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The Greater Prague is divided into ten main districts, each containing a number of municipalities. In an hour you can easily stroll from one edge of the historic center of Prague ‑ Praha 1 to the other. Most travelers will never attempt to venture further than Praha 1 as nearly all tourist attractions are to be found within this area. Praha 1embraces five distinctive city districts: Stare Mesto, Josefov, Mala Strana, Hradcany, and Nove Mesto.
Stare Město (Old Town)
Prague’s Old Town is centered around Old Town Square, or Staroměstské Náměsti, the heart of the city, with the Jan Hus Monument and the Old Town Clock Tower with the built-in astronomical clock from the 15th century. There are quite a few notable churches here, including the Church of 'Our Lady Before Tyn'. It’s a tourist hub in Prague dotted with courtyards and abundant cafes, bars and restaurants catering to every taste. The Old Town Hall is open daily. It is only a short walk away from Wenceslas Square (Vaclavske Naměsti) – a historic place that witnessed many political protests and celebrations of Prague in the last century.
Its history dates back to the 13th century, when historical documents describe the destruction of a Jewish settlement on the bank of the Vltava river. It was a confined walled ghetto for many generations of Prague’s Jews until the late 19th century, when almost all structures were demolished for the city’s reconstruction plans. A few of the most significant buildings have survived, a testimony of Prague’s Jewish history. These buildings form the best present complex of Jewish historical monuments in all of Europe. Six synagogues, the Jewish Town Hall and the Old Jewish Cemetery is all that remains. Weekly services are still held at the Old-New Synagogue, Europe’s oldest.
Mala Strana (Little Quarter)
Charles Bridge connects Stare Mesto to Mala Strana, an area just below Hradcany and bordering the river. Now home to many foreign embassies occupying buildings built by the Catholic nobility, the area is full of palaces, gardens and baroque churches, including the Church of St Nicholas (Sv. Mikulase). Frequent concerts and recitals (both at lunchtime and in the evenings) feature the works of Mozart and Vivaldi.
Prague Castle and Hradčany
Situated on the hill overlooking Prague, Hradčany is full of the rich history and enclose Prague Castle, St Vitus Cathedral and the Strahov Monastery. St Vitus Cathedral was commissioned by Charles IV (1316-1378). Its foundation was laid in 1344. However, it wasn’t finished until 1929. The result of 600 years of work was a fascinating amalgam of architecture from different periods and styles. The Strahov Monastery was founded in 1140, although its present Baroque exterior dates from the late 17th and 18th centuries. The Wallenstein Palace Gardens are within walking distance.
Nove Mesto (New Town)
This is Prague’s main commercial and business district. It is built around Wenceslas Square and topped by the National Museum and the two main commercial streets—Na Přikope and Narodni with shopping malls, hotels, bars and restaurants.