Wenceslas Square

Václavské námestí (Wenceslas Square)

The Horse Market (Konský trh) began to take shape already in the first three years of the project. It became the backbone and the pivot of the project and at the same time divided the New Town in a higher and a lower part. The rectangular square covers almost four hectares. It was named after the market with horses, which was held on the higher part of the square, near the city gate, which was also called Horse Gate (Konská brána).

The revolution events of 1848 erupted through the whole of Europe and could not miss Bohemia, especially Prague. One of the events was the mass at the Horse Market, under the statue of Saint Wenceslas, served by priest Jan Arnold and attended by a large number of people. After the mass the crowd separated and one stream of people found their way through Celetná Street in front of the residence of Count Windischgrätz, the military commmander of Prague. In response soldiers started to shoot and the resulting fracas caused the armed revolt in Prague.

On the top of the Square there is a big horse statue of St. Wenceslas.

The impressive building of the National Museum emerged on the higher part, at the place of the old Horse gate. It was built between 1881 and 1891 in neo-renaissance style and decorated by renowned czech artists.

In Wenceslas Square one can find a large variety of architectural styles. There are remnants of gothic buildings, baroque and art nouveau houses as well as modern constructions. The Wiehluv dum (Wiehl’s house), at the corner of Vodickova Street hardly ever escapes attention. It is built in neo-renaissance style and richly decorated with ornaments and figure paintings by Mikolás Ales.