The beautiful city of Prague is known for its many historical landmarks, several of which played a crucial role in the history of the Czech Republic. One of them is Charles Square, also known as Karlovo náměstí in Czech. With an estimated size of 80,550 square meters, Charles Square is one of the largest historical squares in the world and the largest historical square in Prague.
On a typical day, you can expect to find a relatively quiet square visited by a few tourists. While its streets are often passed through by cars, it’s one of the most peaceful areas in the whole of Prague.
Some of the most notable buildings you can see around Charles Square are the New Town Hall building, the Mladota Palace or Faust House, the Czech Technical University building, and the Early Baroque Church of St. Ignatius. However, the square’s defining structures are its park with seven sculptures of some of Prague’s most well-known personalities and a gorgeous Baroque fountain.
History of Charles Square
Back in 1348, then-emperor Charles IV established the New Town of Prague and the three main squares within it: Wenceslas Square, Senovážné náměstí, and Charles Square. They were connected by one street for easy travel and access, but this street was later split into two: the Vodičkova and Jindřišská streets.
The Square became an important landmark throughout some of Prague’s most famous historical events. It became home to the Corpus Christi Chapel during the late 14th century, which was visited by thousands of pilgrims because it showcased the crown jewels and holy relics of the Holy Roman Empire.
Not long after, the Hussite Wars began in the middle of Charles Square. It was kicked off by a group of Hussites throwing a few Catholic counselors out of the windows of the New Town Hall. This event was later known as “The First Defenestration of Prague”.
Eventually, the area was beautified by Earl Charles Chotek in the middle of the 19th century. Many trees were planted around the square, and much landscaping work was done to diversify the flora. Today, the Square is a peaceful district loved by tourists for its serenity and beauty. The New Town Hall, located in the Square, is now primarily used for social gatherings and cultural events.
Traveling To and From Charles Square
Prague is a well-connected city, and Charles Square is easily accessible using the trams and the city’s metro. To travel to and from Charles Square you can take tram 3, 4, 6, 10, 14, 16, 18, 22 or 24 or take line B of the metro.
The Square is closest to the Karlovo náměstí metro station, which is five minutes away on foot. If you don’t mind walking for a while, you can also visit other sites across Prague by strolling down the connecting bridges and walkways across the city.
Accommodations at Charles Square
Along with its many historic sites, Charles Square is surrounded by a variety of hotels, hostels, apartments, and bed-and-breakfasts. There are luxury hotels for tourists who prefer more elegant accommodations, but there are also small hotels for those who would like more affordable options.
It is highly recommended that those traveling with families opt for apartments instead of hotels. This is because apartments around the area are more cost-effective than hotels, and they are also often more spacious to accommodate young children. Apartments also often come with a kitchenette if you’re interested in cooking your own meals.
You can even find hotels that have special concessions. For example, if you’re traveling with pets, you can find pet-friendly hotels spacious enough to accommodate both you and your furry friend. You can even find hotels that are built into some of the city’s historic structures.
Touring Around Charles Square
Charles Square is one of the most tourist-friendly places to visit in Prague because of its layout and accessibility. Many tourist agencies readily offer walking tours across the Square’s historical sites, and it’s often a stop on most tours around the city. To fully enjoy your Prague experience, consider booking a tour that includes Charles Square in the list of landmarks to visit.