Old Town: 02.07.2019

Walking along the popular tourist route and making wishes

On July 2, students of the MSM summer program took a tour of the Old Town and Charles Bridge in Prague, on which they have learned that the Old Town was built around a historic market square – the center of attention of medieval foreign merchants. They understood why the city of Prague received such a name from the Czech word “prah” (threshold), got acquainted with the history of the market square, as well as the first university in Prague – Charles University, which today became one of the leaders in the ranking of world universities in terms of the quality of education and where students of MSM annual programs can also enter if they make enough effort and show diligence in preparing!

If we talk about the Old Town Square, where the students went first, then the first thing that comes to mind is the atmosphere of the Christmas holidays, which are held annually in the square and attract crowds of tourists who buy a svařák – traditional Czech mulled wine, as well as other delicacies. But on this summer day, students could walk along a variety of kiosks offering traditional Czech sweets and savory snacks, listen to street musicians, and also, besides the Tyn Church, look at the majestic “Prague Orloj” – beautiful tower clocks built in the Middle Ages, which show not only the current time, but also contain an astronomical dial, where you can find the time of sunrise and sunset, the position of the Sun and the Moon among the constellations, the phases of the Moon, and even the calendar dial showing the day and the month this year, the day of the week and many other details. Lingering around the clock before its chiming clock you can see the characteristic moving figures, which are then again hidden inside the building.

Not far away is the historic Charles Bridge, which connects the Old Town and the Malou Stranu, where artists, caricaturists, and handicraftsmen usually gather. It is clear why – after all, Charles Bridge is one of the most visited places in Prague by tourists. According to legend, Charles IV himself laid the first stone for the construction of the bridge in 1357. By the way, astrologers chose the exact time and date by special calculations, so that the bridge would stand as long as possible and be strong enough to survive all the cataclysms and historical events.

We express our gratitude to the guide, coordinators, as well as our dear students for showing curiosity to the history of Prague!

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