Old Town (Prague)
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- See other places named Staré Město (disambiguation).
Old Town (Czech: Staré Město) is a medieval settlement of Prague, Czech Republic. It was separated from the outside by a semi-circular moat and wall, connected to the Vltava river at both of its ends. The moat is now covered up by the streets (from north to south-west) Revoluční, Na Příkopě, and Národní—which remain the official boundary of the cadastral community of Old Town. It is now in Prague 1.
Notable places in the Old Town include the Old New Synagogue, Old Town Square and Astronomical Clock. Across the river Vltava connected by the Charles Bridge is Malá Strana ("Lesser Quarter"). Josefov is located in the northwest corner of Old Town heading towards the Vltava.
From its early existence, around the 9th century, Staré Město was laid out of settlements which appeared from the spacious marketplace on the bank of Vltava. Records dating back to 1100 AD indicate that every Saturday a market was held on the marketplace, and large military gatherings also took place there. Thanks to trade the merchants of the area became rich, and when King Wenceslaus I of Bohemia gave them the privileges of township, the town of Město Pražské (the town of Prague) was formed. According to ancient records, the city had around 13 gates, and a huge moat, providing strong defenses.
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