Originally a horse market, it got its present name in the mid-19th century. The Wenceslas Square is the main centre of modern Prague surrounded by shops, cinemas, office blocks, hotels, restaurants and cafés. The 750 m long and 60 m wide square has been the scene of a great deal of Czech history. In 1969 a university student Jan Palach burnt himself to death in protest against the Warsaw Pact invasion and in November 1989 protest meetings against police brutality were held here and led to the Velvet Revolution and the end of communism in Czechoslovakia. In the middle of the square is a monument of St Wenceslas on a horse accompanied with sculptures of four Czech patron saints.

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