Little Quarter Walking Tour:
Location: Prague Castle & Little Quarter (Mala Strana)
Cost: Free, Self-Guided (Castle and sight costs below)
Style: Do-It-Yourself Walking Tour (Self Guided)
Start: Charles Bridge (Karlov Most)
End: Kampa Park Restaurant
Walking Distance: 3.4 miles
Time: 2 Hours for Walk (Full tour 4-5 hours with all stops)
Fun Scale: 8.5 out of 10
Overview of The Little Quarter:
Also known as Lesser Town, Prague’s Little Quarter is often overlooked by tourists as they flock up to the castle. In the centuries after the first parts of Prague Castle were laid out, a neighborhood started to form on the King’s route between the walled Old Town and the fortress. The neighborhood was officially established in 1252 and become home to stately palaces mixed with lanes of the homes of foreign craftsmen and merchants. Lesser Town was ravaged by fires and plagues, but is still going strong with both facades and charm and span hundreds of year.
Our free Little Quarter walking tour map follows the original Royal Route the Bohemian kings would take from the Vltava River, through Lesser Town Square, and up to the mighty Prague Castle with a couple detours. This self-guide tour encourages you to visit some of the hidden gems and Medieval wonders you otherwise would have missed. When you take the time to explore Prague’s Little Quarter you’ll love it in a hurry.
Little Quarter Walking Tour:
1. Charles Bridge (Karlov Most):
About Charles Bridge: One of the most iconic structures in Prague is the timeless Charles Bridge which spans the Vltava River in stunning Medieval fashion. After centuries of replying on small wooden bridges, King Vladislav I decided to build the first stone arch bridge over the river following a visit to Italy in the 1160s. The new Roman-style bridge named Judith, after the King’s wife, had tolled gate towers on each end and was an impressive route for Vladislav to take from Old Town up to Prague Castle. The Judith Bridge also helped with the development of the Little Quarter neighborhood in the 1200 before it was ruined by flooding in 1342. Over the next 15 years a new stone toll bridge was designed just South of the former one and built over 10 feet taller to protect against future flooding. Originally called Stone Bridge & Prague Bridge, the name was changed to Charles Bridge in 1870 after King Charles IV (ruled 1346-1378) who laid the foundation stone in 1357. It took a full 55 years to complete Charles Bridge, but the wait was worth it as it helped Prague become a major player in trading between Eastern and Western Europe in the Middle Ages.
Today merchant huts that once lined Charles Bridge are long gone, but the bookend watchtower gates and impressive rows of saint statues are still going strong. We highly recommend climbing the towers for an elevated view while also taking the time to closing inspect the statues as you go. For more detail on the overview and symbolic details of each statue we recommend following our Charles Bridge Statues Walking Tour. The bridge is best tours early in the morning or in the evening while the tourists groups are low and the lighting mixed with fog is extra eerie. Adventurers can even seek out a few pieces of the original Judith Bridge still on display under buildings on each bank of the Vltava River.
Read More: Charles Bridge Statues Walking Tour
2. Devil’s Stream (Čertovka):
About Devil’s Stream: While crossing Kampa Island on Charles Bridge, the view to the South over the canal called Devil’s Stream is a favorite among photographers. The brightly colored houses cling to the edge of the curved canal before disappearing around the corner. Legend has it that the man-made canal got its name from a mean lady who lived on it in the 1600s. Local kids thought she was wicked and they painted 6 devil figures on her door. The house then became known as At the Seven Devils with 6 devils on the door and the mean lady being the 7th. Photos of the Devil’s Stream are amazing from Charles Bridge at dusk right when the street lamps start to reflect on the water. There are a bunch of ghost walking and boat tours that highlight different ghosts said to haunt the stream after dark. You will get a close look at the canal at the end of this Little Quarter walking tour map.
3. Lesser Town Bridge Towers:
About The Lesser Town Bridge Towers: Out of all the large Medieval towers around Prague, the Lesser Town Bridge Towers are by far our favorite. As you walk the last leg of the Charles Bridge, it is easy to be drawn to the mighty twin towers like a magnet. The smaller of the two, known as Judith Tower, was built into the Lesser Town curtain wall as its main gate way back in 1158. Shortly after the Gothic tower was built, Judith Bridge was also completed as the first stone bridge over the river on the way to Prague Castle from Old Town which led to the growth of Lesser Town. The Roman-style bridge was ruined by flooding in 1342 before being replaced with Charles Bridge, but the Judith Tower has lived on. For the next 250 years, Judith Tower’s basement was turned into a high security prison until the building was converted into a customs house in 1591. The old Customs House still sits right next to Judith Tower and holds one of the Tower’s original Gothic reliefs from the 1300s showing a man knelling at the throne while getting a gift from the King.
Directly connected to Judith Tower by an arched walkway, the nearly 150 foot tall Lesser Town Bridge Tower was built by King George of Podebrady in 1464. King George was already in the middle of greatly expanding Prague Castle at the time and wanted Lesser Town to have a mirror image of Old Town’s bridge tower which was completed 91 years earlier. We love the Lesser Town Bridge Tower and urge you to check out its gallery and exhibit about towers located 85 feet up a fight of steps. Make sure to check out the 4 banners hanging on the side of the watchtower after passing through its gateway. Each banner is from a country that Bohemia ruled under the reign of King Wenceslas IV (ruled 1378-1419), who’s father Kings Charles IV had built Charles Bridge.
4. Saint Nicholas Church:
About Saint Nicholas Church: Prague really loves themselves some Saint Nicholas, so much so that they have two major churches dedicated in his honor. It can be a little confusing to a first time visitor as the churches even look a like with one in on Old Town Square and the other here in Lesser Town. In 1673, the Jesuits built a college in the middle of Lesser Town’s Market Square. The 230 foot tall Saint Nicholas Church was built from 1704-1755 over the top Baroque interior is the highlight. Mozart played the organ in during his time in Prague promoting his operas/plays.
5. Lesser Town Square:
About Lesser Town Square: The large square was once Lesser Town’s Market before the large buildings were built in the middle of it. The East side is a goo place to catch tram #22 and the West side was once home to the gallows and elevated pillory. In 1715 a large Holy Trinity Column was built after the Plague of 1713. The center is a 66 foot tall obelisk and the base is surrounded by statues of Prague’s patrons including those of St. Wenceslas, Virgin Mary, and John Nepomuk. At Smirický Palace, on the North side of Lesser Town Square, Protestants threw some Catholics out of the windows in 1618 which later led to the Battle of White Mountain where the Protestants were crushed. The neighboring build is where the Fire of 1541 started which wiped out 2/3rds of the homes and many other buildings in Lesser Town.
6. Barbant Medieval Tavern:
About Barbant Tavern: One of the very top experiences in Prague is to visit one of the Medieval themed restaurants and its the Barbant Tavern that puts on the best show. Housed in an underground labyrinth from the Middle Ages, and lined with skulls, the tavern has been open since 1325 and feels like you’re stepping back into time. Not only will the setting make feel like you are back in Medieval times, but the showmanship of the of performers it what really brings a visit to Barbant Tavern to life. From fire eaters to belly dancers and musicians with Medieval instruments, getting food or drinks here is a blast. If you have any doubt about the place, remember that Mozart himself used to drink here.
Hours: Tuesday-Sat Noon-Midnight; Closed Mondays. Medieval Shows: Tuesday-Sat 7-10pm; Closed Mondays. Address: Thunovská 15. Website: Here.
7. Nerudova Street:
About Nerudova Lane: This the part of our Little Quarter walking tour where you start to make progress up Castle Hill with a steady incline. The climb is not too strenuous, and Nerudova Lane is lined with cool cool buildings with Medieval names like House At Two Suns. In the Middle Ages not name people could read or write so symbols were used on homes and businesses instead of numbers. Back then the end of the lane was home to the mighty Strahov Gate protecting the ascent up the Prague Castle and known as Strahov Road. Today’s name comes from the journalist Jan Neruda who wrote poems and short stories about Prague while living on the street in the mid 1800’s, but most of the homes have retained their funny names.
Our favorite of the famous homes is called At the Three Violins (#12) where 3 famous fiddle making families lived. The home still has 3 violins above the door and legend has it that skeletons come out to play them during full moons. Others that we love are At the Golden Lion (#32) which houses a pharmacy museum, At the Red Lion (#41) which was home of famous painter Petr Brandl, At Three Black Eagles (#44) where Neruda lived, and At the Two Suns (#47) which has the best relief. You’ll have fun checking out the signs above each door as a mini scavenger hunt. In addition to the ones we mentioned, see if you can fine the Red Lamb, Golden Horseshoe, White Swan, Golden Cup, Medusa, Gold Key, or Green Lobster as you walk up Nerudova Street. That may sound like a lot of symbols to hunt for, but there are many more as almost every house has one.
8. Alchemist Museum & Pub:
About The Alchemist Museum & Pub: Much of out Little Quarter walking tour is filled with legends of the Royal alchemists, but this museum and pub help to embody the stories the best. The museum is housed inside the House At The Donkey By The Cradle, looks like a real Medieval lab, and even has a fantastic themed pub. In Medieval times, numerous alchemists worked for the Kings on a host of mysterious projects, like trying to create gold. Hours: Museum 10am-8pm; Pub until 10pm. Website: Here.
9. Absinth Shop & Bar:
About The Shop: The Absinthe Shop & Pub is a great place to get of taste of the famous drink that was once banned throughout Europe and the United States for its ingredients perceived to have hallucinogenic properties. Sampling a little Absinthe, at least of the stories, is a must while in Prague. There are also two shops called Absintherie near Old Town, but we like this one in the Little Quarter the best. The local way to serve Absinthe is to put a flaming sugar cube over the glass and wait for it to melt compared to in France where is the sugar is added under dripping water. The drink doesn’t really make you hallucinate or see green fairies and is actually more of a an elegant licorice flavored sipping drink made for for before or after dinner. The drink, made from the bitter herb wormwood, was popular in France starting in the late 1700s and had a revival in Prague in the 1990s when it became legal here again before most of Europe.
The next stop on our Little Quarter walking tour will be a food break with a view a Bella Vista, the best food in Little Town may be near the Absinthe Shop at the Rainer Maria Rilke Restaurant. The highly rated restaurant feels like a cozy and Romantic living room and we suggest it over the next stop in rainy or cold weather. Restaurant Website: (HERE). Absinthe Shop Hours: Noon-Midnight. Shop Website: (HERE).
10. Bella Vista Terrace:
About Bella Vista: The Rainer Maria Rilke Restaurant we mentioned near the Absinthe Shop may have the best food, but nothing beats the elevated views over Prague that you get from the Bella Vista Terrace. If you have already eaten, we still suggest grabbing a chair on the outdoor patio and ordering a drink or lemonade to take it all in. Even a short visit to the Bella Vista Terrace will refresh your legs from the uphill stroll so you can power through the rest of this Prague Castle walking tour. Many celebrities from Sean Connery to the Rolling Stones have eaten at Bella Vista. Website: Here.
11. Strahov Monastery & Library:
About Strahov Monastery: While there isn’t a ton to do at the Strahov Monastery (founded in 1143), it is well worth a visit just for the library alone. Added to the Monastery from 1671-79, the beautiful Theological Hall of the library has a vaulted Baroque ceiling with stunning white stucco reliefs framing mythology themed murals. All of the mural panels relate to knowledge or learning in some way from famous scenes to hidden elements. As the library’s book collection grew to over 200,000 a second grand library room called the Philosophical Hall was added from 1794-97. With 2 story tall floor to ceiling shelves, dark hardwood accents, all attention is goes to the brightly colored ceiling fresco paintings. Much like the murals in the older library focus on knowledge, the huge one in the newer library called the “Intellectual Progress of Mankind” does very much the same thing. We’ve been to a lot of the famous libraries around the world and the on in the Strahov Monastery is by far one of the top 10 prettiest inside. If you have some extra time, the church inside the Monastery also like a wonderful ceiling similar to the library.
Hours: Daily 9am-5pm; break from Noon-1pm. Cost: Adults 100 CKZ; Kids half off. Website: Here.
12. Strahov Monastic Brewery (Klášterní Pivovar):
About The Brewery: Strahov Monastic Brewery since 1628, closed in 1907 and reopened in 2000. Monastery since 1143 has been making beer since the 1200s. Known for 3 types of beer with the Saint Norbert name, Amber, Dark and IPA with the IPA being the most popular. As you’ve probably noticed, there are a lot of unique places to grab a drink along this Prague Castle walking tour. Brewery Website: (HERE).
13. Loreta Monastery Church:
About Loreta: The beautiful exterior and tall 27 bell tower is bound to draw you to the Loresta Monastery. Everyday from 9am to 6pm (on the hour) the bell tower plays music into the square outside of the church. After the Bohemian Protestant army was crushed by General Tilly in the Battle of White Mountain in 1621, some of the homes on this block were left abandoned which lead the way to today’s Loreta Monastery. Starting 5 years after the battle, the first and most important building called the Santa Casa Chapel was built to help strengthen Catholicism in Prague. The small, centrally located chapel looks like a tiny Italian palace and for good reason. It is a copy of a famous chapel in Loreta Italy which is said to have roots back to the days of Virgin Mary. Legend says that a house called Santa Casa sat in the middle of Nazareth, Palestine where the Virgin Mary was told she would have the child of God. In 336, first of a series of chapels was built over the site of the house with the last one being built in the early Middle Ages. Raiding Catholic Crusaders claiming they were protecting the chapel from the Turks, moved it to Loreta Italy in 1294 where is still sits today inside a basilica. It’s copy in Prague is one of a handful of replicas around Europe, but is very impressive.
As you tour the rest of the Loreta Monastery complex you will want to visit the baroque interior of the main church, called Nativity of Our Lord, is quite stunning. We love inspecting the detailed fresco paints, especially the ones on the ceiling. One of the coolest elements is a statue of the bearded female Saint Wilgefortis depicted on a crucifix. The debated legend of Saint Wilgefortis says she was the daughter of the King of Portugal who was promised to marry a pagan king. Because Wilgefortis was very religious she prayed to be out of the marriage with the pagan ruler. Her wish was granted when she grew a long bread and the marriage was called off. Wilgefortis was then crucified by her father and quickly became a symbol of hope for oppressed and unhappy women. Other legends say that the feminine looking statue is of depiction of Jesus in a long dress which was common in the Dark Ages of Europe before the image transformed into Jesus in a tunic. There is also a large monstrance sun mirror in the church with is adorned by 6,222 diamonds. Hours: April-October 9am-5pm; Winter 9:30am-4pm. Cost: Adults 150 CZK; Kids 80 CZK. Website: Here.
14. Schwarzenberg Palace:
About Schwarzenberg Palace: The former Schwarzenberg Palace is now an National Gallery Art Museum. The original owner of the Italianate Palace was the rich nobleman Jan Popel of Lobkowicz who bought the lot after the homes here burned in 1541. The Early Renaissance Palace, built in 1567, is a fitting location for the museum as its ceiling are made of stretched canvas which was painted in the late 1500s. While visiting you’ll have a unique opportunity to view an incomparable collection of Bohemian Renaissance, Mannerist and Baroque art.
Outside of the museum is a beautiful Marian Column in the middle of Hradčany Square. The large statue was completed in 1736 in honor of the Plague of 1713 just like the column in Lesser Town Square we saw earlier on this Little Quarter walking tour. The Marian Column is surrounded by a base of famous saints and capped with a statue of the Virgin Mary. Museum Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm; Closed Mondays. Museum Cost: Adults 300 CZK; Kids 6-16 are 150 CZK. Museum Website: Here.
15. Prague Castle (Hrad):
About Prague Castle: In 870 the first Duke of Bohemia, Bořivoj I, started the ground work of today’s huge Prague Castle complex with a protected Royal residence. Inside the defensive wooden walls, the Duke built the Church of the Virgin Mary in 884 as the 2nd oldest church in Bohemia behind the Church of Saint Clement in nearby Levý Hradec. The Church of the Virgin Mary was ruined in the 1200s, but parts of the foundation are still visible below some of the castle offices. Other churches including Saint Vitus and Saint George were established by the Duke’s grandson and still remain today, we will visit them next on this Prague Castle walking tour. The churches in Prague Castle were an important part of the establishment of Christianity in early day Bohemia. It was here that the Duke’s sainted wife Ludmila thought their grandson from the bible which drastic shaped Prague.
Over the centuries the complex making up Prague Castle got stone defenses and grew into the largest castle grounds in the world. The walled fortress was a mini city with multiple courtyards which were home to not only the Royal family but also their guards, alchemists, and handcrafters. The growth of the castle also led to the growth of the neighborhood below it which was officially founded in 1252. While roaming the grounds make sure not to miss the Powder Tower or the Old Royal Palace building. The the 1300s the Palace was built out of stone as the new Royal dwelling complete with Gothic vaulted ceilings. There is even an unusually wide and flat stairwell in the Old Palace where the King would ride in on his horse. You’ll see mixes of Romanesque and Gothic styles plus the distinct Habsburg touch as you take our Prague Castle walking tour. It may not look like a traditional fairy tale fortress, but Prague Castle is a Medieval wonder with a with many memorable elements.
Hours: The castle grounds are open from 6am-10pm and the historic buildings are open from 9am-5pm (4pm in Winter). Entrance Cost: Outside of special exhibits which range from 70-300 CZK, general admission varies based on which of the main sights you want to see. Most combos are 250-350 CZK for Adults; 125-175 CZK for Kids 6-16 years old; Kids under 6 are Free; deep discounts for family tickets. Bonus Day: All tickets are valid the days of purchase plus the following day. Castle Website: Here.
16. Saint Vitus Cathedral:
About Saint Vitus Church: For many visitors, the huge Gothic-style Saint Vitus Cathedral is the highlight of this self guided Prague Castle walking tour. The first small rotunda chapel on the grounds dedicated to Saint Vitus came in 930 after Prince Wenceslas acquired the arm of Saint Vitus as a relic from Henry I, Duke of Saxony. The church treasury still hold this relic of Saint Vitus among many other Royal riches which are on display. Maybe the best thing in the Treasury are the crown which date back to 1347 and are the 4th oldest in Europe. The original rotunda chapel was converted in a two steeple church in 1060 and later rebuilt as today’s Gothic Cathedral starting in 1344. The massive cathedral as you see it today took over 600 year to final complete, but it is a master piece complete with stunning statues and stained glass windows. You can see the Habsburg influence from the late Middle Ages as the building definitely resembles Saint Stephens Cathedral in Vienna.
While we love walking in the main nave of Saint Vitus Cathedral, our two favorite areas are the Saint Wenceslas Chapel and the South Tower. The chapel look almost untouched since the middle ages with excellent paints, Gothic lantern lighting, and the tomb of Wencelsas in the center. The beloved Prince Wencelsas was considered a martyr after he was killed by his own brother for the throne in 935 at Royal feast. The South Tower is also quite cool and a staggering 287 steps will lead you up to the top for a magnificent view. Cathedral Hours: Summer 9am-5pm; Winter Monday-Saturday 9am-4pm & Sundays Noon-4pm. Tower Hours: Summer 9am-5pm; Winter 10am-5pm (Last entry 4:30pm). Cost: Cathedral included most Prague Castle tickets ranging from 250-350 CZK; Tower is an add on for 150 CZK.
17. Saint George Basilica:
About Saint George Basilica: To get a feel for the real heart of Prague Castle you need to seek out the brink pink facade of Saint George Basilica. The timeless Romanesque interior is the best place to see how construction on the castle complex has had a number of styles under different Kings over the centuries. The Basilica of Saint George was originally built as the 2nd church in Prague Castle in 920 by Prince Vratislav I, the 3rd Duke of Bohemia. When a Benedictine nuns’ convent was established next door in 973 the church was expanded, but didn’t get its current Romanesque look until after it was rebuilt from the Fire of 1142. Dating 200 years before the rebuild of Saint Vitcus Cathedral, you can really feel how how much of an influence the two centuries had on style differences. You’ll feel like you are walking into an ancient Roman or Byzantine chapel with bare stone walls leading to the alter. Among the highlights are the tomb of Prince Vratislav I who founded the church and the statue of Saint George whom it is dedicated to. Saint George was said to have been martyred for his faith by the Romans in 303AD and the statue portrays him as a ghastly skeleton who has had his guts sliced open.
18. Golden Lane (Zlatá ulička):
About Golden Lane: Since the 1500s guards and gunmen for King Rudolph II lived on the colorful lane. By the 1600s the King moved Royal alchemists and and goldsmiths as he wanted them to find a way to make gold which led to the lanes name. Of the notable houses, #13 is known as the Red Musket as it was a former guard house and #22 where famous author Franz Kafka lived in the 1900s. From the stairs inside #12 you can see the round Daliborka cannon tower which was used as a prison in the 1400-1500s. As you exit the East end of the lane you will leave the castle walls through an formidable portal next to the castle’s Black Tower and come out right by a cool statue of a skull laying on the back of a man on all fours. We have been told this statue, called Parable with Skull, is meant to pay homage to the writer Kafka.
19. Wenceslas’ Royal Vineyard:
About The Vineyard: As you finish our Prague Castle walking tour on your way back down to the Little Quarter, make sure to check out the wonderful Royal vineyard. In the early 900s, Duke Wenceslas I formed the start of the Royal vineyard on the Southeastern slope of Prague Castle. As the grandson of Bořivoj I, the first Duke of Bohemia, Wenceslaus I made is impression on the castle grounds and the entire country. Duke Wenceslas I was beloved as “The Good King” who fought for the establishment of Czech kingdomhood (happened in 1085), acceptance of Christianity in Prague, and since his murder by his own brother in 935 has been the Patron Saint of all Czech lands. Knowing his association with the vineyard is very important as you take in its beauty.
In Medieval times, the vineyard created the perfect compliment to beer from the monk breweries near the castle, but its wine was reserved only for the Royal family. While Riesling is predominate, the most widespread grape in the vineyard are Pinot Noir which Emperor Charles IV brought in from France in the 1300s. Until the Summer Palace was built there in 1534, the vineyard also covered the large garden just North of Prague Castle. In 2007, the renovated vineyard you see today opened to the public on the 1100th anniversary of King Wenceslas I’s birth. As you stroll through the vineyard make sure to rest you feet on one of the benches while you take in the view of the valley below. At the Eastern end of the vineyard, Richter’s Villa is a great place to sample the local wine and also has a small museum on the Royal wine production. Villa Website: Here.
20. Wallenstein Garden (Valdštejn):
About Wallenstein Gardens: Military commander Albrecht von Wallenstein got super rich and bought 23 homes plus some gardens to build his sprawling palace from 1624-1630. Viewed as a threat by Emperor Ferdinand II, Wallenstein was killed just year later, but his family retained ownership of the palace. The main hall has a cool fresco of the Roman god of war Mars, but it is the statue lined garden that we love the most. the 100 foot tall loggia called Sala Terrena has some cool paintings and the neighboring grotto wall is lined with artifical stalactites. pond has a Hercules statue
21. Pissing Fountain:
About The Pissing Fountain: Our favorite modern element in Prague is artist David Cerny’s Pissing Fountain at the Franz Kafka Museum. The fountain features to bronze male figures peeing into a pool in the shape of the Czech Republic. The figures’ hips swivel while their man parts move up and down allowing them to write messages in the pond with their pee. The standard streams of water write quotes from famous Prague residents, but you can have them write your message too. If you text a message to (+420) 724370770 the statues will spell it out with their pee which is quite amusing. The artist David Cerny has many playful statues around Europe including huge babies climbing the largest TV tower in Prague. Another popular installation of Cerny’s is at Prague’s Future Art Museum and is made of 2 large bodies bent over spreading their cheeks. You can climb a small ladder and peek into the butts at artistic videos playing inside.
22. Míšeňská Lane:
About Míšeňská Street: As you leave the Lesser Town Bridge Towers toward Míšeňská Street consider taking a food break at one of the charming outdoor restaurants. Also make sure to inspect the Four Maidens Statue street lamp in the middle of the road. We love walking just past it and taking photos of the lamps with the huge medieval tower in the background. After turning onto Míšeňská Street you’ll notice it is kind of like the land based version of the Devil’s Stream with tightly packed colorful following a curved cobblestone lane. If you place your camera right at ground level you can get an excellent photo down the unique lane complete with the detail of the cobblestones.
At the very end of Míšeňská Street, consider popping into Vojan Park if the gate is open. The Park was built for the monastery of the Order of the Carmelitans in the 1200s making it one of Prague’s oldest parks. In 1660 they added the small, black cave-like St. Elias Chapel which is kind of cool. Near the West side of the park the Church of St. Joseph at Lesser Town was built in 1686 for the women of Carmelites Convent. The park is one of the oldest in Europe as it was formed in 1300.
23. John Lennon Wall:
About The John Lennon Wall: You might think that Prague is a strange place for a huge graffiti wall memorial for the former Beatles band member John Lennon, but it is actually the perfect place. When Lennon was murdered in 1980 his songs and messages of freedom struck home with the youth of Prague who were smothered by oppressive Communist rule. It didn’t take long for young people to start painting this wall with messages of peace, hope, and freedom in protest of their Communist rulers. Since Prague’s citizens weren’t even allowed to listen to Pop music you can understand their was a very high risk of getting arrested while painting the wall. The movement grew and grew until finally in 1989 the non-violent Velvet Revolution ended the Communist rule in Czechoslovakia and led to Democracy. Today the same Knights of Malta that once owned the Grand Priory Mill, which we will visit next, now own the Lennon Wall and support preserving it.
24. Grand Priory Mill (Velkoprevorský mlýn):
About The Grand Priory Water Mill: Opened in 1597 to replace a previous mill, the Grand Priory Water Mill got its name because it was owned by the Knights of Malta. While this is 1 of the only 3 mills still remaining on Kampa Island, originally there were dozens lining the canal. For the most part the entire island was only mills and gardens until homes started popping up in the 1600s. This mill was sold by the Knights in 1795 and it ran the longest on the island before finally closing 1936. Probably the coolest feature of the old water mill is its creepy looking Water Sprite figure at the foot of the dock. This Water Sprite is from a Solvac fairy tale and a common guarding among mills in Medieval Prague. It is said that fishermen would toss a little tobacco into the water as an offering for good luck from the pipe smoking sprites. If the mills really interest you, consider heading to the Mlyn Hut on the Southwestern corner of the Kampa Island which was part of a smelter mill when it opened in the 1400s.
25. Love Lock Bridge:
About The Love Lock Bridge: One of the most lasting activities to do while traveling with your loved ones is to leave a Love Lock. Throughout Europe there are several bridges where tourist leave paddles locks before throwing the keys into the River as a sign of their love lasting forever including this small bridge in Prague. The railings actually fill up so fast that the city ends up having to occasionally remove the locks because of how heavy they get. Some local residents don’t like the practice as they see it as an eye sore, but we find it to be very enjoyable. Overall cities like Prague and Paris have before seemed to embrace the trend as you will even see some tourist stands selling locks. We suggest bringing your own ahead of time and writing either you initials or a warm message of the lock before placing it onto the bridge.
26. Kampa Island:
About Kampa Island: Kampa Island was mainly a large open park with gardens until 1600s because of a constant threat of flooding. In the late 1500s the owner of much of the island, William of Rosenberg, started to reinforce it to be more habitable. With the arrival of the island’s first permanent homes it became known for its pottery market. The main curved road running through the island with colorful houses called Na Kampě Street (On Kampa) is a favorite among photographers. The street is especially beautiful as lamps light it at night and also over the holiday season when it is filled with Christmas carolers. During the day there are a number of small outdoor restaurants with plenty of shade to rest your feet.
The small Liechtenstein Palace looks pretty basic, but it dates back to 1696. Look above the door at the amazing stone coat of arms of the Princely House of Liechtenstein made in the 1800s. Sitting directly across from the Palace is the Embassy of Estonia inside the House At Blue Fox built in 1605. The door of the Embassy has a weird image above it with a Blue Fox holding a red rose in its mouth below a baby Jesus. If you wish to explore the Kampa Island future the Modern Art Museum (website) is pretty good, open daily from 10am-6pm, and costs 160 CZK. Outside of the museum are a series of crawling baby statues and the inside has a glass walkway that juts out toward the river.
27. Kampa Park Restaurant:
Other Sights Near Old Town:
28. Old Town Walking Tour:
About Old Town: The central heart of Prague is the highlight of our Old Town Prague Walking Tour. If you have enjoyed the Little Quarter then you are surely going to fall in love with Old Town. Make sure to follow our free walking tour to get the full experience and including all of the neighborhood’s best hidden gems you would miss otherwise.
Read More: Old Town Prague Walking Tour.
29. Jewish Quarter Walking Tour:
About The Jewish Quarter: Prague’s Jewish population has been living in the small neighborhood known as Josefov for over 100 years before the City of Prague was even officially established. Over the centuries there have been both good time and conflict that have forged together into a rich Jewish history. Filled with beautiful synagogues, a gnarly cemetery, and many other worthwhile attractions, a walk through the Jewish Quarter in Prague is a very worthwhile couple hours.
Read More: Jewish Quarter Walking Tour.