It’s cold. And dark, even though it is nearly 11 a.m. in Czech Republic’s capital city. We’ve walked from the Muzeum tram stop in Prague down through the Wenceslas Square, one of the main (and absolutely magnificent squares) in the old town of Prague. Where we are going, we don’t know. But, we are drawn to this square, to the beauty it emits, and we’re in no rush to leave. Even if the damp hanging in the air chills our bones and the threat of rain drops looms over our heads.
This is Wenceslas Square, home to some historic moments in Prague’s long history.
In the Middle Ages, it was a horse market. Later in its existence, the proclamation of independence for Czechoslovakia was read here in 1918. It has been used for Nazi demonstrations, has been a victim of destruction during the Prague Uprising in 1945, has seen tragedy (a student set himself on fire to protest the Soviet Union’s invasion in 1968), triumph (it served as the place for celebration when the Czech team defeated the USSR in the ice hockey world championships in 1969), and so much more.
Today, Wenceslas Square is a part of the city’s World Heritage area, where you can find locals and tourists alike, sitting for long cups of coffee or beer on tiny patios, wrapped in fleece blankets (hey, it may be cold, but the European cafe culture thrives, even during colder spells), shopping or partying.
The street, lined with restaurants, hotels and shops, is a hotbed for action and prices reflect that. But, so does the magic of the architecture and cultural activities and museums nearby.
From the square, people are treated to an amazing view of Prague’s Národní museum, National Museum, which houses 14 million artifacts of art, history, science, music and more.