Staré Mesto (Old Town) - General information
Having resisted architectural changes over the centuries, Prague's Old Town maintains a medieval, fairy tale-like atmosphere.
Its architecture styles are less homogeneous than in Malá Strana, but there are just as many treasures. Part of the beauty comes from the variety, and the central Old Town Square is proof. Crowds of tourists admire the astronomical clock on Old Town Hall and all the surrounding buildings, but it is equally possible to discover smaller alleyways tucked away behind the square. The tiny historical enclave of Josefov is named for the first emperor to abolish constraints against the Jews of Prague.
Today there are still six synagogues and many other buildings which remind us of the Jewish heritage of what has come to be known as the Jewish quarter, although most of the area's buildings (themselves beautiful examples of Art Nouveau and other styles) were built during the area's redevelopment during the 19th century.
Inspired by Haussmann in Paris, the old medieval houses and winding lanes were demolished in favour of stately buildings and broad boulevards - no surprise then, that the main street resulting from this process is named Pařížská třída (“Paris Avenue”)! The world-renowned association between Prague and Kafka is particularly apparent in the Old Town.
The streets are cluttered with places related to the literary legend. His short lifetime took place here in Old Town, including his birth near Celetná street. A statue dedicated to Kafka is located near the Spanish Synagogue.