Main Prague's boulevard Wenceslas Square plays an important role in the history of the nation. Horse market in the medieval times, the square got its name after saint patron of Czechs, St Wenceslas. The square got its name during the rise of anti-monarchy tendencies in the mid 19th century. Now it is a vibrant centre of the the town lined with hotels, restaurants, cafes, galleries and shops.
Companies consider Wenceslas Square a “good address”.
Many historical events, manifestations, upheavals and other public gatherings took place here in the history. Giant mass was served here during the nationalist upheavals in 1848, the independence of the Czechoslovakia on the Austrian monarchy was celebrated here in 1918. People gathered here also in 1969 after the Soviet invasion into Czechoslovakia and in January on the same year, student Jan Palach burnt himself to death on the steps of the National Museum, as a protest to the occupation.
During the Velvet revolution in November 1989, following student demonstration at Národní Třída, crowds gathered here to protest against Communist regime.
Wenceslas Square also saw a gathering after Czech Ice Hockey player won winter Olympics in 1998 in Japanese city of Nagano.
Wenceslas Square has a shape of a very long (750 m, total area 45000 square meters) rectangle, roughly in northwest to southeast direction.
National Museum occupies a monumental neo-renaissance building from the end of the 19th century that overlooks the whole square. It is the oldest museum in Bohemia and today the most distinguished and largest museum in the Czech Republic. The cornerstone of the first museum funds was formed from the private collection of Kašpar Sternberg and other noble patrons, who even with their financial support enabled the activities of the institute in the beginning of the 19th century.
National Museum was located in several buildings until 1891, when the newly built building on the top of the Wenceslas Square was opened.
At present the National Museum shelters almost 14 million of items from the area of natural history, history, arts, music and librarianship, located in tens of buildings. Throughout the entire year, visitors may view the permanent exhibits of the National Museum as well as a number of temporary exhibits.
Permanent collections includes zoological, palaeontological. mineralogical and petrological and anthropological collection. Visitors can also find a Primeval history of Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia in the museum.
Temporary exhibitions are generally housed in the Hollareum exhibit hall on the ground floor of the main building as well as the two corridors leading to this space from the entrance vestibule.
On the first floor, three rooms across from the Pantheon are occasionally reserved for exhibits. Spacious less extensive exhibits are presented on the second floor gallery, while in the Pantheon itself there are periodic exhibits of exceptional significance.
On the top of the Wenceslas Square, there is a favourite meeting place for Prague citizens. It is under the Statue of St Wenceslas, Josef Myslbek's muscular equestrian statue of this duke and Czech national patron. Near the statue where Jan Palach fell, there is small memorial to him and other victims of communism.
Several buildings on the Wenceslas Square that worth seeing. The most beautiful building on the Square is no doubt Grand Hotel Evropa built in 1906 in Art Noveau style (on the right side when walking from the top of the square). The facade of the hotel is a must see.
Melantrich building across the square from Evropa is known mostly for his balcony, from which Václav Havel and the icon of the Prague Spring in 1968 Alexander Dubček spoke to gathered crowds during the “Velvet revolution” in November 1989.
Just next to it is Wiehl house named after its designer with a facade decorated by nao-Renaissance murals by Czech painter Mikoláš Aleš.
Other interesting buildings on the left side of the Wenceslas Square include Hotel Juliš, cubist steel-concrete building in which strips of glass and white opaxite lay next to each other from 1929 that was built on the site of late Baroque building, and Baťa shoe store, first constructivist building in Prague designed in 1929 for the founder of the world known shoe maker.
On the bottom of the Wenceslas Square, there is the place called Mustek. Nice building of the Palace Koruna is located on the corner of the square and Na Příkopě street with many upmarket shops of world brands.
Wenceslas Square - Originally a horse market laid out by Emperor
in 1348, Wenceslas Square was renamed in 1848 to honour one of Prague's two patron saints and martyrs. Measuring 750 metres (820 yards) in length by 60 metres (65 yards) wide, it is more of a boulevard than a square and is lined with hotels, restaurants and exclusive shops; a microcosm of the best and worst of twentieth-century architecture and the city's free-market post-communist legacy.
The square is the central axis of the Nové Mesto (New Town), the hub of Prague life and has been the site of memorable events in Czech history. In 1919, when Czechoslovakia gained independence from the Habsburg dynasty, the Republic was proclaimed to cheering crowds in the square. Fifty years later, protesting the lack of resistance to the Soviet invasion, a philosophy student, Jan Palach, set fire to himself in the square. Twenty years later, the unofficial shrine to Jan Palach and other compatriots who followed his example became the rallying point for the Velvet Revolution when a quarter of a million people assembled in the square and began the process of separation from the communism and the Soviet Union power.
Vaclavske namesti Prague Praha Wenceslas Square
Wenceslas Square Prague, Vaclavske namesti Prague
Accommodation of Wenceslas Square area
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