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 the main public area whose western side was adjacent to the ancient road leading from Vyšehrad to Prague Castle. Until the Hussite Wars, a religious pilgrimage of European importance called “The Showing of Sacraments, Imperial Coronation Jewels and Sacred Remain” took place here every year. This is why the square was planned to cover such an extensive area. However, over 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 economic dominance.
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 the 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 the 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.