Must See Sights near Prague Old Town Square

Jan Hus Monument

If you have limited time in Prague then a visit to all the main sights of interest in the Old Town Square is a must. Fortunately, the Old Town is not that large and most of the sights are within walking distance of each other.

Karlova Street to Little Square

Walking long Karlova from Charles Bridge you will be passing the Clementinum. In here you’ll be able to take a tour of the Astronomical Tower and get good view of the city from the top. Continuing on, you’ll find yourself in a small square with a fountain. This is Little Square. Now, Karlova is a tricky street to walk along as it is not straight. As you walk from Charles Bridge, keep bearing to your right along Karlova and then when you see Cafe Per Lei, a cafe with a coffee coloured facade and a painted relief of a sexy woman on the front, you turn left at that corner. When you reach the end of that stretch, you will turn left towards Little Square (Male Namesti) where there is a fountain encircled by a iron gate. Just a few more steps and you will see the medieval towers of the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn in the Old Town Square.

The Minute House, Old Town Square

The Minute House

The Minute House, Old Town Hall and Astronomical Clock Tower

The first building of interest you will come to at Old Town Square is the Town Hall, a complex of small buildings where the Prague Astronomical Clock is located. To the left of the Old Town Hall entrance is a black and white graffitoed building which is where the famous Czech writer Franz Kafka lived as a child. To the right is the Astronomical Clock Tower. Plan to arrive there just before the hour to watch the ‘Parade of the Apostles’ show at the clock tower, on every hour during the day. If you want a good view of the Old Town Square, climb to the top of the clock tower. You’ll have to pay but you get to see the interior of the Old Town Hall at the same time.

St Nicholas Church, Prague Old Town Square

St Nicholas Church

Around the Old Town Square

Heading into the square you’ll notice the towers of the fairytale like Church of Our Lady Before Tyn looming into the sky. In the centre of the square is a large memorial of Jan Hus, a religious leader whose followers were known as the Hussites. He disagreed with the practices of the Catholic Church and was eventually burned at the stake in 1415 after which his followers engaged in 5 years of war against the Catholic Church which became known as the Hussite wars. Many of the dead were burried at the Sedlec Cemetary and their bones displayed now at the Sedlec Ossuary.

Also in the square is a pink Rococo building, the National Gallery of Prague (Goltz-Kinsky Palace). The Palace was built by Count J.A Goltz and later bought by Count F. O Kinsky, hence the name. Later on it housed a German grammar school where Franz Kafka studied.

On the other side of the square is St Nicholas Church. The Jesuit church was built in 1735 but the interior was stripped when the Jesuits were forced out of Prague. Later it became a Russian Orthodox Church and after the 2nd World War, the interior was restored with murals. While the interior may not be as interesting as the exterior, the chuch is today the a popular venue for Prague Concerts.

From the Old Town Square you can go towards the Jewish Quarter by leaving via Parizska Street. Or you could walk along Melantrichova towards Prague New Town and Wenceslas Square.