Hotel Mucha Prague ****
It only takes a few minutes walk from the hotel to get to the Republic Square where one can find the Powder Tower, Municipal House, and the biggest shopping centers Palladium and Kotva.
The Powder Tower – the tower which used to serve as a get has been located here since the 13th century and it was one of the 13 entrances to the Old Town. Its foundation stone was set by King Vladislav Jagelonsky in 1475. The gate was a coronation gift from the city council to the Kings and it was built by Matěj Rejsek. It was inspired by Old Town Bridge Tower by Petr Parléř. It was not very useful for defense. It was located next to the King’s seat in the city and it ornamentally decorated. Its construction was stopped after 8 years when the King ran away from the city due to an uprising. When he returned, he moved his seat to the Castle. The gate got its name in the 17th century when it was used as a gunpowder storage facility. The tower was severely damaged in 1757 when Prague was occupied by the Prussians and it was restored when the gate was renovated in 1876.
The Municipal House is the most significant Art Nouveau building that was built in the place of dormer King’s court – the seat of kings in the period of 1383 – 1485. King’s court was empty for several centuries, it was later used as a seminary, and then as a military school. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was tore down and replaced by the Municipal House (1905-1911). The building served as a cultural center with exhibition halls and a large concert hall. External façade is decorated wit stuccoworks and allegorical sculptures. The main facade features a large ceramic half-dome mosaic above the entry, Homage to Prague. Inside, there is the main Prague concert hall and the spirit of the whole building – the Smetana hall. Its ceiling is a glass dome and it is often used also for dancing. Interior of the Municipal house was decorated by famous Czech artists of that time, including Alfons Mucha. There is also a number of smaller halls, conference rooms, and offices but also cafes and restaurants where visitors can relax and enjoy the Art Nouveau decorations.
We can come to Old Town Square through Celetná street. It is one of the oldest streets in Prague and it was connected to the old trade route from eastern Bohemia. It got its name from pastries called “calts” that used to be baked here in the Middle Ages. Its significance rose in the 14the century when it became part of the Royal Route that was used for coronation parades. In the basements of the houses in Celetná Street, foundations of Romanesque and Gothic buildings were found. However, most of these houses with picturesque house signs were rebuilt in the Baroque period. In the house of Black Madonna one can have a look at an interesting collection of Czech cubism that includes paintings, sculptures, furniture, architecture plans, and design.