Now the main square of Pragues commercial district, Wenceslas Square is also of major historical importance to the city. It was first laid out over 600 years ago and since then has been a regular parade ground for every kind of person, organisation or political party. This square can comfortably hold 400,000 people.
The 750-meter long and 60 meter wide boulevard originates from the Charles IV period when it was used as a horse market.
In the upper part of the boulevard the statue of St.Wenceslas on his horse can be seen. He is the good king Vaclav, who was
murdered by his brother Boleslav over a thousand years ago and who, over the years, has become the national hero. The artist J.V. Myslbek began to make this famous statue of Vaclav in the year 1884 and 36 years later it was finished.
A few metres from the statue a plaque stands in memory of those who were killed during the Communist period. The most famous martyr of this time was Jan Palach, a 20 year old student, who set fire to himself in January 1969 in protest against the Soviet invasion four months earlier. He sadly died three days later with 85% burns. 800,000 people followed the funeral corteige.
Today the Square is a hustle and bustle of commerce, tourist shops, restaurants, casinos and hotels. The major historical sights are all within walking distance of the Square.