Gothic stage of dramatic history...
The New Town Hall was built between the 14th and 15th centuries as the centre of political power of the Gothic New Town. The main motif of the tower is aligned with older Old Town Hall whose grandeur it clearly aspired to match. The Gothic interiors of the town hall witnessed dramatic events which led to the bloody Hussite wars. In 1419, a fanatical crowd of Hussite supporters stormed the town hall and tossed the Catholic councillors from the Town Hall’s windows.
The town hall underwent significant renovations at the beginning of the 16th century, when gables were built and the early Renaissance portal was created. This reconstruction was the work of the royal architect Benedikt Ried, who was also the author of the remarkable Vladislav Hall at the Prague Castle. Today’s gables are copies of the original. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Gothic elements were in fact taken down in the process of an utilitarian reconstruction and the town hall acquired the appearance of a regular office building. The Gothic-Renaissance face of the town hall was only restored at the beginning of the 20th century by Kamil Hilbert. In this case too, it is possible to talk about an artistic linking of the New Town Hall with the Prague Castle, because Hilbert was at this time also the author of the last phase of the construction of the St. Vitus Cathedral.
The last renovation of the town hall took place at the turn of the 20th century. This time, the Gothic spaces were rehabilitated and a modern court wing was built. Today, the trendy Café Neustadt is housed in the New Town Hall, and the historic halls are used for exhibitions and social events.
The Town Hall tower offers a unique and little-known view of the New Town and the whole panorama of historical Prague.Patrick