Old-Town Square, Prague

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Staromestske namesti

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  • kinsky Palace on Prague's Old-Town Square
    kinsky Palace on Prague's Old-Town...
    by Jefie
  • Church of St. Nicholas on Old-Town Square
    Church of St. Nicholas on Old-Town...
    by Jefie
  • Some of the action around Old-Town Square
    Some of the action around Old-Town...
    by Jefie
  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Staromestske Namesti - Goltz-Kinsky Palace

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 26, 2013

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    Goltz-Kinsky Palace
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    Goltz-Kinsky Palace (Palac Goltz-Kinskych) is the most remarkable building on Old Town Square, and probably the most beautiful Rococo styled building in Prague, with its pink and white stucco facade.
    The palace was build for Count Jan Arnost Goltz in 1755-1756, according to the plans of Baroque architect Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer and completed by his son-in law Anselmo Lurago. The statues of ancient Greek gods on the attic are by I.F.Platzer. Later on Count Goltz rebuilt the palace in Rococo style. After the death of Count Goltz, the palace was bought by Kinsky family, who stayed in the palace until 1945.
    Austrian novelist, Bertha von Suttner-Kinska, first woman to be awarded with a Nobel Prize in 1905, was born in this palace in 1843. At the end of the 19th century it served as a German grammar school, attended by Franz Kafka.
    In 1948 Klement Gottwald made his famous speech, from the balcony of the palace, shortly before the then President Edvard Benes resigned. K. Gottwald then became the first Communist president. On the same day, 25th February but in 1990, from the very same balcony President Vaclav Havel declared that the are of Communism is over forever.
    In 1949 the palace became a place for the National Gallery.

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    Staromestske Namesti - Jan Hus

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 24, 2013

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    Memorial of Jan Hus
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    Central part of the square is home of a huge memorial of religious reformer Jan Hus, who for his beliefs was burned at the stake in Constance (Konstanz in Germany). The monument was erected in 1915 to mark the 500th anniversary of his death.
    Jan Hus (1369-1415) was a religious thinker, philosopher, reformer and Master at the Charles University in Prague. He initiated a reform movement based on the ideas of John Wycliffe. His followers became known as Hussites. The Catholic Church did not condone such uprising and Hus was excommunicated in 1411.
    Wycliffe promoted ideas that people should should be permitted to read the Bible in their own language and they should oppose the tyranny of the Roman church that threatened anyone possessing a non-Latin Bible with execution.
    Jan Hus was e key predecessor to the Protestant Movement of the 16th century. His last words were: "in 100 years God will raise up a man whose calls for reform cannot be suppressed".

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    Staromestske namesti - Dum u Minuty

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 24, 2013

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    Dum u Minuty
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    Dum u Minuty ("At the Minute House"), as it looks today, is a typical Renaissance building, however, originally this house was built in the 15th century in Gothic style. Its Renaissance appearance dates back from the 16th century when the house was rebuilt. In the 17th century the house was adorned with sgraffitoes that covering the complete facade.
    The house used to be a pharmacy called "At the White Lion". A sculpture of a white lion still stands at the corner of the building. The present name derives from "at the diminutive", due to a fact that tobacco in little pieces used to be sold here.
    The house was almost demolished in the 20th century, but then in 1919 sgraffitos were discovered and therefore the house was preserved from demolishing. Sgraffito decorations were whitewashed during Baroque modifications of the building. As already told, the house is covered in ornate sgraffito decorations depicting rulers from the Hambsurg dynasty, Greek mythology as well as references to biblical and renaissance legends.
    The famous writer Franz Kafka lived in the house with his family from 1889 to 1896. Kafka went to a school in a German language gymnasium in the Goltz-Kinsky Palace. Later his father rented part of the ground floor for his haberdashery shop.

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    Staromestske Namesti - Astronomical Clock

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 22, 2013

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    Astronomical Clock
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    Prazsky Orloj (the clock) is probably the best known and most visited emblem of the city of Prague. It is located at the southern side of the City Hall Tower. Orloj consist of three parts built in vertical succession.
    On the top is the clock, built in 1410 by royal clockmaker Mikulas of Kadan. It is fitted with an astronomical dial, projected by the Rector of the Prague University Master Jan Sindel. The calendar, in a form of round disc, was added in 1866.
    The Orloj is adorned with the various figures, the skeleton, the symbol of death, with one hand ringing a bell and with the other overturning an hourglass. There are also two allegories of Vice (Avarice and Vanity), that shake their heads in disapproval, as well as the personage of the Turk, which is a reminder of the Turkish invasion of Central Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries.

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    Staromestske Namesti - Starometska Radnice

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 22, 2013

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    the tower of Radnice
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    The 70m tall tower was added to the complex of Radnice (Old City Hall) in the mid of the 14th century. The tower is unique for its Orloj (Clock), located on the southern side, which consists of three parts built in vertical succession: the clock, astronomical dial and calendar in a form of round disc.
    This side of the tower is the most attractive for the tourists and visitors because of the parade, every hour the procession of the apostles take place occupying attention of a crowd.
    The top of the tower is accessible by the lift, offering magnificent view of the square and the Old Town area.

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    Staromestske Namesti - Old Town Hall

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 22, 2013

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    Staromestske Radnice
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    Staromestska Radnice (Old Town Hall) is constructed on Romanesque foundations, it was built in 1338 as a symbol of town's autonomy, after King John of Luxembourg accorded the citizens of Prague the privilege of having their own district council.
    In the mid of the 14th century the construction of a 70m tall tower was completed. Later on, in 1410, Prazsky Orloj (astrological clock) was added to the tower. In the 15th century the Town Hall was expanded and reconstructed in the late Gothic style. In the 19th century a Neo-Gothic east wing was added but it was destroyed at the end of WW II and never rebuilt.
    The astrological clock was enhanced with a calendar dial at the end of the 15th century by Jan Ruze.

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    Staromestske Namesti - houses

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 22, 2013

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    southern side of the square
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    The southern side of Staromestske namesti is composed of a series of buildings with colorful Renaissance and Baroque facades. One of the most photographed house on that side is known as "Štorch House", a Renaissance building with a paintings of St. Wenceslas. Not far from it stands "At the Stone Table", a nice example of Baroque architecture. Other buildings bear names such as "At the Golden Unicorn", "At the Stone Ram", "At the Red Fox", "At the Blue Star". This names of the houses were often derived from signs or plaques on their facades. The house "At the Stone Ram", for instance, is named after a stone relief of the facade that depicts a young wirgin with a ram.
    These names had a practical purpose, in the past houses were not numbered so they were identified by their names.

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    Staromestske Namesti - Astronomical Clock

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 22, 2013

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    the procession of the apostles
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    Every hour the procession of the apostles takes place, it includes the skeleton, the symbol of death, with one hand ringing a bell and with the other overturning an hourglass. The parade also features personages dating back to the 17th century. There are also two allegories of Vice (Avarice and Vanity) that shake their heads in disapproval, as well as the personage of the Turk, which is a reminder of the Turkish invasion of Central Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries.
    In the window of the upper part of the Prazsky Orloj, the twelve apostles gradually make an appearance and after the departure of the last one, the window close once again. Then the cock at the peak flaps its wings and crows, and the bell resound as the clock strikes the hour.

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    Staromestske Namesti - Astronomical Clock

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 22, 2013

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    the procession of the apostles
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    Prazsky Orloj (Prague Clock) was built in 1410 by royal clockmaker Mikulas of Kadan and the Rector of the Prague University Master Jan Sindel. The clock consists of three parts built in vertical succession: the procession of the apostles, the astronomical dial and calendar, which was created in 1866 in a form of round disc.
    There is no doubt that the procession of the apostles is the most interesting part of the clock, gathering together the large number of curious people of all ages who are patiently waiting to see how it works.

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    Staromestske Namesti - Tynsky Chram

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 21, 2013

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    Tynsky Chram
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    Tynsky Chram (Church of Our Lady before Tyn) is a dominant feature of the Old Town of Prague. It was the main church of this part of the city since the 14th century. The towers of the church are 80m high and topped by four spires.
    In the 11th century there was an Romanesque church on this site, built for foreign merchants coming to near Tyn Courtyard. Later on, in 1256, it was replaced by an early Gothic church of Our Lady in front of Tyn. The present church began in the 14th century, in the late Gothic style, and was completed in the 15th century. The church was controlled by Hussites. The roof of the church was completed in the 1450s, while the northern tower and the gable were completed during the reign of George of Podebrady, who was leader of the Hussites. His sculpture was placed on the gable, bellow a huge golden chalice, the symbol of the Hussites. In 1626 the sculpture of George of Podebrady and the chalice were removed and replaced by a sculpture of the Virgin Mary.
    The oldest pipe organ in Prague, bult in 1637 by Heinrich Mundt, stands inside the church, which is adorned with many valuable paintings.

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    Zlata Praga, Our Lady Before Tyn

    by kris-t Updated Nov 13, 2013

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    Our Lady Before Tyn
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    Our Lady Before Tyn (Panna Marie pred Tynem)

    In the 11th century this area was occupied by a romanesque church, which was replaced by an early gothic Church of Our Lady in front of Tyn in 1256.

    Our Lady Before Tyn is the most impressive gothic sacral building in Prague the construction of which lasted from the mid-14th to the early 16th century.

    In the late 17th century the church interior was rebuilt in the baroque style. Its interesting decorations include valuable altar paintings by Karel Skreta and a tombstone of the astronomer Tycho de Brahe.

    Related to:
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    • Photography
    • Historical Travel

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    The Old Town Square

    by kris-t Updated Nov 3, 2013

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    The Old Town Hall
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    The Old Town Square (Staromìstské námìstí) is one of two main squares in Prague.

    The Old Town Square's most notable sights are the Old Town Hall Tower & Astronomical Clock, the Church of Our Lady before Tyn and St. Nicholas Church.

    The Old Town Hall estabished 1338 as the seat of the Old Town authorites. The oldest gothic part of the complex which includes a tower and an oriel chapel is richly decorated with coats of arms. It was built in the later half of the 14th century.

    In the top pert of the Astronomical Clock (early 15th ctntury) the 12 apostles appear every hour between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. The eastern pseudo-gothic wing of the Town Hall was destroed on May 8 , 1945 and has not been rebuilt yet.

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    Old Town - St. Nicholas Church

    by kris-t Written Oct 21, 2013

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    St. Nicholas Church
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    St. Nicholas is a Baroque church, the interior of which was inspired by the chapel of St. Louis-des-invalides in Paris.

    St. Nicholas shurch was completed in 1735, and replaced a parish church mentioned in records dating back to 1273.

    St. Nicholas now serves as both a church and as a venue for classical concerts.

    Mar-Oct: Daily 09:00-17:00
    Nov-Feb: Daily 09:00-16:00
    Church service: Sun 10:00

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  • TrendsetterME's Profile Photo

    Old Town, Prague, CZ

    by TrendsetterME Written Oct 21, 2013
    Old Town, Prague, CZ
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    Despite a number of foreign invaders, Prague's Old Town Square has remained virtually untouched since the 10th century. Today's marauders consist largely of tourists who congregate to eat alfresco while admiring a hodgepodge of architecture — including the Rococo Kinsky Palace, the Gothic Tyn Cathedral and the Baroque St. Nicholas Church, to name a few.

    An ever-changing cast of musicians, protesters, dance troupes, punks and vendors make the square as colorful as the buildings that surround it ... :)

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    "AT BINDERS" & "ON THE STONE"

    by balhannah Written Aug 1, 2013

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    Binders & On the Stone

    These are another two attractive houses in the Old Town Square.

    "AT BINDERS" is also known as "At the Blue Star" and "At the Blue Goose."
    What once started out as a Romanesque house, was rebuilt many times in the Renaissance period, before being turned into a Baroque home in the 1700's. There are still traces of Romanesque and Gothic character. The arcades are vaulted with a Renaissance cross vault, some rooms have Gothic and Renaissance vaults too. A Wine Cellar from the 16th century called 'At Binders‘ was located here.

    Located at Old Town Square 25/479, Old Town

    "ON THE STONES"
    Looked like it was recently painted in blue and lemon, it looked really fresh and pretty!
    This too, was originally a Romanesque house, and like the other house, has been rebuilt many times and still has cellars with Romanesque and Gothic elements. The arches are of the Renaissance period, while the façade is early Baroque from the beginning of the 18th century. I am not sure if it is open to the public. I read it has stucco ceilings with Baroque oil paintings of mythological and biblical themes.

    Located at Old Town Square 26/478, Old Town

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    • Architecture

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