Church of Our Lady before Týn - Prague, Czech Rep.

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Old Town Square

Top choice in Staré Město

One of Europe’s most beautiful and busiest urban spaces, the 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. Today it's where all tourists converge, some coming from Charles Bridge, some from the start of the Royal Way.

There are busking jazz bands and al fresco 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, the shadow of which used to cross the meridian at high noon.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Staré Město attractions

1. Jan Hus Statue

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Ladislav Šaloun’s brooding art nouveau statue of Jan Hus was unveiled on 6 July 1915, the 500th anniversary of Hus’ death at the stake.

2. House at the Stone Bell

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During restoration in the 1980s a baroque stucco facade was stripped away from this elegant medieval building to reveal the original 14th-century Gothic…

3. Old Town Hall Tower

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The Old Town Hall’s best feature is the view across the Old Town Square from its 60m-tall clock tower. It's well worth the climb up the modern,…

4. Kinský Palace

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The late-baroque Kinský Palace sports Prague’s finest rococo facade, completed in 1765 by the redoubtable Kilian Dientzenhofer. Today the palace is home…

5. Astronomical Clock

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Every hour, on the hour, crowds gather beneath the Old Town Hall Tower to watch the Astronomical Clock in action. Despite a slightly underwhelming…

6. Old Town Hall

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Prague’s Old Town Hall, founded in 1338, is a hotchpotch of medieval buildings acquired piecemeal over the centuries, presided over by a tall Gothic tower…

7. Church of Our Lady Before Týn

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Its distinctive twin Gothic spires make the Týn Church an unmistakable Old Town landmark. Like something out of a 15th-century – and probably slightly…

8. Church of St Nicholas

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The baroque wedding cake in the northwestern corner of Old Town Square is the Church of St Nicholas, built in the 1730s by Kilian Dientzenhofer (not to be…