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City guide by local people

Charles Square

With a total area of 80,000 m², Charles Square is the largest square in the Czech Republic. It is situated approximately in the middle of Prague’s New Town district. Until the end of the 19th century, it was known as “Cattle Market”, as it served as a marketplace for a long time, with stalls standing in the area of today’s park. The first goods for sale included salted fish, coal and grain and later mainly cattle. The square was founded by Charles IV in 1348, in the area of the trading route between Prague Castle and Vyšehrad. In the middle of the square used to stand a wooden edifice in which the imperial coronation jewels and the relics of saints were displayed. During pilgrimages, about 30,000 people used to gather on the square. Today, Charles Square is an important communication hub with a public park in the middle and several historical buildings around it.

Useful information for visitors

Address: Karlovo náměstí, Prague 2
GPS: 50.07457500, 14.42030890

Public transport connections

Karlovo náměstí bus stop, tram stop, metro station (yellow line)
Moráň tram stop
Novoměstská radnice tram stop

Opening hours and admission

Charles Square is open to the public free of charge.

Interesting facts about Charles Square

At the end of the 19th century, the stalls were pulled down and a city park was established on the site. Until then, Charles Square was a muddy area. The square was designed by garden architect František Josef Thomayer, who took inspiration from English parks with asymmetrically planted trees. There are seven sculptures in the park – for example, a plague column, the statues of poet Vítězslav Hájek, Karolína Světlá and others.

NOTABLE BUILDINGS IN CHARLES SQUARE

New Town Hall – a Gothic building built during the reign of Charles IV.

St Ignatius Church – a Baroque basilica that was built as part of the Jesuit College in the 15th century.

New Town Jesuit College – the largest Baroque building of Prague’s New Town which served as a Jesuit college.

Faust House – a Baroque palace owned by several alchemists.

Building of Prague City Court – the building is adjacent to the New Town Hall, but it was built in Eclectic style.

Building of Czech Technical University

Braun House – a building with an unusual ground plan where Baroque sculptor Matthias Bernard Braun used to live.

Nearby historical sights