Soon after the Prague New Town was founded in 1348, the New Town City Hall was built as well. It became an administrative centre. Several dramatic historical events happened there, such as the so-called “first Prague defenestration” which started the Hussite wars in the 15 th century. There also used to be a dungeon in the city hall´s tower.
First Prague Defenestration
The New Town City Hall saw an armed conflict between Catholics and Protestants in 1419. Protestant Hussites led by Jan Zizka and Jan Zelivsky came to the city hall and demanded discharging of their imprisoned fellows. Somebody threw a stone at them from the New Town City Hall. The procession then broke inside and threw a portreeve, two aldermen and several others out of the windows, on the spears of the people underneath. This event is called First Prague Defenestration, it happened on 30 th July 1419 and it started the Hussite revolution. For several following decades, Bohemia was a battle field, where Hussites fought with the crusades sent against them.
Another important event took place in the New Town City Hall in the 17 th century. Czech Protestant estates gathered there in 1609, to force Emperor Rudolph II. to guarantee religious freedom to them. The Emperor issued the royal charter Majestat (Letter of Majesty) then, fulfilling their requirements.
The New Town City Hall was an administrative centre of Prague New Town till 1784, when the four Prague towns were united and administered from the Old Town City Hall. The New Town City Hall became a seat of the criminal court and also the dungeon in the tower was enlarged. It was called “Prague Bastille” at the time. For example, the participants in the revolution in 1848 were imprisoned there.
Medieval buildings with a Gothic tower
The New Town City Hall is a complex of several medieval buildings. The eastern tract is the oldest, it is from 1377. The Gothic tower at the corner is from the 14 th century as well. The large aldermanic hall inside the city hall is where the councillors used to reside.
At the present time, there are spaces for exhibitions, concerts and ceremonies. Weddings take place there as well, in the historical room in the first floor.