Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí) has been Prague’s principal public centre since the 10th century, and was its main marketplace until the beginning of the 20th century. It is the centre of Czech national history and art, witnessing all political meetings, concert bands, celebrations of victories either in the political scene or the sporting arena, and not to forget the annual Christmas and Easter markets which attract huge tourist crowds.
Browsing: Old Town square
The Old Town (Staré Město) creation was consummated after the year 1230 by building fortifications around the town area. For two to three centuries, there have been settlements of merchants of Romance origin, of Germans and Jews, surrounding the main Prague market.
Come to see this impressive Old Town parish church, especially at night. This Gothic church was built in 1365 on the site of an earlier Romanesque church. Its magnificent multiple steeples are 80m high and dominate the square.
Even if you have never heard about Franz Kafka and have never read one of his books (novels The Trial, America and The Castle have been translated into several languages), you will surely notice his presence while visiting Prague. T-shirts, posters and mugs carrying the writer’s image are available at every souvenir shop across Prague.
Whereas the modern heart of Prague beats in Wenceslas Square, the city’s past is kept very much alive in the Old Town Square. Although it has inevitable become in some ways a tourist trap – what with its top dollar ice cream stalls, never-ending parties of guided tours, and invading Segways (look out for these contraptions) – one cannot help but marvel at the immense amount of preserved history to be found huddled in this one small space.
Prague Christmas markets start on 29 November and run daily throughout December until 1 January. Markets are usually open from 09.00 until 19.00. Major markets are located around Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square while smaller ones can be found around Havelska Trziste, Namesti Miru and Namesti Republiky.