Monday, February 9, 2009

Prague in the past and today - Old Town Square

When you walk through Prague you can feel how old the streets, bridges, castle or squares are. Surely you are wondering how Prague looked like in the past. And now we are coming up with our series about history of Prague. During our trip to the history we will visit various spots in Prague. We will see the differences between present pictures and those from the past. You will be able to get an insight of Prague history and its changes during centuries. We hope you will enjoy the trip together with Prague City Apartments.

For today’s trip Staromestske namesti (the Old Town square) was chosen. Staromestske namesti is one of the most famous tourist spots in Prague. Featuring various architectural styles including the gothic Týn Cathedral and baroque St. Nicholas Church, the spacious square is an oasis for travelers wearied by Prague's narrow streets. Among many churches, tourists may find the Astronomical Clock on this square, while the tower at the Old Town Hall offers a panoramic view of the Old Town.

The first view is focused on the Old Town Hall. The picture is from 1841, graved by J.Poppel, and it shows how the Old Town Hall looked like before 1838.

The Old Town Hall was rebuilt in the next decade; however, this new part of the Old Town Hall was completely destroyed in the end of the Second World War. Only a small part of the previous building has remained (see small pink building next to Old Town Hall tower). There is a discussion going on presently about rebuilding the destroyed part of the Old Town Hall. Nothing has been decided yet. The old picture dates back to 1856 and it was taken by Andreas Groll. It is probably one of the oldest photos of Prague.

Next two pictures show the Old Town Hall tower. The first one dates to 1856 and it was taken by Andreas Groll again. You can see by comparing these two pictures that this part of the Old Town Hall remains unchanged since then.

In this picture you have a broader view of the square and here again the author is Andreas Groll and the photo dates back to 1856. The only bigger difference between the new and the old is the presence of tourists :).

The last picture of the Old Town Square is a view of the south. It is proof of that various architectural styles are represented. The picture came from 1865 and its author is F. Fridrich. The statue in the front was called Mariansky sloup (Marian Column). A crowd led by Frantisek Sauer destroyed the statue in 1918. F. Sauer and his followers considered it a symbol of Czech defeat in Bitva na Bile hore (Battle of White mountain).

That’s it. Now you have got some insight into the history of the Old Town Square. We hope you have found it an interesting way of getting closer to Prague. Please, stay tuned for the next portion of Prague’s history

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