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Around halfway through the 6th century AD the Slavs moved into Prague's environs. Germanic and Slavic settlements existed side by side here for some time, though the Slavs eventuallyoutnumbered their neighbours. In the 8th century the Slavs built a network of colonies. In the second half of the 9th century a settlement was founded on the hilltop site where Prague Castle waslater built. From here the historical city unfurled.

A city under a prince's castle and around marketplaces

In the decade of 880 to 890, the Prague settlement became the permanent seat of theruling Premyslid princes. Borivoj I first had the Church of Our Lady built here. The construction of the Basilica of St. George and St. Vitus' Rotunda followed. At the foot of the castle hill a newsettlement sprung up by the shallow crossing points over the Vltava River, where long trade routes converged.

A connecting road between Prague Castle and the second seat of the principality –the newly built Vysehrad – was another important route to the newly established town. The establishment of Prague's episcopacy in 973 strengthened its central position in the nascent Czech state.The Imperial Seat

With the accession of the Luxembourg family to the Czech throne, the Romanesque city was converted to the Gothic style. John of Luxembourg strengthened the legal stature ofPrague's towns and laid the cornerstone of Prague's cathedral.

John's son and successor, Charles IV, dutifully carried out his program to transform Prague into a second Rome, the Europeancentre of spirituality, politics, and commerce. In 1348 he founded Prague's New Town over an expanse of 360 hectares – a modern town in the form of an extensive area surrounding the Old Town. In Prague,during the same year, he established Central Europe's oldest university.

The Prague Hussites

After Charles' death, university professor Jan Hus, one of the most famous medieval heretics,...
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