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Old Town Square
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Old Town Square, the Center of Prague|
Undoubtly, the heart of Prague is the Old Town Square (Staromestské námestí). It is located between Chalres Bridge and Wenceslas Square, bustling with tourists during the summer. Among the major sights to view here are the Tyn Cathedral, Stone Bell House, Kinsky Palace, Virgin Mary Church, St. Nicholas Church, Astronomical Clock and the Old Town Hall. During New Year's Eve, the square is crowded with happy people celebrating the coming of the new year. During Christmas holidays, there is a Christmas market set up. In addition, football and ice-hockey games are shown on large screens.
Importance and History of Old Town Square
The size of the square is about 9000 m2, and it is roughly quadrangle in its shape. In the center of the square, there is a statue of Jan Hus, who was a religios reformer, burned for his beliefs. Eight streets come out of it directly, indirectly much more. Its shape and size was defined by king Wenceslas I, after the unification of the sporadic villages. The town walls were built during those times as well, with a defensive ditch on the line of the present-day inner boulevard. The district was entitled with town rights and in the 15th Century, its golden age began.
The square was the scene of several historical events. Its saddest day was on June 21, 1621, when twenty-seven aristocrats and citizens were beheaded for taking part in a plot against King Ferdinand II. As a memorial, at the wall of the Town Hall facing with the statue of Jan Hus, twenty-seven crosses can be seen on the pavement even today.
Sights of the Square
Monument of Jan Hus: the statue stands in the center of the Northern half of the square. It is a large statue in secessionist style, a masterpiece of Valdislav Saloun. This Czech reformer, respected as a national hero, was sentenced to be burnt on the stake for heresy; this statue was inaugurated on the 500th anniversary of his death in 1915.
Stone Bell House: this very nice small gothic palace was built between 1330 and 1340, with period frescos. The house is considered to be the most valuable Middle Ages building in Prague.
St. Nicholas Church: it was built between 1732 and 1735 in baroque style. It was planned by Kilia Ignaz Dientzenhofer, its sculptures were made by Antonin Braun. The frescos in its dome depict the lives of St. Nicholas and St. Benedict, the main ornament in its nave is the chandelier forming a crown. Several concerts are held here during the summer months.
Virgin Mary Church: the laced tips of the ancient church can be seen from a long distance. On the command of George Podiebrad calixtine Czech king, the symbol of the Hussites, a golden calix was put on its front, later this calix was melted down and a statue of Virgin Mary was cast from it. The statue was built on the place of the calix. On the Northern gate the sufferings of Jesus Christ are depicted, inside the pulpit and the stone baldachin is worth to mention.
Sample Pictures of Old Town Square
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