Old Town (Czech: Staré Město) is a medieval settlement of Prague, Czech Republic. It was separated from the outside by a semi-circular moat and wall, connected to the Vltava at both of its ends. The moat is now covered up by the streets (from north to south-west) Revolučni, Na Příkopě, and Národni—which remain the official boundary of the cadastral district of Old Town. It is now in Praha 1. Soon after the city was expanded in the 14th century by Charles IV with the founding of the New Town, the moat and wall were dismantled.
Notable places in the Old Town include the Old New Synagogue, Old Town Square and Astronomical Clock. Across the river Vltava is the Lesser Quarter, called Malá Strana in Czech. These two parts of the town are connected by Charles Bridge. Josefov is located in the northwest corner of Old Town heading towards the Vltava.
From its early existence, around 9th century, Staré Město was laid out of settlements which appeared from the spacious marketplace on the bank of Vltava. Records dating back to 1100AD indicate that every Saturday a market was held on the marketplace, and large military gatherings also took place there. Thanks to the trade the nearby area merchants became rich, and when the King Václav I gave them the privileges of township, the town of Město Pražské (the town of Prague) was formed. According to ancient records, the city had around 13 gates, and a huge moat, providing strong defenses.
After the city was expanded in the 14th century by Charles IV with the founding of the New Town, the moat and wall were dismantled soon after.