Location

Knights of the Cross Square in Prague is situated in the Old Town on the right bank of the Vltava river close to Charles Bridge on the Kings Road. It is the smallest square in Prague but one of the most visited places of the capital. In the Middle Ages a bend of the river flowed through here creating the Isle of the Knights of the Cross. In the 19thcentury the bend was arched over resulting in the present square.

The eastern side is dominated by the façade of the Church of the Holy Saviour, which is part of Prague Klementinum. Along the eastern side leads an important transportroute – the tram line along the riverbank and a street with heavy traffic.

Other dominants of the square are the Old Town Bridge Tower and a Gothic memorial of Charles IV designed by Dresden sculptor Ernst Hähnel. The monument was castby Nuremberg caster Jacob Daniel Burgschmiet and was supposed to be unveiled in 1848 for the 500th anniversary of Charles University. Due to student riots during thePan-Slavic Congress the unveiling ceremony of the monument was postponed until January 1851.

In the axis of the gate of the Bridge Tower stood a winery column (decorated with grapes) with a statue of St. Wenceslas, who, according to a legend, made wine for theHoly Mass. Column currently stands on the northeast end of the square, on the corner of the Cross Church, opposite of the Klementinum. It is a baroque work of John George Bendl from 1676.

The present day look of the square comes from 1848 when it was expanded and the remaining arches of the Judith Bridge were covered. Bas-relief Bradáč was moved to its present right bank of the Square and the statue of Emperor and King Charles IV was unveiled.