Old Town, Prague

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    Portal of Unitarian Palace
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    THE VINEYARD COLUMN

    by balhannah Written Aug 6, 2013

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    Vineyard Column

    It was so nice to see a column different to the usual run of the mill!
    The one I'm talking about, is a thin sandstone column known as the "Vineyard column."
    The sandstone column is decorated with a twisting vine with grapes. St Wenceslas stands at the top, as he was the patron Saint of wine growers. It's also said he pressed sacramental wine himself! He has a Spear with a flag in his right hand, and a shield in his left hand. Around the column there are red rounded stones transferred there from what was left of old Judith’s bridge. It could possibly be the oldest street paving that can be seen in Prague.

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    STATUE OF CHARLES IV

    by balhannah Written Aug 5, 2013

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    Charles IV
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    I came across the Statue of Charles IV., the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia, situated at the Knights of the Cross Square near the Charles Bridge. The monument was made on the occasion of 500th anniversary of the Charles University in 1848.

    I liked this attractive monument of a bronze Charles IV! The King looked quite impressive standing on a high pedestal, perhaps he was overlooking the River and the Charles Bridge. He is holding the Foundation Charter of the University in one hand, and his sword in the other. The pedestal is adorned with the faculty of theology, medicine, law and philosophy.
    The other statues on the monument are of Pardubice (the first Prague archbishop), Jan Ocko of Vlasim (the successive Prague archbishop), Benes of Kolovraty (he accompanied Charles IV. on his way to Rome for coronation) and Matthias of Arras (the first builder of the St. Vitus Cathedral at the Prague Castle).

    Charles IV was known as the father of the country. He made Prague the capital of the Holy Roman Empire and in 1348, he founded the oldest university in Central Europe – the Charles University.
    As I wandered around Prague, I found many places with his name to them.

    You will probably come across this Monument as it's located close to the Charles Bridge

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    VLTAVA RIVERSIDE WALK FROM RUDOLFINUM

    by balhannah Written Aug 5, 2013

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    Views from riverside walk
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    After having a look around the Rudolfinum Gallery, I decided to take the riverside walk to Charles Bridge instead of walking along Krizovnicka street.
    It was really nice, much better than being with lots of people and the busy street traffic!
    There were people around, most of them were taking it easy enjoying the scene from one of the many garden seats. As with many of these places, I came across local Artist's with easels full of their paintings. I had a browse, I may add in peace - no pressure, and went on my way.
    I passed by the Manesuv Most Bridge, then stopped to have my photo taken with Charles Bridge in the background.
    I found it interesting watching the different types of Tourist boats plying the river, there must be quite a few different companies. I was here in April, and most didn't have many passengers.
    The best, was marvelous view I had from here of Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral to the Black Tower.
    A very pleasant walk!

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    JAN PALACH SQUARE

    by balhannah Updated Aug 4, 2013

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    Antonin Dvorak
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    Jan Palach Square was a pleasant green area beside the Rudolfinum.
    It turns out the square has a bit of history!
    In 1945 it was named the Square of the Red Army in commemoration of the Russian soldiers who died liberating Prague. On a sad note, it was renamed Jan Palach Square after the young student committed suicide by self-immolation as a protest of the Soviet occupation of his country. What a terrible thing to do to yourself and a horrific way to die!
    The name was officially adopted at the end of 1989 after the communist regime came to an end.

    It was after visiting the Jewish quarter that I came across this square located beside the river where I found plenty of seats and great views of Charles Bridge and Prague Castle.
    There were a couple of statues, one of Czech composer "Antonin Dvorak" and by the river a statue of Josef Munes, the Czech painter who in 1870, painted the months that are on the Astronomical Clock.
    A commemorative plaque for Jan Palach is in Wenceslas Square.

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    PARIZSKA STREET

    by balhannah Updated Aug 3, 2013

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    Was I glad I found Parizska Street, not for the shopping but for the magnificent Art Nouveau buildings! The street began at the Old Town Square and I came out at the River and Cechuv Bridge .
    The street is lined with trees and Art Nouveau buildings which house exclusive, expensive shops, too expensive for me, but I did love looking! It is considered the most exclusive and expensive street in the whole of Prague.
    Name dropping.... Cartier, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Rolex, Hugo Boss and many more big names.
    Above the shops, people live in the most prestigious address on offer in Prague.

    It is hard to image this area as a Jewish ghetto before designers came and rebuilt in neo-Renaissance, neo-Baroque, and Secession elements. Now, the facades are richly decorated
    There are so many different design's that I wanted to take a photo of them all!

    Parizska Street when translated becomes Boulevard de Paris, to pay tribute to France for helping to free the Czechs from Austria-Hungary at the end of World War I.

    If you love seeing outstanding architecture, then you MUST come for walk along Parizska Street, you won't be disappointed!
    The surrounding streets are interesting too!

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    AT THE WHITE PEACOCK & WAX MUSEUM

    by balhannah Updated Aug 2, 2013

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    At the White Peacock
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    Both of these buildings are in Celetna street, near the Old Town Square.

    At the White Peacock is the attractive building joining the "house of the Black Sun.' This house was burnt to the ground in 1945, luckily the rococo façade and the original house sign were saved.
    Celetná Street 10/557, Old Town

    On the other side of "the house of the Black Sun," is the wax museum. I had already seen a Wax Museum so didn't bother to go and see the large exhibition which covers several floors. Models are of important Czech people and other people like Michael Jackson, Dalai Lama, Harry Potter, Stalin, Mick Jagger, Tina Turner and many more.

    Open daily from 10-9pm
    Address: Celetna 6, Prague 1

    ADMISSION
    Adults 150 ck children under 15 years 80ck

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    AT THE BLACK SUN

    by balhannah Written Aug 2, 2013

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    House of the Black Sun

    At the Black Sun is one of the first historic houses I saw in Celetna Street. Once again, it was the door that attracted me, for above it was the face of a Black Sun!
    They didn't have house numbers years ago, just something that you could recognize as it being the correct house, in this case, the Black Sun!
    This house has a mixture of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture.

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    CELETNA STREET

    by balhannah Written Aug 2, 2013

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    At the Comb

    After spending quite a bit of time in the Old Town Square, I decided to walk along Celetna street, which if I continued to the end, would take me to the Powder Gate. Celetna street is part of the ancient Royal Road that was the coronation route of Czech Kings, from the Old Town to Prague Castle.

    This street was named after plaited bread rolls that used to be baked here and sold to the public, who often saw "nobles" travelling to Prague Castle while they waited. I found many historic buildings buildings in the street, many have kept their Gothic or Romanesque appearances.

    There is a legend to this street. It is said to be haunted by a butcher carrying a bloodied axe and a prostitute who was murdered by a clergyman.

    It is quite a busy street, which at night it is lit by gas lamps.

    My photo is of a neo-Renaissance building which I thought was attractive. It was built between 1883-84 and has a lovely baroque façade.
    The name of the building is rather unusual... It's called "At the Comb."

    Celetná Street 7/600, Old Town

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    UNGELT - TYNSKA

    by balhannah Updated Jul 29, 2013

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    Statues in Ungelt
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    Tynska is an area I stumbled upon when trying to find my way to some Tower's. I entered and exited into this courtyard through archway's.

    I found it very interesting reading about what used to go on here, how fire came and destroyed many buildings, and how they were rebuilt in baroque style after the fire in 1689.
    What it is like now - very different as it is Tourist's who mainly ply this area!

    I read the area dates back to the 10th century, and is definitely known to have been used as a fenced merchant yard in the 12th century. Back then, the merchant yard used to be a real stronghold, separated from the rest of the town by a moat and a wall, as its purpose was to protect the merchants and their merchandise. In this enclosure were warehouses, horse stables, and accommodation for the merchants, one of the oldest hospitals in Prague, as well as a small church of the Virgin Mary.

    It was extremely busy with thousands of merchant carriages arriving from many European countries, bringing enormous amounts of goods here. What started out as a protection fee being paid, became a compulsory toll for goods imported to Prague or passing through Prague.
    The Toll was given the german name of "ungelt," - eventually it was the name of the merchant yard.

    Goods were measured and weighed and the toll was calculated. Upon entry, weapons were handed to the ungelt manager, who also decided on eventual disputes. Night time was relaxation time, a time when stories of far away places were told, a time when the merchant's could drink and be merry! This would be why it was sometimes known as Merry Yard. The merchants were very happy here, many of them settled here for good.

    In the beginning of the 20th century, the poor people of the town began to move in to Ungelt, and after World War II, there many dilapidated buildings here. In 1978, identification archaeological research began, reconstruction was done and Ungelt was opened for public in 1996.

    So a walk through Tynska/Ungelt is a walk back in time, a chance to view many of the historical building's that have survived time. There are now 18 houses, 12 of which adjoin the actual merchant yard. The houses are of many architectural styles, many date back to the beginning of the 15th century. In the square are some statues worth a look at, before passing through one the archways to the old town square.

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    CZECH MUSICIAN'S FOUNTAIN

    by balhannah Updated Jul 29, 2013

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    Czech Musician's fountain
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    Just a short walk from the Boscolo Hotel, I came across this lovely, lively Fountain - it made me feel happy! There were four statues, dancing around, looking to be having the time of their lives!
    Actually, each of the dancing statues represented a major river in the World.

    So lets go through them, starting with..................
    The statue with a mandolin who represented the River Ganges in India, the one with the Flute was the Amazon River in South America, the Violin, of course was representing the Danube and lastly was the statue with a trumpet, who represented the Mississippi River in the U.S.A..
    The fifth statue is an allegory of the Nile.

    Austrian sculptor of Czech origin, Anna Chromy made the sculpture's. I loved them! It was a pity the fountain wasn't working.

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    STATUE OF WOODROW WILSON

    by balhannah Updated Jul 29, 2013

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    Woodrow Wilson

    Across from the main Railway Station and situated in the park, I found this bronze monument of American President Woodrow Wilson.
    Why was he here in Prague? It turns out that he played a crucial role in Czechoslovakia’s independence. This isn't the original monument from 1928, the Nazis destroyed that in 1941.
    It is the new one from 2011, which also contains a time capsule containing historic documents inside the base of the statue. It is one of few statues of an American president on foreign soil.

    “The admiration of the people for him amounts almost to hero worship,” said byTomas Masaryk, Czechoslovakia’s first president.

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    Prague Old Town

    by fachd Written Dec 25, 2012

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    Wherever I go in Europe there is an Old Town and Prague is no exception. The Old Town of Prague is filled with Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque buildings, churches and other structures dating back to the 13th century. The Historical Centre, including most of the city’s major sites, became a UNESCO site in 1992. Nowadays it is favorite tourist destinations.

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    Staré Mìsto - A walk through history

    by BLewJay Written Aug 22, 2012
    The Clock Tower
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    After crossing the Charles Bridge, we walked under the Old Town Tower and straight into Old Town. A beautiful place with historic buildings, lots of people and of course, souvenir shops and restaurants. Old Town was a medieval settlement of Prague and contains notable places which include the Old New Synagogue, Old Town Square and Astronomical Clock. Definitely, a place to go!!!

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    Old town

    by solopes Updated May 16, 2012

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    Prague - Czech Republic
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    Prague is one of the easiest cities to visit - the historical area is not big, the monuments come to your eyes in a regular cadence, and the general look of the old quarters is very appealing.

    Furthermore, the public transport in central area is very efficient.

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  • Spend time off the beaten path

    by Daytrade65 Written Jul 19, 2011

    We spent a good deal of time in the Old town area. While in Old Town, there are the must see things like the clock etc etc. We had the most fun while getting "lost " in Old Town. We found many very interesting shops and little cafes with some great food while trying to find our way back to the beaten path. I would suggest that you invest in a good city map and while in the Old Town area you explore as many side streets as you can.....you never know what kind of things you will find.
    We found a little shop that has some crystal that was part of an extraordinary line produced by one man. the crystal was decorated with Platinum and eas unlike any other we had seen in Prague.

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