The town of Hradcany was estabilished thanks to the proxinity of the royal seat. It was founded during the reign of John of Luxembourg sometime after 1320 as a town, which was under the office the Prague Castle burgrave.
At the beginning it is covered approximateey half its present area, to its full size it was expanded during the served as a town market place. Paradoxically the proximity of the Castle prevented the natural development of this town. Noblemen and St Vitus canons started to build their palaces and houses around the square.
Since the fire of 1541 reached here as well, only the parish church of St Benedict, now altered in the Renaissance style, was preserved here from the Gothic period. Today together with the adjacent Renaissance building, it serves to Carmelite nuns.
In this area, there are only sporadic monuments from the Gothic period, for example parts of the Gothic fortificatons walls, preserved in Kepler Street. They date back to the times of this town extension under King Charles IV rule. Other buildings of this town are mostly of Renaisance and Baroque style.
Hradcany Town Hall
The building of Hradcany Town Hall (Loretanská 1/173) from the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century can be pointed out as an example of Renaissance burges architecture. The originally tributary town of Hradcany was promoted to a royal town as late as during the reign of Emperor Rudolph II and the hall was built in the same period.
The sgraffito decoration includes the sign of the town as well as the imperial spradeagle. There is another object of interest - it is the preserved all of Hradcany (on the right side of the door), which was used as a unit of measurement in the Hradcany market place. Here all customers could make sure that they had not been deceived by sellers.
The construction of the new main entrance to the Prague Castle stimulated other building activities on Hradcanske
Square. In the close neighbourhood of the royal seat the Archbishop`s Palace
(Hradčanské náměstí 16) is situated. The original building from the 16th century was reconstructed later on.
The architect Jean Baptiste Mathey redesigned the building in the Early Baroque style in the end of the 17th century. A later alteration in the style of the High Baroque responded to the changed situation of the Prague Entrance and estabilished a respectable opposite to the secular power.