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Historic Centre of Prague

Historic Centre of Prague

Built between the 11th and 18th centuries, the Old Town, the Lesser Town and the New Town speak of the great architectural and cultural influence enjoyed by this city since the Middle Ages. The many magnificent monuments, such as Hradcany Castle, St Vitus Cathedral, Charles Bridge and numerous churches and palaces, built mostly in the 14th century under the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Centre historique de Prague

Construits entre le XIe et le XVIIIe siècle, les quartiers de la Vieille Ville, de la Petite ville et de la Nouvelle ville, avec leurs magnifiques monuments comme le château Hradcany, la cathédrale Saint-Guy, le pont Charles et de nombreux autres palais et églises construits pour la plupart au XIVe siècle sous l'empereur romain germanique Charles IV, témoignent de la grande influence architecturale et culturelle exercée par cette ville depuis le Moyen Âge.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

وسط براغ التاريخي

بُنيت أحياء المدينة القديمة والمدينة الصغيرة والمدينة الجديدة بين القرن الحادي عشر والقرن الثامن عشر وهي تتضمن مبانٍ رائعة كقلعة هرادكاني وكاتدرائية القديس فيتوس وجسر تشارلز، الى جانب قصور وكنائس كثيرة شُيّد معظمها في القرن الرابع عشر في عهد الامبراطور الروماني الجرماني تشارلز الرابع. وتشهد هذه الأحياء على التأثير الهندسي والثقافي العميق الذي خلّفته هذه المدينة منذ القرون الوسطى.

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0


布拉格历史中心建于11至18世纪之间,老城、外城和新城自中世纪起就以其建筑和文化上的巨大影响而著称于世。中心拥有诸如荷拉德卡尼城堡(Hradcani Castle)、圣比图斯大教堂(St Vitus Cathedral)、查理桥(Charles Bridge)以及数不胜数的教堂和宫殿等绚丽壮观的遗迹,其中大多数建于14世纪神圣罗马皇帝查理四世统治时期。

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Исторический центр Праги

Старый город, Малый город (Мала Страна) и Новый город были построены в период XI-XVIII вв. Их величественные памятники - замок Градчаны, кафедральный собор Святого Вита, Карлов мост и многочисленные церкви и дворцы - воздвигнуты главным образом в XIV в. при императоре Священной Римской империи Карле IV. Они свидетельствуют об огромном архитектурном и культурном значении, которое этот город имел с начала Средних веков.

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Centro histórico de Praga

Construidos entre los siglos XI y XVIII, los barrios y edificios de la Ciudad Vieja, la Ciudad Nueva y la Ciudad Pequeña atestiguan la magnificencia de la arquitectura y el arte de Praga y explican su gran influencia en la cultura europea desde la Edad Media. Muchos de sus espléndidos monumentos como el castillo de Hradcani, la catedral de San Vito, el puente Carlos y múltiples iglesias y palacios fueron erigidos en el siglo XIV, bajo el reinado de Carlos IV, emperador del Sacro Imperio Romano Germánico.

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0


source: NFUAJ

Historisch centrum van Praag

De Oude Binnenstad, de Kleine Zijde en de Nieuwe Stad van Praag zijn gebouwd tussen de 11e en de 18e eeuw en getuigen van de grote architectonische en culturele invloed die de stad onderging sinds de middeleeuwen. De vele prachtige monumenten, zoals het Hradčany kasteel, de Sint Vitus kathedraal, de Karelsbrug en talrijke kerken en paleizen zijn voornamelijk gebouwd in de 14e eeuw. De architectonische werken uit de gotische periode (14e en 15e eeuw), de hoge barok (eerste helft 18e eeuw) en de tijd van het opkomende modernisme (na 1900), hebben de architectonische ontwikkeling van Centraal-Europa en misschien wel heel Europa beïnvloed.

Source: unesco.nl

Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The inscribed site is a serial property comprising the Historic Centre of Prague situated on the territory of the self-governing administrative unit of the City of Prague, and of the Průhonice Park, located southeast of the city on the territory of the Central Bohemia.

Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe in terms of its setting on both banks of the Vltava River, its townscape of burgher houses and palaces punctuated by towers, and its individual buildings. The historic centre represents a supreme manifestation of Medieval urbanism (the New Town of Emperor Charles IV built as the New Jerusalem). It has been saved from any large-scale urban renewal or massive demolitions and thus preserves its overall configuration, pattern and spatial composition. The Prague architectural works of the Gothic Period (14th and 15th centuries), of the High Baroque of the 1st half of the 18th century and of the rising modernism after the year 1900, influenced the development of Central European, perhaps even all European, architecture. The historic centre also represents one of the most prominent world centres of creative life in the field of urbanism and architecture across generations, human mentality and beliefs.

In the course of the 1100 years of its existence, Prague’s development can be documented in the architectural expression of many historical periods and their styles. The city is rich in outstanding monuments from all periods of its history. Of particular importance are Prague Castle, the Cathedral of St Vitus, Hradčany Square in front of the Castle, the Valdštejn Palace on the left bank of the river, the Gothic Charles Bridge, the Romanesque Rotunda of the Holy Rood, the Gothic arcaded houses with Romanesque cores around the Old Town Square, the Church of Our Lady in front of Týn, the High Gothic Minorite Church of St James in the Old Town (Staré Mĕsto), the Early Gothic so-called Old-New Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter (Josefov), the late 19th century buildings and the medieval town plan of the New Town (Nové Mĕsto).

As early as the Middle Ages, Prague became one of the leading cultural centres of Christian Europe. The Prague University, founded in 1348, is one of the earliest in Europe. The milieu of the University in the last quarter of the 14th century and the first years of the 15th century contributed among other things to the formation of ideas of the Hussite Movement which represented in fact the first steps of the European Reformation. As a metropolis of culture, Prague is connected with prominent names in art, science and politics, such as Charles IV, Petr Parléř, Jan Hus, Johannes Kepler, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Kafka, Antonín Dvořák, Albert Einstein, Edvard Beneš (co-founder of the League of Nations) and Václav Havel.

The Průhonice Park (the area of 211.42 ha) was founded in the year 1885 by the Count Arnošt Emanuel Silva-Tarouca. The result of his lifelong work is an original masterpiece of garden landscape architecture of worldwide importance. The park uses advantage of the miscellaneous valley of the Botič Stream and the unique combination of native and introduced exotic tree species. The Průhonice Park became in the time of its foundation the entrance gate to Bohemia (as well as to the whole Europe) for newly introduced plants. An integral part of the park is also a Neo-Renaissance country house. In the area there is also a small medieval church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary.

Criterion (ii): The Historic Centre of Prague admirably illustrates the process of continuous urban growth from the Middle Ages to the present day. Its important role in the political, economic, social, and cultural evolution of Central Europe from the 14th century onwards and the richness of its architectural and artistic traditions meant that it served as a major model for urban development of much of Central and Eastern Europe.

Criterion (iv): Prague is an urban architectural ensemble of outstanding quality, in terms of both its individual monuments and its townscape, and one that is deservedly world-famous.

Criterion (vi): The role of Prague in the medieval development of Christianity in Central Europe was an outstanding one, as was its formative influence in the evolution of towns. By virtue of its political significance in the later Middle Ages and later, it attracted architects and artists from all over Europe, who contributed to its wealth of architectural and artistic treasures. The 14th century founding of the Charles University made it a renowned seat of learning, a reputation that it has preserved up to the present day. Since the reign of Charles IV, Prague has been intellectual and cultural centre of its region, and is indelibly associated with such world-famous names as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Franz Kafka.


All the key elements that convey the Outstanding Universal Value of this serial property are situated within the inscribed area. The boundaries and the areas of the two component parts of the serial property are adequate. At the national level, their buffer zones are defined in accordance with existing regulations. The two component parts have stabilized town-planning structures.

The integrity of the Historic Centre of Prague is threatened by the pressure of the developers wishing to build oversized new buildings in the historic centre and its buffer zone. For this reason, the height and volume of new buildings must be reviewed by competent authorities. The integrity of the Historic Centre of Prague is also threatened by an increasing development pressure on the roofscape and it might have a negative impact on the visual integrity of the city which has remained well-preserved so far. The integrity of the Průhonice Park is threatened by the pressure of urban development in its buffer zone. This fact is provoked by the location of Průhonice close to the capital city.


The Historic Centre of Prague is of high authenticity. It represents an organic urban development over more than a thousand years.

The degree of authenticity of single buildings or building complexes is also very high, especially in terms of preservation of their original plots, massing, structures, materials, decoration and architectural details, in spite of the fact that some adaptations and changes were made necessary to allow continued use. The present form and appearance of the Historic Centre of Prague reflect different stages of its centuries-long development, which also proves exceptionally valuable archaeological terrain, which is protected by law. The long tradition of conservation in Prague helps to keep the authenticity of the property. Restoration works are carried out in accordance with strict criteria and using historical materials and technological processes.

The Průhonice Park is of high authenticity concerning at its present form and appearance closely reflect an example of a uniquely preserved landscape park with its original combination of native and introduced tree species. This assertion is proved by the comparison of the present form with historical plans and other documents.

Protection and management requirements

The property is protected by Act No. 20/1987 Coll. on State Heritage Preservation, as amended. The historic city centre itself contains a number of buildings that are designated cultural heritage or national cultural heritage sites and is protected as an urban heritage reservation under national legislation. Any actions that may affect it must be authorized by the appropriate state or local authorities. The Průhonice Park is a national cultural heritage site, thus enjoying the highest level of protection under the Act mentioned above.

With the exception of Prague Castle, heritage preservation on the whole territory of the Historic Centre of Prague is provided by the municipal authority of the City of Prague. The Prague Castle is managed by a special organisation established specifically by the Office of the President of the Republic. The Prague Castle Management has a high level of professional competence in heritage preservation.

The historic centre is adequately protected by mobile flood barriers whose efficiency has been approved during the floods in June 2013. As regards the pressure of the developers on the territory of the historic centre, the enforcement of land use planning standards and of the relevant regulations is expected to keep this type of threat under control.

The Průhonice Park is managed by the Botanical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic which is responsible for the maintenance, functioning and development of the Park. In this case, it is the regional authority of Central Bohemia which is responsible for state heritage preservation.

The buffer zone of the Historic Centre of Prague is identical to the protective zone of the urban heritage reservation under the current regulations. The height and volume of new buildings are reviewed by competent authorities. The development pressures in the buffer zone of the Průhonice Park are regulated by the Land Use Plan of Průhonice. The buffer zone is identical to a protective zone of the national cultural heritage site which has set out conditions of protection.

Due to the area of the property and the complicated ownership structure inside the property, maintenance and restoration of individually protected cultural heritage sites and ensembles are subject to individual programmes. Financial instruments for the conservation of the property mainly include grant schemes, funding through the programmes of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic allocated to the maintenance and conservation of the immovable cultural heritage, and amounts allocated from other state budgets.

The management plan of both component parts, i.e. the Historic Centre of Prague and the Průhonice Park, is currently under preparation. In case of a part including the historic city itself, the management plan is coordinated by the steering group and prepared by the Municipal Authority of Prague, which also prepares the General Conception of Tourism in the Capital City of Prague. The management plan of the Průhonice Park is being worked out by the Institute of Botany of the Academy of Science of the Czech Republic.

In terms of heritage preservation, the condition of the property is good, and is subject to regular maintenance. Since 2000, annual monitoring reports have been prepared at the national level to serve World Heritage property managers, the Ministry of Culture, the National Heritage Institute and other agencies involved.