September 18th, 2007 at 11:21 am
Czech archaeologists claim a "Pompeii" exists beneath Prague’s Old Town Square and its adjacent streets, and that its existence would largely complicate the possible completion of the city’s Old Town Hall.
They say, a lost world is buried underneath the ground, and that they are sure of the existence of remnants of Romanesque Prague, such as torsos of houses, palaces and old residences deep below the surface.
Archaeologists and town-planners have known about the existence of "Prague Pompeii" for decades from old maps and historical town plans, which have, however, fallen into oblivion.
It was only when the Mayor of Prague, Pavel Bern announced plans to complete the Old Town Hall, that experts recalled the existence of ‘Pompeii Prague’ again.
Experts now say there could be even the Gothic part of the Old Town Hall whose 19th-century Nobile wing was irretrievably destroyed during fights at the end of World War Two, and which Bern now wants to restore.
"We believe that a fragment of the pulled down part of the original town hall that was there still before Nobile has been preserved and that it could be completed to its original appearance," the local Daily Lidove Noviny (LN) quoted architects Frantisek Kasicka and Milan Pavlik, as saying.
According to the daily, archaeological research in the Old Town Square will send the price of a possible completion of the town hall pretty up.
The research is likely to cost millions of crowns and could well last about one year.
Zdenek Dragoun, the National Heritage Institute archaeological department head, said, 66 Romanesque houses have been dug out in Prague, so far, and the last three of them were found under the Republic Square during the construction of the Palladium shopping centre last year. (ANI)
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