384 - The north-eastern part of Karlovo Square
The centre of the Square, still very uneven and only partly paved was, until 1863, covered with a row of old buildings: the long and low Slanečková bouda (Pickled Herring Shack), used by the city as a storage place for its monopoly sale of pickled herrings, and a group of several mediaeval structures. Following the demolition of these buildings, the city established here one of the most remarkable parks to be found in Prague, a work of art and the labour of love of the many gardening experts who took part in its creation. It is no wonder that with its many trees and bushes, flowers, fountains and, later on, benches, it became a favourite spot to visit for inhabitants of the residential buildings mushrooming around it.
385 - The north-western part of Karlovo Square with a glimpse of Spálená Street
In the centre we can see the bulky Neo-Renaissance building of the Imperial Royal Criminal Court built on the site of eight older structures (Nos. 3-10) in the years 1901-1903 by A. Wertmüller to designs by Knight Förster of Vienna. Its 118 metre-long western front extends as far as Lazarská Street. The southern wing on the side is linked with the old court building (on the right, behind the trees). On the left, on the corner of Zderazská Street, stands the house U červeného zvonu (The Red Bell), No. 285, which used to house a number of institutes of Charles University: meteorological, paleontological, mineralogical and zoological, as well as a geographic workshop and seminar room. The next imposing building, the Auersperg Palace of 1808, also used to house the University Institute of Chemistry and the Laboratory for Medical Chemistry. The square was linked to the rest of Prague by two tram routes: one connected it with Královské Vinohrady, the other with Vyšehrad.
SVĚTLOTISK. F. J. JEDIČKA, 1903
386 - The western side of Karlovo Square
Adjacent to the side wall of the Czech Technical University is the one-storey building Černý pivovar (the Black Brewery), No. 292. The dark, painted facade, contrasting with the shining white of the windows, might as well be an advertisement for the black beer once brewed here. This mediaeval structure, which had undergone many adaptations prior to attaining the appearance we see in the picture, used to be a municipal brewery. The building was demolished in 1933 and a new building was constructed on its side, housing on its ground floor a restaurant and a cafeteria. On the right we can see the Baroque building No. 291 built on the site of two mediaeval structures. On both sides of the slightly protruding portal we can see two shops with characteristic portals. The first of them is a tobacconist’s, displaying the typical Czech tobacconist’s supply of periodicals and a display with postcards. The wooden invalid chair in front of the other shop was apparently home-made, using a then popular two-wheel cart as its basis.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. Z. REACH, AROUND 1925
387 - The north-eastern section of Charles Square with a glimpse of Vodičkova Street
On the left is the tower of the New Town Hall built in the years 1452-1456. Its height was deliberately determined so that its gallery would enable a view beyond the city fortification. The top of the tower was added in 1876. Connected with the town hall in Vodičkova Street is the eastern wing of the Imperial Royal Regional Criminal Court, the former town hall (see picture 427). The front of the southern wing on the left (behind the trees) was, at the time the picture was taken, still decorated with an empire facade from the years 1806-1811 (see picture 384). The present Neo-Renaissance facade goes back to the years 1905-1906. The originally mediaeval buildings in this section of the square began to be replaced from approximately 1880 by higher and more imposing buildings (e.g. the first structure on the right, No. 557, and both buildings on the corner of Žitná Street, Nos. 560 and 669).
PHOTOTYPE. F. J. JEDLIČKA, 1901
388 - The Czech Technical University on the corner of Darlovo Square and Resslova Street
The large Neo-Renaissance building, No. 293, was built in the years 1872-1874 to the design by I. Ullmann. At the beginning of the 1920s it was elevated by an attic studio. The corner of the structure was adapted in the 1970s in connection with the construction of the metro entrance. The Technical University in Bohemia started its activities in 1718 by opening classes for 9 students in the Lesser Town. After initial problems with the conception and organisation of the teaching, and several changes of its name, the Technical University turned into a standard institution of its kind in the early 1860s. The statutes from this time announce its four main study specializations: road and water constructions, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, and technical chemistry. During the academic year 1869-1870 the Technical University was divided into two independent universities, one using Czech as its language of instruction, the other German. By the turn of the century The Czech Technical University already had six faculties. The two motor trams in the picture, Nos. 19 and 22, produced in 1898, operated on the route Spálená Street - Královské Vinohrady.
389 - A row of buildings on the western side of Charles Square
On the left the Emperor Franz Josef I German Children’s Hospital, No. 1359. The first Prague-based children’s hospital founded in 1841 was in Lazarská Street. The Hospital moved into the Neo-Classical building we see in the picture in 1854. Following the division of Charles University into a Czech University and a German University, this Medical Faculty-linked hospital was left to the German University, while the Czechs built their own children’s hospital, at first in Kateřinská Street (see picture 403), later in the building complex in Karlov (see picture 405). Adjacent to the hospital is the two-storey corner building Na Moráni, No. 321, originally mediaeval, giving its name to the narrow street behind it. It was in this area that the garden of the emauzy monastery once ended. The buildings in the next row, starting with the corner building U Maternů, No. 319, were usually passage buildings, some of them with inns and former breweries. The low-rise buildings in the middle of the block were demolished in 1927.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. F. J. JEDLIČKA, AROUND 1907
390 - The passage building U Šálků, No. 310
On the western side of Charles Square and on the corner of Resslova Street (at the furthest right we can see the corner of the Czech Technical University). This originally Renaissance building with gables, constructed in 1666 on the site of three mediaeval buildings, was later remodelled in Baroque style. Its corner is reinforced by slanted supporting pillars. In 1781 the building was purchased by Mr and Mrs Šálek whose name (with the appropriate Czech inflection), was given to the structure. On the ground floor of the building we can see a row of shops; the premises on the corner with Resslova Street housed the café V Rubáši (In the Shroud). The original structure on this site was one of the above-mentioned mediaeval houses, this one called the dancing house, as it was used toward the end of the rule of Charles IV by one Henslinus as a school of foreign dance. Another attraction of this building used to be the statue of St John Nepomuk which stood in a special recess in the garden wall of No. 311. On the evening before St John’s Day people used to gather here to pray and sing. The building U Šálků was demolished in 1939. Today the area houses a marketplace linked to the metro entrance.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. AROUND 1900
391- The Imperial Royal Military Hospital and the St Ignatius Church
In the eastern section of Charles Square. The enormous extent of this Baroque complex, which covers approximately one half of the length of the square, can be illustrated by the fact that it stands on the site of 13 gardens and 23 parcels of land. Originally a Jesuit College with a church, it was built in the years 1656-1770 (by C. Lurago, P. I. Bayer and J. J. Wirch). Following the dissolution of the Jesuit order in 1773 the whole complex was taken over by the military administration which established a hospital here. During the First World War ambulance trams delivered here dozens of wounded soldiers each day, and the hospital was under permanent siege by the relatives, mostly from the countryside. Until 1938 this was a Division (Military) Hospital, then a general hospital, now it is a Faculty (i.e. Medical Faculty-linked) hospital. The Jesuit order, which returned to Prague in 1866, received only its former church and the building standing behind it in Ječná Street. The Jesuits were here until 1950 when they were expelled by the communist government.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1900
392 - The Faust House, No. 502, on the southern side of Charles Square
This originally Gothic building was remodelled in the Renaissance style in the second half of the 16th century, and then in the period 1740-1770 in the Baroque style. It is from this period that the attic roof dates. At the end of the 16th century the building was owned by the English alchemist E. Kelley who worked here for Emperor Rudolf II. In the first half of the 18th century the house was owned by F. A. Mladota from Solopysky who conducted here scientific and chemical experiments. This was probably the reason why the house began to be linked with the well-known Goethe character Dr. Faust who sold his soul to the devil. In the period 1833-1902 the building served as a Deaf and Dumb Asylum. Nowadays the building is a part of the Faculty Hospital. On the right, in the wall, we can see Dientzenhofer’s Gate, dating from the middle of the 18th century, which is still used as an entrance to the Church of St John Nepomuk in Skalka in Vyšehradská Street (just off the picture on the right).
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1900
393 - The General Hospital, No. 499
As seen from the intersection of Charles Square with U Nemocnice Street. The old hospital was established on the orders of emperor Josef II who first chose for this purpose a building which, in the period 1700-1787, had housed the Institute for Noblewomen, i.e. which was scarcely utilised. After the move of the Institute for Noblewomen to Eliščina Street (see picture 280), and after adaptations of the building carried out by F. A. Herget, the Hospital for 300 patients was opened in 1790. The Hospital, remodelled in Neo-Classical style and substantially extended in 1833, still serves its purpose. The three mediaeval buildings on the right were also a part of the hospital. They were demolished at the end of the 1930s, and on their site were built the modern structures of the Faculty Polyclinic and of the State School for Nurses. On the left we can see the corner and the side of the Imperial Royal Military Hospital. In the background is the slender spire of the Church of St Catherine (see picture 403).
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. AROUND 1898
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