>From The Klementinum To Old Town
Before leaving this area, let us stop at the Krizovnicke namesti (Place),one of the most beautiful squares in Prague. In the center we find a bronze statue of King Charles IV, the founder of the Charles University. The other figures on its base represent the four original colleges of the University-namely Philosophy, Medicine, Law and Theology.
One of the oldest buildings here is the convent, hospital and church of the Holy Ghost founded in 1234 by Queen Agnes of the Premysl dynasty. The convent and hospital did not only serve the sick, but it also helped to maintain the adjoining stone bridge and was responsible for collecting dues and a “bridge fee.”
Another point of interest is the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. It was built on gothic foundations, but the inside is furnished in the Baroque style. However, there is a little statue of the Virgin Mary sculptured in the Gothic style in the late 15th century.
The next interesting area is the Marianske namesti (St. Mary’s Square), dominated by the New Town Hall, built in the years 1908-11 and designed by O. Polivka. Its decorative statues were produced by Czech sculptors S. Sucharda and J. Maratka.
Next to the NewTown Hall is the City Library, built in the 1930’s. On the right side of the square we find one of the garden walls of the Clam-Gallas Palace. This Palace was built at the beginning of the 18th century and is one of the most beautiful baroque buildings in the Old Town.
Built into the garden wall is a copy of a small statue of VLTAVA constructed by V. Prachner in 1812. (The original is in the Museum of the City of Prague). People call the statue ‘Terezka” and it is believed that should she ever step out of the sculpture and become real, all young men would fall in love with her.Jana Volfova
Translated by Marie Dolanska
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