to celebrate. The national committee moved over to the Old Town Hall in order to take over the administration of the municipality. The Czechoslovakian flag was hung on the town hall but as soon as the national committee members stepped on its balcony the shooting drove them back again. It was coming out from German machine guns from a nearby block of houses in the neighbourhood of the Church of Our Lady before Týn. Gradually the town hall´s building was occupied by the civilians from the ranks of the national revolt who were trying to resist the attacks from the Nazis. They were attacking from the houses in the neighbourhood of the town hall. More and more groups of German soldiers were coming to the Old Town Square trying to occupy the town hall.

Fire of the Old Town Hall Old Town Square and Old Town Hall (1856)
Two days later the Nazis broke

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through to the Old Town Square with a tank with help of which they consequently destroyed the barricades and the town hall gate. On May 7th, 1945 in the morning the town hall was attacked by the German armoured vehicles accompanied by the shooting of the Nazi soldiers. Consequently the fire broke out in the Old Town Hall which the defenders managed to extinguish. However, they were no more that lucky the other day when the most powerful attack of the Wehrmacht started which set the town hall´s building in flames completely in the afternoon. First the roof came down and later there was nothing left but a heap of charred ruins. The fire destroyed the entire Neo-Gothic wing so that only the enclosure walls were preserved. Also the town hall´s spire was damaged and so the Old Town Astronomical Clock. In 1947 it was decided to pull the wall remains down and the reconstruction of the town hall has not been – despite the many efforts – carried out.

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The communist period Old Town Square - Golz-Kinský Palace
Another event which dramatically affected the history of our country was the situation related to the regulation of the communist government. The Prime Minister of the contemporary government Klement Gottwald delivered his speech on the balcony of the Kinský Palace in February 1948 in which he announced to the gathered people the takeover of the power by the communists and building of socialism in Czechoslovakia. This speech initiated the period of the totalitarian rule in the whole Czechoslovakia.

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Photogallery of Old Town Square

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