Lesser Town – Malá Strana
Everyone should know about Malá Strana (Lesser Town), a quarter of kings, queens and, later, the residential area of rich people. Magnificent churches, picturesque buildings and palaces, all those remarkable monuments can be found in the Lesser Town. In addition to it, this quarter includes the Petřín Tower and its park.
The quarter has its origins around 1257 and is located on the left bank of the Vltava River between the hills of Petřín and Hradčany. Its former purpose was a home for the German colonists as Přemysl Otakar II intended so he decided to found this quarter. When Charles IV came to power, his plan was to enhance the whole city so he did the same with the urban network here: the churches were renovated or completed, fortifications were built. He simply tried to strengthen the city´s defensives as to a maximum. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the Lesser Town was affected by big fires. As a result of which people multiplied and accelerated their work and transformed the Lesser Town into a glamorous residential area. The nobility and the wealthy chose this quarter for their permanent residencies because of its location near the Castle. Gradually the Lesser Town was changed to a place with impressive churches and monumental palaces. Lesser Town was also part of the Royal Route which was charming because the coronation processions of the Bohemian sovereigns passed through its streets.
What´s typical for the Lesser Town is Nerudova Street, one of the most famous and characteristic corners of the Lesser Town. It leads from the Lesser Town Square right up to the Castle. There is also monumental residence in the Lesser Town called the Wallenstein Palace (Valdštejsnký palác) that was built in the 17th century for Albrecht Wenzel Eusebius von Wallenstein, the Bohemian commander. The Wallenstein Garden (Valdštejsnká zahrada) surrounds the palace and is another typical example of the Italian Baroque garden. To the south of the Castle lie the Palace Gardens, which are decorated with many statues, terraces and fountains, sometimes the vineyards as well, and which are also a part of the Lesser Town. Church of St Nicholas, another example of Baroque architecture in the beginning of Nerudova Street, is also highly visited and so are the Petřín Tower and its surroundings (the park).[one_half last=”no”][pro_ad_display_adzone id=”4″][/one_half][one_half last=”yes”][pro_ad_display_adzone id=”3″][/one_half]Last famous sight which is worth seeing is Franz Kafka´s Museum. It is located right to the Charles Bridge on the bank of the Vltava River. The museum has two parts – the first one, which is called an existential space, offers the tourists the information about how Prague influenced and affected Kafka and his work. The second one, an imaginary topography, gives information about how Kafka displays the city. His method is one of the most mysterious processes of modern literature and should be understood well. Kafka, who was born here in Prague as the son of the Jewish family, is buried in the New Jewish Cemetery in Prague-Strašnice.