Prague city district and historic city on the right bank of the Vltava River, in the very heart of the capital. Settlement of this place began in 11th century, the core of the developing city became a large marketplace in place of today’s Old Town Square. In the 1230’s, the settlement had gained town rights and the city was surrounded by walls; gradually it became one of the decisive political forces of the Czech kingdom and it has held this position up to the middle of the 16th century. It stayed independent up to 1784, when it became a part of the Royal City of Prague; the Old Town Hall became the seat of joint city administration and the Old Town coat-of-arms has been used ever since as a symbol of the capital. Despite the demolition damages caused at the end of the 19th century, the Old Town, especially its part around the Royal Route, is one of the most valuable parts of old Prague.