Perhaps the most-visited area of Prague, the area surrounding the Prague Castle contains some of the most fantastic buildings and squares in Central Europe, such as the Loreta Square. Just a few steps from Hradčanské Náměstí, just past the Hrzánský Palace, which houses the Prime Minister's office, you'll find the Loreta Square, or Loretánské Náměstí, crowned by the world-famous pilgrimage site of the Loreta complex, complete with its easily-recognizable Loreta Church. Loreta Square is also well-known for being the final stop on Prague's Epiphany Procession of the Three Kings in January, where gifts are presented to the Infant Jesus, played by actors in a live Nativity, and then collected and given to charity. Of the many palaces adorning Hradčany, or the Castle District, Černin Palace is one of the most fascinating. Built as an early Baroque palace for the Imperial Ambassador of Venice, it subsequently became a fortress for the French and Bavarian armies during the Austrian Succession war, then became state property and was given its current use as the seat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, except for a brief period during WWII when it was used as the headquarters of the Nazi SS. The mysterious death of Jan Masaryk, much-beloved son of Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, occurred in the Černin Palace, and has been much conjectured, but never solved. Other attractions in Loreta Square include the Renaissance arcades and breathtaking frescoes and Bohemia's first Capuchin Monastery with its lovely but characteristically simple Capuchin Church of Our Lady of the Angels, which still has a cannonball in the facade reminding viewers of the Prussian siege of Prague in 1757. After so much history, you will need refreshments, and there is no better place than the traditional Czech pub U Černého Vola with its authentic atmosphere and friendly prices, located directly on Loreta Square in Prague's famed Castle District.
Address: Loretánské Náměstí, Prague 1
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