Prague Old Town Hall and Clock Tower

Prague Old Town Hall was established in 1338 and today is an integral party of the city’s history. All  noteworthy ceremonies are now hosted there by the mayor of Prague and is a tourist attraction. It consists of 5 different historical houses, representing different architectural periods in Prague’s history. The building is a compilation of many buildings which have been incorporated into the town hall to make it what is it today.

Disclosure: I was a guest of Prague City Tourism who arranged for me to join the guided tours offered.

Prague Old Town Hall

The old town hall has been at the centre of important historical events which have helped shape the city of Prague. It has witnessed executions of a Hussite leader, participants of the Estates Uprising but also elections of a king of Bohemia. In 1945 part of the Old town hall was completely destroyed at the end of the Second World War. But today it stands as a tourist attraction which should not be missed by anyone visiting the city of Prague. One of the highlights of venturing into the old town hall is taking a tour of interiors.

Prague Old Town Hall Interiors Tour

The town hall opens every day from 9-am till 7-pm except for Monday’s where it opens from 11-am. They offer tours in English, have special tours for children on Sundays and evening tours on Friday and Saturday at 8-pm. Touring the old town hall then climbing the tower was a highlight of mine during my recent visit to Prague. So what should you expect from a guided tour of the hall?

The Chapel of the Virgin Mary

During my visit the chapel was under construction, that didn’t take away from the beauty of the stained glass windows. The interior has been redone many times in the past but the oldest plague is dated from 1481. One of the lovely features of the first floor of the old town hall is the pentagonal oriel window. And on either side of the window are neo-gothic statues of St. Anne and St. Joseph dating from 1887. If you wish to see the inner workings of the astronomical clock, the chapel is the best place.

I was never a history buff growing up but since I started traveling I have come to appreciate the history in every city that I visit. . . . The #oldtownhall in #prague has a host of incredible history depicted on its walls and in the many rooms. It is open to the public, and it is worth a visit there. . . . Thanks @cityofprague for the opportunity to explore this part of Prague and learn of its people and history. . . . #avidtraveler #avidlyfe #abmlifeisbeautiful #travel #travelling #traveling #traveller #travelgram #travels #instatravel #traveldiaries #travelblogger #travelblog #traveladdict #igtravel #neverstopexploring #wanderlust #liveauthentic #lifeofadventure #natgeotravel #welltravelled #iamtb #searchfinddiscover #inspiringtravelpics

A post shared by Miranda-Anosa #UKTravelblogger (@ajulydreamer) on

Municipal Hall

In May 1945 the municipal hall was completely destroyed, today’s interior is new but a small old door remains. This door once led to the medieval prison were anti-Hapsburg leaders were imprisoned before being executed. Entering the municipal hall you’re greeted by the tapestry which depicts the city’s coat of arms. Once upon a time the municipal hall was the central point of the town hall. Important issues affecting they people and city of Prague was discussed here.

The Old Council Hall

First thing I noticed entering the old council hall was the Gothic cladding beam ceiling, it’s really hard to miss. The entire room screams riches, from the stained glass to renaissance paintings. It is the most value room in the entire town hall building distinguished by the rare furnishings. The Lord Mayor’s chair in the old town hall is one such furniture that is beautifully carved. Funny part of the history of the hall that I loved was ‘defenestration’, they threw people outside the window. You couldn’t make this stuff up even if you wanted too but history says it happened.

Brožik Assembly Hall

As mentioned already, the old town hall is made up of five historical houses, Brožik assembly hall occupies one. This makes it the largest hall in the building and exceeds the height of two floors. My favourite part of this room is the two large paintings by the famous painter Vaclav Brožik. The two paintings depict important historical moments in Czech history like King Charles IV establishing the university in Prague. Today the hall is used by the Lord Mayor for important events but previously Prague council was based here.

The Medieval Underground

I didn’t expect to find in the old town hall was a complicated system of Romano-Gothic medieval underground cellars. The entire complex is older than the town hall itself and it is the largest of its kind in Prague. What I found fascinating is that the cellars have been raised artificially to today’s level. This was because back in the day, this area used to get flooded all the time. The cellars were also the most feared prisons were the legendary executioner carried out his work. I found the tour truly fascinating and definitely worth a visit.

Town Hall Tower

When you arrive in the old town square, it is easy to spot the town hall tower which is a dominant feature. At the time it was built the tower was the tallest in Prague and was used as a watch point for danger. Unfortunately the tower was destroyed at the end of the WWII and had to be reconstructed. Today if you’re after a bird’s-eye view of the old town and more, this is it. You have an option to walk up the tower or use the lift which takes you to the top floor.

I spent just over an hour towering the old town hall, the underground cellars and then the riding up the tower. Prague has so much to offer but for many they overlook the old town hall which is a shame as it’s amazing. Here is some good to know information about visiting the Old Town Hall

Good-to-know

  • Both interior tours and tower are open from 9am to 7pm {10pm for tower}, both open at 11 am on Monday
  • Evening tours are offered on Friday and Saturday only at 8 pm
  • Visit www.prague.eu for more information

Pin for later!

Share: