Altstadt, Prag

Old Town (Czech: Staré Město) is the original place of settlement of Prague, Czech Republic. It was separated from the outside by a semi-circular moat and wall, connected to the Vltava at both of its ends. The moat is now covered up by the streets (from north to south-west) Revolučni, na Příkopě, and Národni--which remain the official boundary of the cadastral district of Old Town. It is now in Praha 1.

After the city was expanded in the 14th century by Charles IV with the founding of the New Town, the moat and wall were therefore dismantled soon after.
Notable places in the Old Town include the Old Town Square or Astronomical Clock. Across the river Vltava is the Lesser Quarter, called Malá Strana in Czech. These two parts of the town are connected by Charles Bridge. Josefov is located in the northwest corner of Old Town (near but without reaching the Vltava).

History

From its early existence, approximately around 9th century Staré Město was laid out of settlements which appeared from the spacious marketplace of the bank of Vltava.

The records dated back to 1100 indicate that every Saturday there was a market on the marketplace, and the large military gatherings also took place there. Thanks to the trade the nearby area merchants became rich, and when the King Vaclav 1 gave them the privileges of town, the town of Pesto Prazske (the town of Prague) was formed. According to ancient records, the city had around 13 gates, and a huge water-fence, providing strong defenses.

After the city was expanded in the 14th century by Charles IV with the founding of the New Town, the moat and wall were therefore dismantled soon after.