The premises of today’s shopping and office centre Palladium in the Republic Square in the centre of Prague were originally used as an army barracks. Before the redevelopment work started the whole site was subject to extensive archaeological research which revealed a 12th century Romanesque settlement and proved that the area of today’s Republic Square had been a part of medieval Prague much earlier then previously thought. Another significant date in the history of the Palladium was the year 1350, when on its site the so-called “Jakub’s Spittal” and a small church dedicated to the Virgin Mary were founded. During the Hussite wars the spittal (or hospital) was damaged and gradually became defunct. The character of the area changed during the 15th and 16th century, when it became prosperous thanks to the intensive growth of trade and commerce. Further transformation took place in 1630, when the houses of the burghers were bought by Gerhard of Questenberk, who founded a Capuchin monastery on the site. The Baroque church of St Joseph built in the years between 1636 and 1653, which still stands here, was part of the convent.
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