Prague's Old Town (Stare Mesto prazske)

Prague's Old Town originated on the right bank of the Vltava in places that would not be threatened by floods. Its centre consisted of a large marketplace, today's Old Town Square (Staromestke namesti), and routes that lead to both the city's castles, Prague Castle and Vysehrad, and to points where long-distance trade routes converged.

Prague's Old Town

When the stone Judith Bridge was built around the middle of the 12th century, the city's basic structure had already been set in the form of stone buildings. The quantity of well-preserved lower floors of the Romanesque buildings is extraordinary.

By the end of the 13th century the city already had 10 metre-high stone fortifications, protecting a settlement of about 140 hectares. This included the New Town by St. Gall's (sv. Havel) situated at the north border of the town with a large marketplace known today as Gall's Market (Havelsky trh). In contrast to medieval times it is considerably smaller due to secondary settlement.

Prague's Old Town

The rapid regeneration of the advanced Gothic city was accelerated by the privileges granted to it by Charles IV. In 1348 he added a university to the city's huge concentration of churches, cloisters and aristocratic residences and newly built town hall. He also strengthened the dominant position of Prague's Old town among Prague's historic cities, and preserved this after their administrative consolidation.

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