Prague Old Town
The Old Town will be one of the areas that you will wander in quite happily. It is easy to get lost in Prague Old Town due to the small winding streets, however you will not be lost for long – as suddenly the small narrow streets open up to large Squares or market places.
What is there to see in Prague Old Town?
- Prague Old Town Square – this is the centre of the old town, and the centre of the city, the Square should not be missed.
- Astronomical Clock – the clock is located at the south western edge of the Old Town Square.
When visiting Old Town Square in Prague, you will feel as though you have been transported 700 years into the past. During the 12th century, the Old Town Square used to be the main marketplace for Prague. Through the years, amazing architectural wonders were built all around the square. Gothic style marvels, Romanesque buildings and even the Baroque style are all displayed here.
Old Town was originally separated from the outside world by a large moat, and a wall. Streets now line what used to be the moat, and the wall was knocked down in the 14th century after Charles IV founded New Town.
Located in the Old Town Square on the side of the City Hall building, is the Prague Astronomical Clock. This amazing piece of work was installed in 1410 and is still in working condition. It comes in at number three for being the oldest clock in the world.
Every hour, four different animated figures being their movements. These figures were constructed to show the things that were hated during these times. They represent vanity, greed, death and pleasure. The twelve apostles also make their appearance every hour. The clock also contains a calendar, the Sun and Moon, and a Zodiac circle that displays the signs.
One of Prague’s first Gothic buildings was the Old New Synagogue which was built in 1270. It is the oldest active synagogue in Europe, and has some architectural features that date back to Middle Ages.
In 1621, 27 rebellious leaders were executed there, and are now remembered by 27 crosses which line the street outside the City Hall.
The St. Nicholas Church is said to have been built in the 12th century. The Baroque architecture of the church is breathtaking, to say the least. It was a Protestant shrine, whose preachers supported a reformer named Jan Hus. In 1415, however, he was burned as a heretic. A monument of Hus was completed in 1915, and towers over the Old Town square for all to see.
Another dominant building you can not miss is the Church of our Lady before Tyn. This is the city’s premier church, and stands out as it towers 80m above the street. The church is the home of the oldest pipe organ located in Prague. It was built in 1673 and still resides here. The church is also the resting place of Tycho Brahe, an astronomer from Danish ascent who was laid here in 1601. His awesome marble tomb slab can be viewed here.
The Charles Bridge gives entry to Prague by way of crossing the Vltava River. It’s construction ended in the 15th century, and until 1841 it was the only way to cross the river. It still remains a pedestrian only bridge.