New Town and Suburbs, Prague Nove Mesto
As Prague grew the city needed to expand and as a result the New Town (Nove Mesto) and other suburbs were created. Even prior to the expansion, people sometimes chose to build outside of Prague, simply to be outside of the city. Many of those places, which were once considered to be in the countryside are now part of the New Town. Less densely packed than the Old Town, New Town features large squares, including Charles Square and Wenceslas Square, the National Museum, the ruins of Vysehrad, the modern Dancing House building, and the Olsany Cemetery as well as other museums, galleries, and architectural treasures.
New Town and Suburbs Map
Wenceslas Square (Vaclavske Namesti), in Central Prague, was created in the 14th Century during the reign of Charles IV. Since that time this square, actually more of a wide boulevard, has been used for many purposes. Originally it was a horse market but is better known in modern times for being an area used for demonstrations and public gatherings. Literally hundreds of thousands of people can fit into this area and have done so during the past several decades. Wenceslas Square is also a popular area with tourists visiting Prague. The square and the area around the square are known for fine restaurants and great shopping. Wenceslas Square is also a convenient location from which to explore the rest of the city. Many of Prague's major sights are within easy walking distance of here.The Wenceslas Square is named for King Wenceslas, whose image can be seen at the top of the square where a statue stands of the King on horseback.
Prague's National Theatre features a full season of performances of opera, ballet, and drama, which are held in the National Theatre building, as well as the Theatre of the Estates, and the Theatre Kolowrat.The National Theater building was built with money collected by the citizens of Prague and was intended as a symbol of Czech national identity, to promote Czech language and culture. From the time the idea for a national theatre came about, it would take another 37 years until the time the theatre opened. The theatre presented its first performance on June 11, 1881. Two months later, large sections of the National Theatre were destroyed by a fire caused by builders still finishing up the project. Collections were again taken and the building under went construction and opened once again in November of 1983.
Manes Gallery and Vlata Water Tower
The Manes Gallery is located near the base of the Vlata Water Tower beside the Jiráskuv Bridge on the east bank of the Vlata River. The Manes Gallery was built in 1930, although the Association of Fine Artists Mane has been around since the 1880s. It is one of Prague's premier exhibition spaces for contemporary art. Havel claims it is one of his favorite places in Prague. The building rests just above the water level. In 2002 a major flood, which affected many buildings in Prague, flooded the basement and lower levels of the Manes gallery resulting in a renovation of the building.The medieval Vltava Water Tower provides a sharp contrast to the modern Manes Gallery, which stands in front.
Olsany Cemetery (Olsanské Cemeteries)
The Olsany Cemetery was created in 1680 to accommodate plague victims who died en mass in Prague in 1680 and needed to be buried quickly. In 1787, when the plague again struck the city, Emperor Joseph II banned the burial of bodies within Prague city limits and Olsany Cemetery was declared the central graveyard for hygiene purposes.The graveyard is divided into sections. In the Jewish Cemetery section, is the grave of writer Franz Kafka. In the Christian Cemetery is the grave of Jan Palach, who set himself on fire and burned himself to death in 1968 to protest the Soviet invasion. His body was taken from Olsany Cemetery in 1973 to prevent his grave from becoming the site of organized protests. His coffin was returned in 1990.
The Dancing House (Tancici Dum) is one of Prague's modern creations. Built between 1992 and 1996 and designed by Frank Gehry, this building, which is in fact two side by side adjoining towers, features unique curves that look like two dancing figures. One of the towers is in the shape of a woman wearing a skirt. American architects refer to the building as "Fred and Ginger" or "Astaire and Rogers". On the top floor is the Le Perle de Prague Restaurant, regarded as one of the best restaurants in Prague. On the main level is a café, while the rest of the building contains offices.
Vysehrad is a hilltop fortress looking out over the Vlata River and Prague. It existed as far back as the 10th Century and is the subject of a legend in which Princess Libuse stands upon this hill and predicts the rising of a great city, where Prague stands today.Historically Vysehrad was the royal residence of Vratislav II and was also part of the original Royal Route where kings about to be crowned would have to first pay tribute to their predecessor. The route lead from Vysehrad to Hradcany.The ruins are a nice place for walking or picnicking, but there is also a nice view of Vysehrad from the opposite side of the river.
Charles Square (Karlovo Namesti) is the largest square in Prague and among the largest in Eastern Europe. It was originally the Cattle Market when it was designed by Charles IV. The New Town Hall, built in the 14th and 15th Centuries, as well as the baroque Cathedral of St Ignatius (Chrám sv Ignáce) stand on the square. The Cathedral, built in the 14th Century, is known for the large number of medieval wall paintings in the cloister.Charles Square today is a beautiful park like setting with statues of writers and artists and places to sit and relax.
Map of Prague Attractions
More Prague Attractions
Popular Destinations Nearby