|The New Town in Prague has a misleading name - it was actually founded by Charles IV in 1348, following his coronation as king under the Holy Roman Empire.|
Consequently, the New Town (Nové Město) has historic buildings and squares, around which much of the modern development of the city has taken shape.
Wenceslas Square lies at the heart of the New Town, and is a vibrant area of hotels, shopping, commerce, restaurants, entertainment and nightlife.
Other large, notable squares in the New Town are Charles Square and Republic Square, which also have plenty of attractions for visitors to the city.
The New Town covers a sizeable area. It wraps right around the Old Town on one bank of the Vltava River (across the river is the Lesser Town and the Castle District. Together these 4 areas form the city centre of Prague).
The New Town is an ideal area to stay in. It has an intriguing history, but is graced with more modern hotels and amenities than elsewhere in the city. It also has excellent metro and tram connections.
And as Prague is a compact city, walking from the New Town to the Old Town or Lesser Town is easy. Indeed Wenceslas Square is only 5 minutes from the Old Town Square, the centre of the Old Town.
Back in the 14th century, with the construction of the New Town, Prague became the third largest city in Europe.
Wenceslas Square was laid out as a horse market, Charles Square as a cattle market, and a hay and straw market was set up at Senovážné Square - the modern day Vodičkova and Jindřišská streets still interconnect these three squares.
Great churches were erected and the New Town Hall was built at Charles Square - all within a period of just fifty years.
Residents of the overcrowded Old Town and the areas surrounding Prague, flocked to the New Town to build houses and establish businesses.
The New Town was not envisaged as a mere add-on to the Old Town, it was to be the centre of the city of Prague. And to cement this, in 1380 King Wenceslas IV built the Royal Court Palace here, next to the Powder Tower (one the original entrances to the Old Town).
King Wenceslas IV made the Royal Court Palace his main residence, and the Bohemian Kings continued to live there for another one hundred years, before transferring to Prague Castle in 1484.
In 1911, Municipal House was built on the site of the Royal Court, and now forms the centre piece of Republic Square (Náměstí Republiky).
Also on Republic Square and opposite Municipal House is the ultra-modern, multi-level Palladium shopping centre, the largest in the city centre.-----------------------------------------------
To discover more about the New Town, take one of the Prague tours:
Prague Explorer Tour & Boat Trip
Prague City Tour
Prague City Tour & Boat Trip.