Prague Minos Guide

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Royal Way

On the Royal Way
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We will take you through some of Prague oldest streets following the royal way Czech Kings used to take on their way to the castle. It begins in the Old Town, over the Charles Bridge, through the Lesser Town to the Prague Castle. This is where the most famous Prague monuments are concentrated. The Old Town Square is one of the most beautiful. You will walk over the almost 700 years old medieval Charles

Bridge looking at the Prague Castle and the Vltava River. Then, the Lesser Town with its numerous Baroque palaces all the way to the pearl of Czech history, Prague Castle. The walk will give you the option of visiting different historical parts of Prague, each with its own magic, mystery and undeniable charm. After this overview of old Prague you will know why it is called the "Hundred Spires city".



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0.0km / 3.022km 1. Republic Square

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You are now standing on the Republic Square in front of the 15th century Powder Tower, which represents the symbolic entrance to the Old Town of Prague. It is connected to the Municipal House, a popular Viennese Secession building constructed between 1905 and 1911. The independence of Czechoslovakia was proclaimed here, hence the name of Republic Square. The building of the Municipal House serves as a cultural center and we recommend that you visit the Viennese Secession café on the left of

the ground floor. The Classic building U Hybernů is now used by a musical theater. The pink façade of the former city barracks from the 19th century conceals a shopping center.
The Czech National Bank’s main building stands at the beginning of the street Na Prikope (one of Prague's main avenues), which leads all the way to the Wenceslas Square. Next to the Powder Tower you can see the building of the Commercial Bank built in 1930 - 1932. Pass below the Powder Tower and enter the Old Town.

0.196km / 3.022km 2. Celetná Street

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We are on Celetná Street, one of the oldest streets in Prague, it still reminds us of medieval days and has not lost its significance since. Its name recalls the word "caltna", which is a wreathed bun which was made by the local bakers in the past. At the corner there is the u Černé Matky Boží building built between 1911 and 1912, a Cubist architecture masterpiece by Josef Gočár. This type of architecture has no match around the world and is popular with all visitors. We again recommend visiting the unique and world-famous

Cubist coffeehouse on the 1st floor. The upper floors are home to the Czech Cubism permanent exhibition. The plaque on the house reminds us of the mint operations that lasted until 1784. Next is a Neo-Baroque building used by the District and County Courthouse. The Building u Zlatého Anděla, in the past a prominent hotel in Prague, has been reopened to guests after reconstruction. Take a walk through Celetná Street, which is full of Baroque houses and palaces, some of them even have well preserved medieval basements.

0.339km / 3.022km 3. Building u Černého Slunce

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Josefina Dušková, renowned singer in whose house Mozart was a guest, lived in the Building u Černého Slunce. Mozart actually lived in Prague as he was very popular thanks to the success of his opera Don Giovanni. The Building u Českého Lva still retains its original seal. The Týnský Church will empress you thanks to its size and monumental towers. A copy of the sculpture of the Virgin Mary reminds us of a plague pillar, which stood on the Old Town Square in the past.
Behind the church,

you will find sgraffito decoration in the Týnský Courtyard, the Otýněný Courtyard, the former gathering place of merchants who used to have a good time here. It seems people always enjoyed themselves here if we go by the place Latin name Laeta Curia – Happy Court. In the evening, you can listen to music in the Jazz Club u Trumpety. If you feel like making a turn and peeking inside the Týnský Court, you will be rewarded with the quaint and quiet Renaissance Building of Granovský.

0.424km / 3.022km 4. Corner of Celetná Street

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The Old Town Square will surprise you with its diversity as well as the richly decorated house fronts. The Baroque Sixtův House opens onto the square. The Neo-Gothic Štorchův House is decorated with a figure representing the patron of the Czech lands, St. Wenceslas on the horse. The House u Kamenného Beránka has its house emblem next to its balcony, on the entrance portal there is a plaque bearing the name Albert Einstein, he used to meet here with the Prague German Jewish intellectuals. The church of the Virgin Mary before the Týn is the most significant feature of the Old Town. The view is blocked by the

Týnská School and its Renaissance arched gables. The Gothic House u Kamenného Zvonu has its emblem on the corner and it might have been used as royal residence. The original entrance for horses has been preserved. The house is today an art gallery.
The Art Nouveau facade of the Regional Development Ministry will bring us back to the 20th century. One can see the Czech Republic flag as well as the European Union flag. The Czech Republic has been a member of the European Union since 2004. The mosaic in the gable represents the allegory of an insurance company, showing us the original purpose of the building.

0.651km / 3.022km 5. U Husa

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The monument commemorating the renowned Czech reformer Jan Hus was unveiled in 1915 on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of his burning at the stake. A short distance from the monument is the Prague Meridian materialised by a metal plaque in the pavement. The original placement of the Plague Pillar (torn down in 1918) is remembered thanks to the foundation stone for its projected copy. The facade of the Golz-Kinský Palace is Rococo and optically divided into five parts in order to be in harmony with the neighbouring houses. However the significance of the palace is underlined by it being placed ahead of those houses. Franz Kafka studied

here at a former secondary school.
One couln´t tell that the Baroque church of St. Mikuláš was originally separated from the square by houses. The Pařížská Street, thanks to its beautiful residential houses from the turn of the 19th and the 20th centuries, can be called "textbook" of the Historical style. This part of town was created at the turn of the 19th and 20th century when the original Jewish Town was extensively renovated. A torso of the wing of the Old Town City Hall is a strong reminder of the fighting that went on near the end of World War II, there is a small park in its place that entices us to enjoy a little rest.

0.69km / 3.022km 6. Old Town Square

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The Old Town Square is one of the oldest, and Prague residents favourite. The square is more than 9,000 square metres. It was the main marketplace as early as in the 13th century. The square has always held events, festivals important for the entire country (for instance the Velvet Revolution in 1989 being one of the recent ones). Each year during the Easter and Christmas holidays, Markets take over the square. Every spring, marathon runners from all over the world gather here

to compete at the International Prague Marathon. Czech citizens also welcome their national sportsmen here when returning from victorious international competitions.
Despite the square being ladden with history, it is very lively, it is a place where foreign visitors as well as Prague residents meet to listen to and watch the Astronomical Clock. We recommend the evening walk, which will impress you with its well lit monuments, for instance the towers of the Týnský Cathedral.

0.794km / 3.022km 7. Astronomical Clock

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The Old Town City Hall was founded in 1338. From 1784, it was the main city hall for the whole city. It is today used for representative and exhibition purposes, the Prague Mayor also welcomes delegations here. The wedding hall is Prague favourite.
the late Gothic portal of the main entrance is worth a look. But Prague visitors attention is drawn by the Astronomical Clock made in the beginning of the 15th century. Each whole hour the doors above the clock face open displaying the parade of the statues of the apostles, at the end the rooster crows.

There is a magnificent view of Prague from the top of the tower.
Among other things, we recommend going to the top of the tower as there is a lift all the way up to the walking gallery. The city hall chapel is decorated with a memorial plaque commemorating the liberation of Prague by the Red Army in 1945. There is a tourist information centre in the city hall. The plaque near the entrance reminds us that Prague is on the UNESCO world heritage list. The adjacent House u Minuty with a grayish facade has magnificent sgraffito decorations.

0.906km / 3.022km 8. Small Square

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The triangular shape of the Small Square has its origin in the Middle Ages. The fountain with the Renaissance latticework was built in 1560. The Neo-Renaissance Building u Rotta is decorated with painting designed by Mikoláš Aleš. Very few people know that the first Czech Prague Bible was printed here in 1488. The Classic style portal of the High Baroque triple-section facade of the Richter's House is decorated

with an allegory of the four seasons. The Building u Zlaté Lilie, Building u Zlatého Orla, and Building u Černého Koníčka all still have their original emblem. The Building u Zlatého Rohu still has remains of Renaissance sgraffito – the figure of "Spravedlnost" (Justice). The paved streets go well together with gas-lightning street lamps in the evenings. Lets continue through the winding Karlova Street.

1.067km / 3.022km 9. Intersection of Husova Street and Karlova Street

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The Baroque Clam-Gallas Palace houses the Archive of the City of Prague. It is also used for exhibitions and concerts. The church of St. Jiljí from the 14th century is behind the church where Master Jan Hus worked, hence the name of the street nearby: Husova Street. The Building u Zlatého Tygra has a famous pub. The former United States President Bill Clinton and former Czech Republic

President Havel met there and debated while drinking beer, Ok, lets have another one! Looking up Husova Street, we can see Mariánské Square and the back of the Jesuit Clementinum, a huge complex of buildings, second largest after the castle (2 hectares). The main entrance is on the other side near the Charles Bridge. Lets continue into Karlova Street, mind the traffic.

1.197km / 3.022km 10. Karlova Street

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In the past, Karlova Street was one of the main Old Town thoroughfares. In medieval times, knife grinders and Baroque shoemakers were to be found here. Despite the busy atmosphere, one should have a look. You can look at the front of historical buildings. The Baroque front of house u Zlaté Studně is decorated with stucco reliefs of the plague patrons. Hotel Klementin was founded in one of the narrowest buildings in Prague (3.28 meters wide) and was named after the original St. Kliment church. The side of Hotel Klementin conceals a

passage in the courtyard, which is a favourite resting place, and not only for the local students. The Baroque church St. Kliment is today used by the Greek Catholic Church. Classical music concerts are regularly held in the church. One of the first coffeehouses in Prague was established in the Building u Zlatého Hada. The Art Nouveau buildings are situated along the opposite side of the street, for instance, pay attention to the seal of the Building u Modré Štiky. The Drama school is nearby along with the students theatre Disk.

1.33km / 3.022km 11. Křižovnické Square

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The name "Křižovnické Square" (Square of the Knights of the Cross) reminds us of the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star, which is the only exclusively Czech Church Order. It uses the church of St. Francis of Assisi, the green dome of which is well visible. There is a winery pillar on the side of the church with a statue of St. Wenceslas as well as remains from the 12th century Judith Bridge. The church of St. Salvatore with its Baroque sculptures will remind us of the Klementinum. The dominant feature of the square is a statue of Charles the Fourth, Czech King as well

as Holy Roman Emperor. You certainly have not missed the first view of the Prague Castle.
Before setting foot on the Charles Bridge, you go through the 14th century gate of the Bridge Tower, considered one of the most beautiful in Central Europe. If you look up before walking under the tower arch, you will see Gothic statues which are copies of the originals. The one on the left is a portrait of Charles the Fourth. Today the bridge is for pedestrians only. Let us stop and admire the Prague panorama, always enjoyable whether it is sunset, winter or any other time.

1.383km / 3.022km 12. Charles Bridge

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The Charles Bridge is one of the most famous monuments in Prague. It is a monumental Gothic masterpiece, connecting two historical sides on both banks of the Vltava River. It is the oldest bridge in Prague and it was founded as early as in 1348 in place of the former Judith Bridge. The bridge is 516 metres long and 9.5 metres wide. You won´t miss it as it is the only bridge that is decorated with sculptures, specifically 30 statues and group sculptures of saints. It was the only bridge in Prague until the beginning of the 19th century. Today it´s

pedestrian only, which gives it a particular magical atmosphere. The Prague residents go there for walks or use it as meeting point. We recommend visitors to enjoy the bridge early in the morning in any season, the city is still awakening and you might feel that the bridge is here only for you.
You can then admire the view which is outstanding all year around. Sunset is also a good time to enjoy the bridge with the city lights slowly being turned on. The bridge has inspired many poets, writers and moviemakers, who made it their favourite spot.

1.486km / 3.022km 13. Hradčany panorama

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Above the Vltava River basin emerges the Prague Castle with the St Vitus Cathedral, St. Wenceslas, and St. Vojtěch, the largest architectural complex in Prague, seat of Czech Kings and today's presidents. A quarter under the Prague Castle is called Lesser Town, which is dominated by the green dome of St. Mikuláš with its slim tower. The Petřín Hill is distinctive thanks to its tower, which was built in 1891 obviously inspired by the Eiffel Tower. The opposite bank of the Vltava River is dominated by the National Theatre, a historical Water Tower, and the Smetana Museum. There is

the impression that Bedřich Smetana, famous for his symphonic poem called Vltava, is still listening to the melody of the river. The Rudolfinum is used as a concert and cultural centre. The Letná Hill has a terrace, a Metronom, Hanavský Pavilion, and Kramář Villa (residence of the Czech Republic prime ministers). Beneath it is Straka's Academy – a large Neo-Baroque palace, headquarters of the Czech Government. Here, many monuments and outstanding buildings are concentrated in one place offering an amazing panorama. Prague, mother of all towns, welcomes you with its beauty.

1.824km / 3.022km 14. Lesser Town Bridge Towers

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The smaller tower is what remains of the previous Medieval Judith Bridge dating back from the 12th century. The former customs house stands in front of the tower. The taller tower from the 15th century is a lookout tower, and during the summer season it houses a tourist information centre on the ground floor. The house u Tří Pštrosů from the 16th century was acquired in 1597 by Jan Fux, a trader in ostrich feathers, then a favourite merchandise. Now, lets say goodbye to the Charles Bridge and its group sculptures St. Salvatore, St. Kosma St. Damián

and St. Wenceslas – the main patron of the Czech lands.
If you look between the towers, you will see one of the most renowned Baroque construction in Prague, the St. Mikuláš church. The Lesser Town founded as early as in 1257 has preserved its original character through time. Many of the palaces are now used by embassies of different countries, as well as the Czech Republic Parliament, the Czech Republic Government, and other government offices. At the same time, Lesser Town is one of the most romantic parts of Prague and you will certainly love it.

2.026km / 3.022km 15. Lesser Town Square

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The heart of the Lesser Town is Lesser Town Square. It is one of the largest squares in Prague but this isn´t what´s really important. It is actually situated at the intersection of two roads, the Vltava River left bank road and the Royal Road.

The Royal Road is historically the most important road in the country. Here, you are surrounded by the past and by history no matter what direction you choose to take, the sense of which will be enhanced by the evening twilight of Prague.

2.082km / 3.022km 16. In front of the Kaiserstein Palace

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Lesser Town Square, is divided into two parts by the Jesuit church of St. Mikuláš. The tower of the church is a lookout post. The former Jesuit College is today used by the Physics & Mathematics faculty of the Charles University. The Gromlingovský Palace is decorated with mythological sculptures.The Smiřický house and its corner bay windows is on the North side of the square. It is here that the leaders of the Czech Estate opposition argued about defenestration, which actually turned out to be the start of the Thirty Year

War in Prague in 1618. The building is adjacent to the Šternberský Palace and to the corner Renaissance building with a sundial. Today these buildings are used by the Czech House of Representatives. The attic of the Kaiserštejn Palace is decorated with an allegory of the Four Seasons, and under the balcony there is a bust of Ema Destinová, a Czech opera singer and Caruso´s partner. Her portrait is on the 2000 CZK banknote. We can also admire the towers of the former Lesser Town City Hall, today a cultural centre.

2.329km / 3.022km 17. In front of the Liechtenstein Palace

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The monumental Liechtenstein Palace, in the corner connecting to nearby Hartigovský Palace, takes the entire western side. It is now used by the Music Academy, there are also concerts. The facade of St. Nicolas church is decorated with sculptures of religious teachers. Mozart played the organ here in 1787, and classical music concerts are still given. The slim belfry belonged

to the village, and we already know the former Jesuit College. The Baroque group sculpture of the Holy Trinity standing in the middle of the square expresses gratitude after the eradication of the plague. On the left side, our attention is drawn by the decorations of Neo-Renaissance House u Černého Orla, there is a pharmacy since 1488 that still exists today.

2.529km / 3.022km 18. Nerudova Street

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At the end of the Lesser Town Square, the Royal Way starts ascending sharply towards its goal, namely, the Prague Castle. this last part of the Way will take us up Nerudova Street. The name of the street reminds us of renowned 19th century Czech writer Jan Neruda, who was admired by Pablo Neruda. We shouldn´t confuse them.
Nerudova street

is steep but you will be rewarded with beautiful Baroque Houses and their unique fronts and original seals, for instance the house u Tří Houslí. You can also stop at one of the numerous restaurants and coffeehouses as well as do some shopping, You will start enjoying the beautiful Prague panorama even before getting to the top.

2.974km / 3.022km 19. View under the Prague Castle

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There is an impressive view of Prague from here. On the left the Petřín Hill. Between the Petřín Hill and us the red roofs of the Lesser Town huddling together and then St. Mikuláš . We can see all the way down to the Vltava River and the Charles Bridge. On the opposite bank, the roof of the National Theatre draws our attention. The theatre actually stands between the Old Town (on the left) and the New Town (behind it on the right). Prague is an old town with towers and spires in the heart

of Europe.
Turning around, we see the majestic Prague Castle entrance which dominates the Hradčany Square. Our attention is drawn by the Archbishop Palace opposite the Schwarzenberg Palace with sgraffito decorations. In the centre, we can see the Plague Pillar and street gas lamp. First Czechoslovak President Masaryk statue reminds us that Prague Castle became the presidential residence for the first time during his term. The statue also invites us to step into this national monument.

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