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The New Town

This is the city’s commercial and business district, housing big shopping malls, hotels, cinemas, nightclubs and fast-food restaurants. The hub of the New Town is the long, sloping boulevard, Wenceslas Square.

The New Town (Nové Město) was founded by the emperor Charles IV, in the year 1348. It was the most extensive urbanistic act in Prague and a unique one in the world. In this act, he merged all local settlements from the period of Romanesque style spreading from Těšnov to Vyšehrad and laid the fundamentals of the regulation of the new development which serve up until now without any change. Charles’ Square was determined to be the main public area whose western side was adjacent to the ancient road leading from Vyšehrad to Prague Castle. Until the time of the Hussite Wars, a religious pilgrimage of European importance which was called “The Showing of Sacraments, Imperial Coronation Jewels and Sacred Remains” took place here every year. This is why the square was planned to cover such an extensive area. However, in the course of time, the area around Mustek which is presently the lower part of Wenceslas Square, the largest and most important Prague’s boulevard with important commercial, social and political aspects, gained the economic dominance.

The New Town

The motives for founding New Town were certainly commercial as well as political. However, it seems that in the first centuries this project had been weak in respect to economy and the cause of this may be for example the Hussite unrests which, apart from other things, had originated in New Town. However, today New Town is a very cultivated area and fully develops the penetrating ideas of its founders.

 

Getting around New Town

Probably the most convenient metro stops for this area are the Muzeum (at top of Wenceslas Square), and Můstek (at the bottom of Wenceslas Square) with intersections for all lines (A, B and C). Alternatively Karlovo náměstí, on line B, also lies within this district.

 

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