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See where the most important demonstration took place during the Velvet revolution. Explore the centre of entertainment, shopping and night life.

Wenceslas Square from Mustek

      Take the A or C metro line to Muzeum. When you exit the station you will find yourself at the top of Wenceslas Square (Vaclavske namesti), the commercial center of the town and historically an important assembly point for the Czechs. Here Vaclav Havel, the dissident who became President, spoke to the masses of people during the Velvet Revolution. Here people gather to celebrate New Year or big victories, here they gather to protest.
      The square and the Statue of St. Wenceslas on horseback also witnessed less fondly remembered events: The arrival of Soviet tanks in 1968 as well as the triumphant march of invading German troops shortly before the outset of World War II. Today, the square is regularly full of people hurrying to work, full of shoppers looking for value at the department stores, small shops, boutiques and bookshops. Also together with the street Na Prikopech it is the financial center of the city. Most of the Czech banks have its headquarters here. At night, retail makes way for entertainment. Wenceslas square and the adjoining streets offer a number of cinemas, cafes and night clubs. If you look uphill, you will see the domed National Museum looming above you. Unfortunately a highway was built in between and cuts off the Museum from the square. In front of the Museum you can find a Jan Palach monument. It is a very unusual monument in memory of this Czech hero, who burnt himself in protest against the communism regime.
On the far side of the road is the former National Assembly, currently the headquarters of Radio Free Europe (yes, the building is the ugly glass box). Further down along the highway is the ornate yellow State Opera. The 'city of thousand spires'- not as you might know it from the postcards but the real thing- awaits when
Powder Tower by Michel Tlapa
you walk down the sloping square towards the Old Town. On your way down to Mustek don't forget to stop at the Academia bookstore and the Kanzelsberger bookstore (they have a huge selection of Czech books in foreign languages, guides, maps and calenders). Also one of the best photo stores in Prague is in Vodickova street. Although it is in the centre, the prices are moderate and their experts will give you valuable advices.

      On Mustek turn to the right side and you enter the pedestrian zone Na prikopech. Make sure you turn left at the first occasion so you end up tight to Estate Theatre. Mozart's Don Giovanni premiered here in 1787, only six years after the theater opened. Two centuries later the building was a shooting location for Milos Forman's Oscar-winning movie Amadeus.
Across the street from the Estates Theater is Karolinum, the administrative building of Charles University. Founded in 1348 by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia, it is one of the oldest universities north of the Alps. Today the university is spread throughout the town centre. Walk towards Ovocny trh and you will find House of the Black Madonna, home to the Czech Cubism. There is a bookstore inside it. At this point you have several options. You can either turn left and walk down Celetna to the Old Town Square, the heart of the historical centre. Or cross Celetna and through the Templova passage get deeper into the Old Town and explore the quiet streets (not that quiet during the summer season :). The third possibility, which we are going to take since you have only one day to explore this city- turn right and keep walking. On your way to the Municipal house you will pass by the Powder Tower, one of the former gates to the Old Town. Municipal house is one of Prague's most famous Art Nouveau buildings. Recently restored to its original theater, the gorgeously decorated building is home to FOK (Prague Philharmony Orchestra). You can have a drink inside its spacious cafe, check your email or explore its elegant interior. Usually there is also an exhibition there.
And now walk back to Mustek while checking out some stores Na Prikopech.
CONTINUE... your one day walk ALSO SEE:
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