Prague city district and historic city on the left bank of Vltava River. The serf town was established in 1320, expanded and fortified under the rule of Charles IV. After the great fire of 1541, spectacular Renaissance palaces and canonical houses began to crop up; the transformation into a residential site for the nobility and clergy was completed after Hradčany were named a royal town (1598) and after a radical change of property ownership after the Battle at the White Mountain (1620). Hradčany stayed one of the four main Prague towns until 1784, when they were incorporated into the Royal City of Prague. Modern changes to the built-up area were not very extensive and therefore, today, Hradčany is a uniquely preserved urban collection of Renaissance and especially Baroque buildings and aristocratic residences.