The historic center of Prague, the Old Town (Staré Město), is where you’ll find the splendid Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí), one of the best places to begin exploring the city.
The most significant square of historical Prague was founded in the 12th century and has witnessed many historical events.
Beside the Old Town Hall and the Church of Our Lady before Tyn dominates the square baroque Church of St. Nicholas, the rococo Kinsky Palace, a gothic palace Stone Bell House and the monumental memorial of Jan Hus.
The paving of the square indicated the place of execution of 27 Czech noblemen (1621) and the Prague meridian.
The area of Square is just over 9000 m². For its significance Old Town Square was declared in 1962 a national cultural monument.
The Old Town Hall
The Old Town Hall tower has dominated the city for six centuries already. The massive prismatic tower was completed in the 14th century. In 1410 the astronomical clock which was further improved and supplemented later on, was placed on its south side. Opening hours are: Monday 11.00 – 22.00, Tuesday – Sunday 9.00 – 22.00.
The astronomical clock – each hour, it springs to life as the 12 Apostles and other figures appear and parade in procession across the clock face. The machine of the astronomical clock is a significant technical monument, because some of the original components of the set are still functional. The most basic element, i.e. the basic drive of the machine, were the weights and the soul of the machine are three gears.
The Old Town Hall consists of a complex of several Gothic houses, gradually connected together.
The most valuable monument and centre of all the events of the past is the late Gothic council hall with richly decorated wooden ceiling. From there, through the so-called Mayor’s lounge, the town hall Gothic chapel from the 14th century is accessible, offering a view of the figures of the apostles.
Jiříkova Hall is named after the bust of king Jiří z Poděbrad. Brožíkova Hall taking up the height of two storeys was modified to its present form by architect Josef Chochol in 1910.
Entrance Fee – Full tour (the chapel, historical halls, undergroung):
Kinský Palace is a former palace and now an art museum. Located on the eastern side of the square near the monument to Jan Hus. The palace’s name refers to its former ownership by the Kinský noble family. In 1992, together with the Old Town Square was declared a national monument.
Jan Hus Memorial
It was unveiled in 1915, the five-hundredth anniversary of the burning of Jan Hus. Memorial stands at one end of Old Town Square. Since 1962 it is protected as a national monument.
Art Nouveau bronze monument shows Jan Hus standing in the middle a group of figures.