Wenceslas Square will show its history

An outdoor exhibition will chart the changes of the city's main square

Wenceslas Square will have an exhibition called Václavák, which uses historical and contemporary photographs, drawings and quotations to show the history of the city's most important square. Fifteen panels will be displayed on Wenceslas Square from Nov. 3 to Dec. 29.

“The exhibition will show Praguers and tourists how rich, varied and interesting the history of Wenceslas Square really is. In addition, it points out a number of things that the Praguers themselves do not even know. The pictures reminding people of important moments of the 20th century are impressive,” Ondřej Šefců, the exhibition's author and director of the National Monument Institute (NPÚ) in Prague, said.

Wenceslas Square was founded in 1348 as part of the founding of the New Town of Prague. It was originally a horse market and did not get the name Wenceslas Square until 1848 when it was changed to Svatováclavské náměstí and later shortened to Václavské náměstí.

The exhibition will show the transformation of the square over time. People will also see some curiosities as a car in the shape of the Russian cruise ship Aurora, which passed through 1960.

People can also see where trolleybuses drove around the square or where a piece of the medieval fortifications can be found.

Contemporary photographs show details that pedestrians usually do not notice. Part of the exhibition will show plans for the revitalization of the square by architect Jakub Cígler. The revitalization has long been delayed but should start soon as a zoning permit has finally been approved.

The square has been the scene of several significant events in Czech history including the reading of the declaration of an independent Czechoslovakia in 1918 and the Velvet Revolution demonstrations in 1989.

The statue of St Wenceslas was built by Josef Václav Myslbek between 1887 and 1924. It replaced a stone statue of St Wenceslas by Jan Jiří Bendl from 1680.

The exhibition is organized by the City of Prague and the firm Medialogue.

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