The Old Town is today an integral part of Prague, the largest city and capital of the Czech Republic. It is so perfectly integrated into the fabric of the metropolis that it is hard to believe that almost until the end of the 18th century it was a separate town. The first written records concerning Prague date back to the 8th century, nevertheless, the city gained significance only in the 12th century when castles were built on the surrounding hills of Vyšehrad and Hradčany. At that time a bridge connecting both banks of the Vltava River was built too, facilitating the movement of people and goods. The period of the Old Town’s greatest prosperity reached its peak in the 14th century when the most beautiful buildings of Prague's Old Town were built. The Old Town was incorporated into the Royal City of Prague in 1784. Today it is the UNESCO World Heritage Site.