Malostranské náměstí, Malá Strana’s main square, is divided into an upper and lower part by St Nicholas Church, the district’s most distinctive landmark. The square has been the hub of Malá Strana since the 10th century, though it lost some of its character when Karmelitská street was widened early in the 20th century, and a little more when Prague’s first Starbucks opened here in 2008.
Today it’s a mixture of official buildings and touristy restaurants, with a tram line running through the middle of the lower square. The nightclub and bar at No 21, Malostranská beseda, was once the old town hall. It was here in 1575 that non-Catholic nobles wrote the so-called České Konfese (Czech Confession), a pioneering demand for religious tolerance addressed to the Habsburg emperor that was eventually passed into Czech law by Rudolf II in 1609. On 22 May 1618, Czech nobles gathered at the Smiřický Palace to plot a rebellion against the Habsburg rulers – the next day they flung two Habsburg councillors out of a window at Prague Castle.