Old Town Square
Many tourists say it´s the most beautiful square in Europe. People come here primarily to see the Astronomical clock on the Old Town Hall, but there are many other important buildings, for example the Church of Our Lady of Týn.
This huge square is situated on the right bank of the Vltava River and has a long history. There used to be the biggest market place in our country, since 1211 it has had its own administrator. An important change came in 1338 when the king John of Luxembourg granted the Old Town a permission to build its own town hall. The name Old Town Square had gone through many changes before it was established as we know it today. The most known are Velké náměstí (Big Square), Staré tržiště (Old Market Place) or Velké Staroměstské náměstí (Big Old Town Square). The name itself has been used since 1895 and was derived from the Old Town, the quarter, where the square is located.
It has been the place for many occasions and events, both happy and tragic. In 1422 Jan Želivský, the preacher and a representative of the Hussite movement, was executed here. Another important event was held on the 21st June 1621, when 27 Czech Lords were executed. They were the leaders of the Protestant revolt who fought against the Habsburg reign in Bohemia.
The Old Town Hall, which has its origins in the 12th century, is famous mostly for the Astronomical Clock. It was built by Master Mikuláš of Kadaň and placed in the lower part of the Old Town Hall Tower in 15th century. At the end of this century Master Hanuš of Růže rebuilt it and in the second half of the 16th century J. Táborský enhanced and enlarged it. Every full hour the Procession of Apostles appears with its allegories (the Apostles represent f. e. greed, death, lust atc.).There is also 69m high Old Town Hall Tower. If you get to the top, you experience a charming view of all Prague.[/three_fourth]
Church of Our Lady of Týn was erected on a Romanesque church in the 14th century. The Gothic façade was completed in the second half of 15th century, when Jiří of Poděbrady required. You can see there a Statue of Madonna, 80m high twin bell towers (although they were built at different times), altars, the Tomb of Tycho Brahe, a Gothic Madonna and Child. Karel Škréta did the paintings on the high altar.Except for the Old Town Hall and Týn´s Church there are sights as the Church of St Nicholas. It was built in the first half of the 18th century by K. I. Dientzenhofer and it´s a masterpiece of Baroque architecture with two twin bell towers, the dome, chapels and its frescoes inside, which are the work of K. D. Asam. The Statue of St Nicholas by B. Šimonovský wasn´t there from the origin, it was added at the beginning of the 20th century.
Jan Hus Monument, which is also a famous relic, was ceremonially introduced in 1915 on the occasion of the fifth centenary of Hus´s death in 1415. It´s the work by the architect named L. Šaloun and it also has an epigraph with the words „Love and be truthful to each other“.
The best time to visit the Old Town Square is during the night – the place is really mighty and magic at that time.
600 years anniversary of the Astronomical Tower Clock
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