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PRAGUE Presentation 3F

CHARLES SQUARE The

CHARLES SQUARE The largest historical square in Prague was founded by Charles IV in 1348, following the foundation of the New Town of Prague. Among the oldest buildings in the square we find the Town Hall of the New Town, from 1393 to 1791 in the middle of the square there was the chapel of Corpus Domini with a small cemetery where Jan Kampanus Vodňanský was buried. In 1784, during the period of Joseph II (Josef II.), It was abolished and demolished. In place of the chapel there was a tower in which, every second Friday after Easter, the sacraments were celebrated and exposed to imperial coronation, which attracted visitors to Prague from abroad. This place was called The Great Market mid-nineteenth century, the square changed its name to Piazza Carlo. After the foundation of the New Town (Nové Město) by Charles IV (Karel IV) the place was called the Big Market (Latin: Forum Magnum), the New Town Square (Latin: Circus Novae Civitas) or the Upper Town Square. The importance of the square was supported by location of the New Town Hall (Novoměstská radnice) in its northern part. In the 15 th century it was already known as the Cattle Market (Dobytčí trh). In the southern part of the square there was a prison hospital and thirteen old houses. According to the legend, by one of them there was a big marble stone with a carved cross, death’s head and year 1627. The stone is supposed to mark the place of executions where condemned spirituals and nobles were secretly executed at nights. Supposedly, the first execution in above mentioned year was carried out on several protestant priests who plotted 10

a conspiracy against the emperor. In the northern part of the square stood a herring stall where dried fish, herrings and salt were sold. Before its demolition in 1862, it was known as Salle Romaine, which in French means the Roman room, and rented to various artistic groups, circuses and amateur companies. In the middle of the 19 th century the square we renamed as the Charles Square. Earl Charles Chotek is credited for improving the appearance of a muddy area, preserving its integrity and the first tree planting. In 1876, works on the square landscaping in the English style were completed according to the architect Frederick Wünscher’s design. Charles Square is considered to be the largest square in Prague with the largest number of sculptures. Leonardo Arigò 11

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