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New Town Hall Secrets

Have you ever gone by a place without paying it much attention, only to discover that there was something really special there all along? Prague is filled to the brim with these ‘look-twice’ secrets.
The New Town Hall (Novoměstská radnice) displays the Prague Standard Cubit and the Town Hall Palindrome, plus a stunning view from the Hall Tower.

From Namesti Miru (where the Live TEFL Prague classrooms are located), the New Town Hall is a 15-minute walk or 8-minute tram ride on numbers 7, 10, 16, and 22 to the Karlovo náměstí stop.

Prague cubit    

Prague Standard Cubit

Enter this gallery.

First, the Prague Standard Cubit. Located directly outside of the main entrance to the Hall is the Etalon, or the Prague Standard Cubit. As described in the plaque, from 1268 until 1765, the Prague Standard Cubit was the means by which the standard was set for weights and measurements. This was a way to avoid disputes in sales and trade. In 1765, the Viennese Standard Cubit was the ordered to be used by the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Just around the corner on the south wall about 2.5 meters above the ground is the New Town Hall Palindrome. It is barely legible anymore, but this incredible double palindrome is believed to have been inscribed for two possible purposes: a way to defend the New Town Hall against the devil, or as a prayer for the condemned who were publicly executed at this place. In two lines it reads:

signatesignatemeremetangisetangis
romaticbitomotibusibitamor

Wenceslavs I
(Appearing as a constellation [of the sky], Rome, you touch me and desire me in vain. But by the movements [of the stars], love will suddenly come to you)

And lastly, if you climb all the way to the top of the Town Hall Tower, you will be rewarded with a stunning panorama of Prague on all sides.


Be sure to check out the massive square directly across the street from the Town Hall, Karlovo náměstí. It’s a great place to explore and relax.

There are so many hidden-in-plain-sight secrets of Prague. What are your favorite places to explore?

by Jessica Williams, 11 October 2017

*Information regarding the Prague Standard Cubit and the Palindrome was sourced from the book Secret Prague by Martin Stejskal. Credit to the author.

 

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