Czech name: Václavské náměstí
No trip to Prague would be complete without a visit to Wenceslas Square. It is the main square in Prague and is located in New Town in a busy part of the city. It’s an amazing location filled with shops, businesses, and residences alike. The hustle and bustle of the area are sure to offer a little something for everyone in your travel group. It also offers some of the best people-watching around. Over the years it has been used as a parade site and has hosted several of Prague’s controversial and celebratory events.
Location & How to Get There
Getting to Wenceslas Square requires just a short trip on the metro. Most of the city’s metro lines cross beneath its path. However, the A line metro train is recommended to get to the square. The two busiest stops in Prague coincide with Wenceslas Square and are named Muzeum and Můstek. After exiting the metro there are numerous signs to help guide visitors to Wenceslas Square, Prague’s main boulevard.
Opening Hours & Entry
While it’s technically called Wenceslas Square, it is actually a boulevard that is free and open daily to the public. Created by King Charles the IV in 1348, it has been a mainstay of Prague life since its inception. It is possible to visit the area anytime. However, a visit might be best saved for the daytime to see the sights in the best light or an evening visit for an epicurean gathering of family and friends.
What to Do & What to See
Bordered by the Prague National Museum on one side and Na Příkopě Street that connects to Republic Square, there are numerous interesting things to do and see in the area. The opera is only a few blocks away and the restaurants are some of the best in the city. It’s important to note that Na Příkopě Street also divides Old Town from New Town. The street and Wenceslas Square both serve as great geographical reference points when walking around town. It is also easy to get to almost anywhere in Prague from Wenceslas Square. And it is often used as a meeting point for friends, family, and tourist groups.
One of the best aspects of visiting Wenceslas Square is that it is located adjacent to the National Prague Museum. The Prague National Museum houses varied artifacts that hold the keys to unlocking the often-infamous history of the country. The Prague Museum is known for its vast collection of Czech artifacts dating back several centuries and hosts multiple cultural programs throughout the year.
In fact, the Prague Museum offers insight into the history of Wenceslas Square. At one time Wenceslas Square was known as the Horse Market. However, the name was changed to Wenceslas Square to honor Wenceslas, Duke of Bohemia. He had a difficult life due to the political climate of Europe during this period of history and was murdered at the hands of his brother. He is the patron saint of the Czech Republic and is remembered for his kind soul and work to help those less fortunate. The Saint Wenceslas Statue of him is proudly on display in Wenceslas Square and is one of the area’s greatest attractions.
Furthermore, the Prague National Museum can also help unravel even more history of the Czech Republic that has taken place in Wenceslas Square. It is often noted that most of the important historical and political events of the country have taken place in Wenceslas Square. It was the site of the declaration of the first Czechoslovak Republic in 1918. And in 1968 there was a protest against the Soviet Union invasion by student Jan Palach. He set himself on fire in protest against injustices and succumbed to his injuries. And Wenceslas Square also prominently held celebrations for the fall of Communism in 1989.
Wenceslas Square holds a deep and rich history of the city of Prague and its inhabitants. Prague sightseeing would not be fulfilled without spending some time in the area with family and friends. Be sure to stop by the Prague Museum to learn more about the history of the country and Wenceslas Square. And don’t forget to visit the Saint Wenceslas Statue before leaving.