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Wordtravels

Wordtravels

Old Town Square

Old Town Square © Sue Manus
Old Town Square © Sue Manus

Prague's Old Town Square has been the heart of the old city since the 11th century and still hosts a variety of markets, such as the whimsical annual Christmas markets. An odd Art Nouveau monument to the religious reformer, Jan Hus, stands at its centre, while the Old Town Hall features Prague's ornate, Gothic Astronomical Clock. The clock shows three different times and draws throngs of people on the hour, who gather to watch the brief mechanical performance of apostles, Christ, a skeleton and a rooster. Tourists can climb the tower for a behind-the-scenes look at the mechanics of this beautiful clock, and to enjoy a great view of the city from the top.

There are two magnificent churches on opposite sides of the square: Prague's greatest Baroque building, St Nicholas, with its distinctly visible dome, and the even more striking Tyn Church. The latter is a fabulous Gothic structure, with its twin spires a noticeable feature on the Prague skyline. This square and its unparalleled Gothic architecture feature prominently on postcards of the lovely Prague and it's easy to see why. There are also a number of other attractions in the square or nearby, including the Kafka Museum.