Charles Square

Charles Square, the largest Square in Prague. The plan to create at this place a large market as an central space of the New City is presented even in 1348 in the foundation charter of Charles IV. But the market has been here much earlier, already in the days of Kosmas.

The change of the former muddy space in the working market started in 1843 under the direction of the count Karel Chotek and the present form of the park comes from the 1884 thanks to the interest of František Thomayer, brother of the famous medicine doctor, Professor Josef Thomayer. Since 1848 the place is called Karlovo and is decorated by five monuments. First of them dedicated to the poet, prose-writer, playwright and publicist Vítězslav Hálek was dedicated in 1882, in 1898 there was dedicated the monument of the Czech botanist and traveller Benedikt Roezl, the leader of the Máj generation Karolína Světlá has her monument here since 1910, the monument of woman writer and the pioneer of the woman movement Eliška Krásnohorská is there since 1931 and the monumental sculpture of the most notable Czech naturalist and patriot of the 19 century Jan Evangelista Purkyně is at the Karlově náměstí since 1961. The Baroque fountain from 1698 with the 10 meters high column with the sculpture of St Joseph at the top was made by the sculptor Matěj Václav Jáckl, he was in 1691 incorporated as the citizen of the Nové Město.

Since 1377 in the northern part of the place was built the first building of the New Town Hall, when was erected the eastern wing with the jail and the office rooms. To the present survived from the original building only the cellar, tower and the portico gallery. The southern wing, in which are placed especially the representative premises were built in 1411-1416, and the 70 meters high tower with a view gallery was built in 1451-1456. The present shape of the city hall comes from 1905. In 1957-1958 the hall in the ground floor was rebuilt in a Ceremony Hall. On this occasion has been found a painted Renaissance beam ceiling. Since 1962 was listed this building as the only city hall in the Czech Republic at the list of National cultural monuments. Its reconstruction finished in 1995. The dominating feature of the northern part of the square is the pseudo classicist five winged court building with three yards from the years 1901-1903 with a portico and decorated facade. On the presents there is a Municipal Court in Prague and the District Court for Prague 4. The restaurant Black brewery, the functionalistic apartment building No. 292 from the year 1933-1934 is now reminded only by the embossment of a lion. The building of the Česká technika with the allegoric sculptures of the Science and Work on both sides of t h e doorway we can find at the corner of the Resslova Street. The Charles Square Centre, modern office building and a minor shopping centre is situated at the opposite side over the entrance to the metro.

The decoration of Karlovo Square i s the Church of St. Ignatius from the second half of the 17l h century. In the construction took place important constructors Carlo Lurago and Pavel Ignác Bayer. In the neighbourhood was built the New Town Jesuit College with the Chapel of Francis Xaverius. After abolishing of the Jesuit Order in Bohemia this building was used as the garrison house and an army hospital. At the top of the Church front side there is a statue of the founder of the Jesuit order, St Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), extraordinarily placed in the golden aureole, what was according to the church rules the privilege only for the Christ and Virgin Mary.

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