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MALTESE SQUARE

Lesser town - Prague 1

GPS: 50°5'11.04"N, 14°24'19.08"E

Since its foundation the square is named after the fact that in this place there is a monastery of Order of Knights of Malta. The monastery was founded there as early as in 1169. Prokopova, Harantova and Nebovidská Streets run into the area of not much wide square.

Not only the mentioned monastery turns towards the square, but mainly it is an archaic church of the Virgin Mary under chain, in the end of the bridge. Initially, the church should have been much larger, however only the presbytery was built, which later served as a main abbey and also the pair of towers in the western front stayed incomplete. The sanctuary went through several style phases, including early baroque modification under command of arch. Carlo Lurago.

In the centre of the square there is standing a high baroque sculptural group of the patron of the Order of Knights of Malta, St. John the Baptist. It was put there in 1715 as expression of thanks for diversion of plague. Originally, the sculpture formed a centre of the fountain, but this was abolished in the eighties of 19th century. Work on the sculptural group was submitted to Prague sculptural workshop of Jan Brokof (1652-1718). Author of the work is his second-born son Ferdinand Maxmilián Brokof (1688-1731). For the last time the sculpture was restored in 1988 by academic sculptor Drahomíra Šťovíčková.

There are many outstanding palaces and houses standing in the Maltese Square. First of all, there is Nostic Palace no. 471 among them, which underwent recent huge reconstruction and which is the seat of Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic. Next one is Palace of the Turbes no. 477, whose present architectural form is result of the rococo reconstruction around 1765. The third palace mentioned above is the palace of the Strakas of Nedabylice no. 476. It is standing in a row of houses and its plot pervades through the whole block. It is interesting that it has joint arcade together with its neighbour, house U Zlatého kříže no. 478.