The City of Prague Museum

Prague – A Fortress in the Heart of Europe / Ten Centuries of the Czech Metropolis

Prague – A Fortress in the Heart of Europe / Ten Centuries of the Czech Metropolis

Main Building, Seoul Museum of History

21. 11. 2014 – 1. 2. 2015

The history of Prague fortifications takes us back to the 10th century. The story of walled settlements in the Prague basin began to unfold around the establishment of the early Czech state (known as Bohemia at that time).

Hand in hand with the growing Central European importance of Prague, the city grew bigger and the ring of defence walls had to be improved and continuously expanded. The story of a town citadel begins at Prague Castle, the seat of Bohemian rulers (princes, kings, and emperors), today presidents, which is one of the longest standing European seats of power. Over time, the walls spread out into the area below the castle where a new town developed which had to be protected against the raids of foreign and domestic enemies.

Wood and earthen ramparts were replaced by medieval walls, which were later replaced by a stone ring of walls. The Vyšehrad residence of Bohemian kings was turned into a bastion citadel and Prague Castle became the President’s Office seat. Some fortifications were replaced by new ones, others perished, and a few parts have survived. Eventually, an imperial decree, which abolished the fortification function of the Prague agglomeration, brought these efforts to an end. As a result, the majority of fortifications were damaged in the late 19th century and incorporated into property allotments.

Despite this radical change of city planning, nearly 10 km of city wall sections from different periods have remained.

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