Image by Chris Axe Getty Images
One of Europe’s biggest and most beautiful urban spaces, Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí, or Staromák for short) has been Prague’s principal public square since the 10th century, and was its main marketplace until the beginning of the 20th century.
There are busking jazz bands and alfresco concerts, political meetings and fashion shows, plus Christmas and Easter markets, all watched over by Ladislav Šaloun’s brooding art nouveau statue of Jan Hus. It was unveiled on 6 July 1915, the 500th anniversary of Hus’ death at the stake.
The brass strip on the ground to the south of the Hus statue is the so-called Prague Meridian. Until 1915 the square’s main feature was a 17th-century plague column, whose shadow used to cross the meridian at high noon.