01 - Prague Castle as seen from Hradčanské Square
A view of the 1st Castle courtyard. On the eastern side of the courtyard we can see the transverse wing with the Matthias Gate of 1614. The Castle Wall with adjacent small houses originally stood on its site. Following the adaptations under Maria Theresa and the general reconstruction of the Castle (1753-1774), the only part of the Wall which survived this development was the above-mentioned Matthias Gate, dating back to the early Baroque period.
COLOURED LITHOGRAPH. AROUND 1900
02 - A view from the Lobkovic Garden, looking north-east
We can clearly see the border between the Lesser Town and Hradčany. In the bottom right corner of the picture we can see a part of the Lobkovic Garden, nowadays housing the German Embassy. In the centre of the picture we can see the southern sides of the buildings in Nerudova Street. The Lesser Town part is crowned by the blocks of Hradčany palaces, namely the southern wings of both Schwarzenberg palaces and of Prague Castle. As we can see, in 1902 the main southern tower of the Cathedral was under reconstruction.
PHOTOTYPE. F. J. JEDLIČKA, 1902
03 - Ke Hradu Street - the current name
Ke Hradu Street viewed by us looking west, unites the end of Nerudova Street with Hradčanské Square and with the western entrance to Prague Castle. This street was quarried from the rock in 1663. The right side of the picture is dominated by the Schwarzenberg Palace, a hefty Renaissance building of the second half of the 16th century. Next to it is the lesser Schwarzenberg Palace (also called the Salmovský Palace - at the furthest right). On the horizon we can see the Church of the Virgin Mary with two Baroque towers and the Premonstratensian Monastery in Strahov.
FOUR-COLOUR AUTOTYPE. AFTER A WATER-COLOUR BY J. ŠETELÍK, END OF THE 1920s.
04 - A westward view from Prague Castle at Hradčanské Square
On the left we can see a part of the originally Baroque Salmovský Palace, remodelled in Neo-Classical style in 1810-1811, the Schwarzenberg Palace, and the Church of St Benedict with the former Barnabite Monastery. The Early Baroque Tuscan Palace (in the back ground in the middle) covers a greater part of the western side of the square. Nowadays it serves the administrative and representative purposes of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On the right, in the centre of the square, in front of the alley, we can see a cast-iron lamp-post by A. Lindsbauer with eight gas lamps, dating back to the 1860s (nowadays one of the three still extant Lindsbauer lamp-posts).
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1901
05 - The Schwarzenberg Palace
The northern side of the indisputably most elegant Renaissance palace in Prague, the Schwarzenberg Palace. It was built in the years 1555-1576 on the initiative of Prague’s supreme burgrave, Jan of Lobkovic, on the site of four noblemen’s houses. The spacious building by the Italian A. Galli has three wings with a courtyard and a gate. The enormous mass of the Palace is divided by the relatively small Renaissance windows and covered with rustic sgraffiti and topped by the central Italian lunette ledge and gradated gables. The sgraffiti were renovated for the first time in 1871-1880. Since 1945 the Palace has housed the Military Historical Museum.
PHOTOTYPE. AROUND 1905
06 - A westward view from Prague Castle at Hradčanské Square
In the foreground we can see columns with statues. The gate and the bars separate the square from the Castle’s Court Of Honour (or the 1st Castle courtyard) which is used by the head of state for the reception of official state visitors. Through the main gate we can see a part of the Tuscan Palace, on the right the imposing front of the Archbishop’s Palace. In the years 1669-1679 it was remodelled in Baroque style by J. B. Mathey, while the current Rococo appearance was created by J. J. Wirch who also gave a Rococo appearance to the interior of the Palace.
LACQUERED COLOURED COMBINED PRINT. D. KOSINER, 1908
07 - The northern side of Hradčanské Square
Building No. 61 housed Nezdar’s wine restaurant with a garden (the present-day beerhouse and restaurant U Labutí, i.e. The Swans). For a long time it apparently used to be the only restaurant in the square where Sunday tourists from Prague and the country could find some refreshment. In 1848 this building housed the district police directorate for Hradčany. The following building, previously known as Šternberský, housed the capitular deanery and the central administration of the metropolitan chapter. The other houses, dating back to the end of the 15th century, were at the time of the taking of this picture used as canonry.
PHOTOGRAVURE. UNIE PRAGUE, END OF THE 1920s
08 - The funeral march for the Prague Archbishop and Primate of Bohemia, Francis Cardinal de Paul Schönborn
Francis Cardinal de Paul Schönborn (acting in this office between 1885 and 1899), proceeding from Hradčanské Square to Prague Castle. Following the office for the dead in St Vitus Cathedral, the cardinal’s remains were buried in the archiepiscopal tomb in the Chapel of St Anne. Walking behind the casket are representatives of Prague and of the imperial court. The march is watched by a numerous crowd standing to the sides, cordoned off by members of the honorary guard of the Prague garrison.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1899
09 - A view of a part of Hradčanské Square
The western entrance to Prague Castle, the Court of Honour in the 1st Castle courtyard, and the Matthias Gate. During the overall reconstruction of the Castle under Maria Theresa in the years 1753-1774 the large old moat separating the Castle from Hradčanské Square was filled in. This created an immediate connection between the Castle and the town of Hradčany. We can see a unit of soldiers who have just left their barracks, apparently in Loretánská Street, and are marching to the Castle to take part in the regular afternoon change of the guards. Due to the hot summer weather they do not seem to have attracted the usual attention of the children. On the left, among the trees, we can see the Marian column by F. M. Brokoff built some time after 1725.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1900
10 - A military parade in front of the Schwarzenberg Palace
We can see members of the Prague Military Academy, established on the Marian Ramparts in 1900, marching towards the Castle. The parade is commanded by a lieutenant-colonel on horseback, the trainees salute the representatives of Prague regiments led by the commander of either Prague, or of Bohemia (it is no longer possible to identify the persons today). Although this was the first year of the World War, the picture emanates a very peaceful idyll, underlined by the white uniforms and the panaches of the three generals.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. T. VOJTA, 1915
11 - The 2nd courtyard of Prague Castle
In the Romanesque and Gothic periods this was the site of the ramparts of the core area of the Castle. In front of the ramparts was a large moat, 20 metres wide and 10 metres deep, filled in the second half of the 16th century. On the left, on the site of the former Castle Wall, stands the transverse wing, closing the courtyard on the eastern side. The Chapel of the Holy Cross dates to 1756. In the 1960s it was adapted into a hall for the exhibition of St Vitus Cathedral treasures. After 1990 this exhibition hall was closed, primarily for reasons of insufficient security for the unique exhibits. The centre of the courtyard is adorned by a Baroque fountain. The tin two-headed eagle representing Austria was removed after the 1918 Czech Declaration of Independence.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. F. ZUNA, 1907
12 - The eastern side of Jiřské Square
In the background we can see a part of the Romanesque southern tower of the St George Basilica founded at the beginning of the 10th century. It was at this church that the Benedictine Convent (the first of its kind in Bohemia) was founded in 973. In the picture we can see on the left a part of the early Baroque front of the Basilica, in the middle the Chapel of St John Nepomuk, and on the right the Institute of Noblewomen, whose interesting portico consists of two pseudo-ancient columns. The institute was a sort of secular convent for pauperized noblewomen, and its abbesses were always members of the Habsburg dynasty. From 1782 these abbesses had the right to crown the Queens of Bohemia.
COLOURED AND LACQUERED PHOTOTYPE. F. ZUNA, 1914
13 - The 3rd courtyard of Prague Castle as seen from the west looking east
On the left we can see a part of the Gothic Cathedral of St Vitus with the covered corridor above the two columns connecting the Royal Palace with the royal oratorio in the presbytery of the church. In the middle is the transverse wing of the Royal Palace with the Maria Theresa balcony above the entrance. The whole right part of the picture is filled with the town wing of Prague Castle with its spacious balcony on the columns above the entrance. The present-day appearance of the wing dates back to the reconstructions which took place on the orders of Maria Theresa in the years 1755-1761. The reconstruction led to the elevation of the old palace of the empresses by one storey, and simultaneously linked the added storey with the premises of the Royal Palace. Also noteworthy is the original level of the terrain in the 3rd courtyard (on the left).
LACQUERED COLOURED COMBINED PRINT. D. KOSINER AND CO., 1908
14 - The Spanish Hall of Prague Castle
Was built to the plans of A. Valenti and G. Gargiolli in the years 1589-1596, and was to be used for housing the natural and artistic curiosities collected by Emperor Rudolf II. The Spanish Hall was 24 metres wide, 48 metres long and 12 metres high. During the reign of Charles VI it was renovated by K. I. Dientzenhofer, the original columns were removed and the ceiling elevated. In the period 1865-1868 the Hall was remodelled by F. Kirschner in Neo-Baroque style, using some Renaissance elements, for the occasion of the expected coronation of emperor Franz Josef I which, however, never took place. The Hall has since then been used for celebrations and balls. One of the most famous balls took place at the end of the 19th century in the presence of Crown Prince Rudolf when the hall was lit by 2,300 candles.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. F. J. JEDLIČKA, 1906
15 - The interior of the Old Assembly Hall in Prague Castle
Which was originally a part of the palace of Charles IV. Following a fire in 1541 the original ceiling was replaced by a late Gothic ribbed vault. On the walls we can see portraits of rulers, from the right Maria Theresa, Franz I of Lotharingia, Josef II, Leopold II and Franz II. Above the door we can see flags of volunteers from the French Wars. Although the furniture comes from the first half of the 19th century, it corresponds to the equipment which was in the Assembly Hall after the restoration of the administrative system of Provinces in 1627. It was in this hall that decisions were made for four centuries on the future of Bohemia (until 1847). The Hall was also the venue of sessions of the Supreme Provincial Court and of the assemblies of the Bohemian estates.
PHOTOTYPE. F. J. JEDLIČKA, 1907
16 - Rudolf’s Gallery
Also known as the German Hall, was built simultaneously with the adjacent Spanish Hall to the designs of the same architects. It is equally as long as the Spanish Hall, but narrower (11 metres) and lower (8 metres). The present-day Neo-Baroque appearance dates back to the years 1867-1868 when it was remodelled in this style by F. Kirschner. The hall and the adjacent rooms used to be used for depositing the most valuable collections of Emperor Rudolf II. After his death a part of them was deposited in Vienna, and another part stolen by the Swedes towards the end of the Thirty Years’ War. Later, the remnants of the once glorious collection were thrown into dusty storage places as useless trash. The inspection which occurred in connection with the intended establishment of military barracks in the Castle in 1782 yielded some valuable works which were again taken away to Vienna, while other, often also very valuable pictures were sold in the infamous Josefine auction for ludicrous prices. Thus, e.g., Albrecht Dürer’s The Feast of the Rosaries was sold for a mere two guldens!
COlOURED PHOTOTYPE. F. J. JEDLIČKA, 1906
17 - A westward view of the Cathedral of St Vitus as seen from the presbytery
This view of the interior became possible only after the 1925 demolition of the temporary gable wall of 1398 which stood crosswise behind the third Gothic arch on the right. This linked the separated spaces of the old and the new parts of the Cathedral. The stained glass window in the rosette of the western front, with a diameter of 10.4 metres, was designed and created by Prof. F. Kysela in the years 1927-1928 to depict scenes from the individual days of Creation. The dignitaries buried in the mausoleum include the emperor Ferdinand I Habsburg (1564), his wife, Anna Jagiello, and son Maximilian II. The unique Renaissance iron bar around the mausoleum was created by the Lesser Town locksmith J. Schmidthammer some time prior to 1552 (in 1589 it was extended). Under the Baroque pulpit of 1631 lie a few rough stones, apparently illustrating some building or archeological activity. The Cathedral is 124 metres long, the middle nave approximately 12.5 metres wide, and the Gothic vault 33.24 metres high.
FOUR-COLOUR AUTOTYPE. AFTER A WATER-COLOUR BY F. X. MARGOLD. V. NEUBERT AND SONS, 1929
18 - The Cathedral of St Vitus
The portal of the new main western entrance (in the previous picture we can find it under the rosette, obscured by the gloom of the vault). The tympanum in the water-colour is a mere suggestion, and it was never materialized in this form. Its relief decoration was carried out only in the years 1948-1949 by K. Dvořák. Although it depicts the original 3 scenes: the crucifiction of Jesus, his burial, and his resurrection, it is different in some details from what can be seen in the water-colour. In the upper parts of the Bronze gate we can see two relatively large reliefs, and under both of them four smaller reliefs, 54 centimetres wide and 68 centimetres high, depicting scenes from the construction history of the Cathedral. On the sides we can see small busts with the portraits of rulers, church dignitaries and architects. All the reliefs on the gate were created in the years 1927-1929 by the trio of Prof. J. Cibulka, the painter V. H. Brunner, and the sculptor O. Španiel. The whole gate is cast in bronze (by the F. Anýž company), and it is inspired by the Gothic tradition of monumental church gates. The main entrance still waits for the completion of its sculptural decoration.
FOUR-COLOUR AUTOTYPE. AFTER A WATER-COLOUR BY F. X. MARGOLD. V. NEUBERT AND SONS, 1929
19 - A widespread legend has it that the miniature houses in Zlatá ulička (Golden Lane)
Nowadays a small tourist shop area, used to house alchemists employed by Emperor Rudolf II. This, however, is not true. In fact, in 1597 the Castle Fusiliers received permission to build their own small houses on the northern rampart of the Castle (between the Daliborka and Bílá, i.e. White, Towers), also using the recesses in the rampart. The marksmen were employed as Castle Fusiliers until 1784 when their unit was abolished. Many of them sold their houses, and the lane soon had new inhabitants such as small craftsmen, tailors and gold-beaters. It was after the last-mentioned that the street was named. In those days there was still a gutter running through the middle of the lane, and on the opposite part of the lane were stables which belonged to the houses. One of the interesting inhabitants was, at the beginning of the 1830s, the retired Viennese professor F. Uhle who conducted here alchemical experiments. During one of these experiments an explosion occurred, and the strange professor died in the fire. According to a legend, at the time of his death he held in his clenched fist a small nugget of pure gold. The lane was restored to its present form in 1955.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. MONOPOL, 1910
20 - The beginning of Loretánská Street, running into Hradčanské Square
The building on the left is a protruding part of the southern wing of the Tuscan Palace with an arcade. In the middle of the picture is the Church of St Benedict, a former parish church, in front of which is the one-storey house, No. 183, and the corner building, No. 173, with Renaissance gables facing Loretánská Street. It is the former Hradčany Town Hall with spacious premises which grow broader along the stairs. The next building on the right was owned in the 14th century by Oldřich Kytlice, the butcher to the Bohemian Queen. The house was remodelled into its present appearance after 1787. In the northern wing of the Town Hall we can see the entrance to a typical small shop with two open gate-leafs. Shopping was always a welcome occasion for a little chat. The corner is adorned by an advertisement with the figure of an elegantly dressed man, signifying that one of the inhabitants of the house was a tailor. One part of the Town Hall on the right houses a beer-restaurant selling Velkopopovické beer. Interesting details of the beer-restaurant include the portal and the gate in which an ell was fixed so that each market customer could make sure that he had received the proper measure. This part of Loretánská Street was once called Radní (Town Hall) Street.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE AROUND 1900. F. PAVLÍK, 1920s
21 - Pohořelec
After Hradčanské Square and Loretánské Square the third square in Hradčany and the one with the highest altitude. In the picture we have a view of the eastern front of the territorial army barracks, No. 121, completed in 1895. In the middle of the square we can see a Baroque statue of St John Nepomuk of the 18th century. On the left is a row of buildings covering the southern side of the square. In the foreground we can see the bulky building U zlatého stromu (The Golden Tree), No. 147, dating from the end of the 18th century, with a staircase and a passage to the courtyard of the Strahov Monastery. Beyond it stands the house U modrého jelínka(The Blue Stag). On the opposite northern side stands a row of buildings with long arcades. The picture was apparently taken in 1914, after mobilization for the War, as most of the men marching away from the barracks are carrying a rifle. On the left, in front of the barracks, there are two of the electric trams designed by F. Křižík, standing here at the terminus of route 5.
PHOTOTYPE. AROUND 1914
22 - A view from Loretánská Street, looking eastwards, toward Hradčanské Square
On the right is the former Hradčany Town Hall (see picture 20). The corner building opposite the Town Hall, and the adjacent building with an arcade form together the southern wing of the Tuscan Palace. The largest building in the picture, No. 181, is the Military Hospital, today housing barracks of the Castle Guard. This is the former Martinic House built at the beginning of the 18th century by the Italian architect Scotti at the expense of George Adam, count of Martinic who served as the Vice-Roy of Naples. The building was used as a hospital in 1837 and it was this hospital that was the venue of the remarkable medical examination of the protagonist of the best-known Czech satirical novel The Good Soldier Schweik by J. Hašek. In front of the building we can today see an interesting reminder of 19th-century technical progress - a cast-iron gas lamp-post.
LACQUERED COLOURED COMBINED PRINT. D. KOSINER AND CO., 1908
23 - The Rolla restaurant (Rollova restaurace) in Loretánská Street No. 178
The restaurant, owned by Mr Rolla and his wife Julia, offered its patrons Pilsner beer, Hungarian and Austrian wines and the opportunity to play billiards. The previous restaurant run by the popular landlord was the pub at the Petřín lookout tower. On the site of the Hradčany restaurant of Mr Rolla originally stood two Gothic houses which were linked into one in 1503 by J. Krakovský. Under the rule of Rudolf II the structure was purchased by the Imperial Chamber for 5000 guldens and served as the Imperial Office. The hypothesis has been expressed (by Dr. Teige) that the building was the last domicile of Tycho de Brahe, the famous Danish astrologer in the employ of Rudolf II, who shortly lived and died here. Currently the building houses a small hotel.
PHOTOTYPE. PHOTOGRAPHER ADAM. 1899
24 - The western front of the Loreta (Loreto) Church
Complex is the dominant structure of Loretánské Square. The picture was taken from the corner of the Černín Palace (at the time of the taking of the picture the Franz Josef I Barracks). The construction of the Loreto took more than one hundred years (1626-1740). One of its architecturally interesting features is the symmetrical disposition of the six chapels on the corners and on the sides, as well as the Church of the Nativity in the rear wing, built in 1735 by K. I. Dientzenhofer. The famous chimes in the middle tower of the front wing were created in 1694 by the clockmaster P. Neumann. The front wing also houses a treasury containing, among other things, jewels, liturgical objects and the world-famous diamond monstrance. The whole area of the square was, at the time of taking the picture, not yet paved, but judging from the heaped blocks, the paving was just about to start. The old-fashioned high pram in the picture still has wooden wheels and fellies. Considering the practical advantages of high prams, it is not surprising they came back into fashion in the 1970s.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1899
25 - The entrance to the complex of the Strahov Monastery
As seen from the end of Pohořelec and from the beginning of what is today Dlabačov Street. This Premonstratensian Monastery was founded in 1140 by prince Vladislav II and from its very beginning it was famous for its extensive library. On the right we can see a part of the ramparts and the Baroque entrance gate with the statue of St Norbert. In the middle is the votive Church of St Rochus built in the years 1603-1612 at the expense of emperor Rudolf II as an expression of gratitude for overcoming the plague epidemic. Once serving as the Strahov parish church, it now houses the exhibition hall Musaion. In front of it we can see the double building No. 137 in whose small annex it is today possible to buy refreshments, tobacco goods, newspapers and postcards. Further, in the north-eastern direction, the row of buildings continues as far as the southern end of Pohořelec Square. On the left is the southern wing of the territorial army barracks.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. PROBABLY BY E. ČÍŽEK, AROUND 1902
27 - A view from the end of the Old Castle Steps
A view from the end of the Old Castle Steps towards the eastern gate, adjacent buildings, and the Black Tower of Prague Castle. The latter was built around 1135 and is the only extant Romanesque tower from time of the fortification of the castle under Prince Soběslav I. The original gate in the fortification was linked with a drawbridge and a deep moat. In the middle of the 13th century the gate was walled in, and next to it a new gate was constructed. The gate we can see in the picture goes back to 1500. The Black Tower burnt down in 1538 after being struck by lightning. During its reconstruction one storey was taken away, so that it was then 30 metres high, and it received the roof we can see in the picture. For some time the tower was used as a debtors’ prison, the inhabitants of which were mostly hot-tempered young noblemen who had spent all their allowance in drinking and/or gambling. To the left of the gate is the eastern part of the Lobkovic Palace, on the right we can see a part of building No. 192.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. 1904
28 - The external side of the Imperial (Strahov) Gate in the city district of Břevnov
It was built as a part of the Baroque fortification of 1669. It was rebuilt and probably also extended several times. The last adaptations took place in 1727. It was located between the 8th (Špitálský) and 9th (Strahovský) bastions. The Baroque ramparts were built to the plans of Italian military engineers who had a Europe-wide reputation as the most qualified experts in the construction of all kinds of fortifications. The picture of the gate, which apparently dates to the year 1898, is one of its last photographs, as in the same year the whole Baroque fortification began to be demolished. In the course of the demolition the Old Strahov Gate of 1619 was discovered, however, it too was immediately demolished and the demolition work dragged on until the spring of 1899. The curious fact about the Strahov Gate is that while it was a part of Hradčany fortification, the keys for it were held in the Lesser Town.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1899
29 - The Nový Svět (the New World) district in Hradčany
A view from the ramp of present-day Keplerova Street (see picture 30) allows us to see the meandering streets of Nový Svět (on the left) and Černínská (on the right). The words Nový Svět were used to denote the whole low-rise area around these streets and under the fortification, reminiscent of a small square (see picture 30). This former suburb of Hradčany was founded in the mid-14th century, and in 1360 was included within the city limits. It was inhabited mostly by poor people, small craftsmen and prostitutes. Rather a village than a town, it strongly contrasted with the ostentatious palaces and ecclesiastical buildings of Hradčany proper. Ironically, a number of the houses in Nový Svět district have gold in their names, such as No. 92: Zlaté slunce (The Golden Sun, bottom, in the middle), No. 90: U zlatého pluhu (The Golden Plough), or No. 87: Zlatá hvězda (The Golden Star).
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. T. VOJTA, 1918
30 - The roofs and houses of Nový Svět (the New World)The previous picture (picture 29 was taken from approximately the same place, from below the crown of the tree at the furthest right). When we go down the steps, we get to the beginning of Černínská Street which continues across the above-mentioned little square below the ramp, past a well and the one-storey house No. 95, and ascends to Loretánské Square, to the massive Černín Palace (then serving as military barracks). When we turn to the left from the stairs, we enter Nový Svět Street. On the left, we can see on the horizon the towers of the loreto and the tower of the Prague counterpart of the Paris Eiffel Tower, the Petřín lookout tower. To the right of the Černín Palace we can see the protruding towers of the Strahov Monastery.
COLOURED PHOTO-LITOGRAPH. V. KRÁTKORUKÝ, 1913
31 - The Nový Svět (the New World) district in Hradčany
On the right, in the street of the same name (Nový Svět) we can see the ornate building of the hotel Zlatá hvězda (The Golden Star), No. 87, behind it Zelený kříž (The Green Cross) with a gas lantern, and on the left the nameless building No. 88. The hotel Golden Star actually consists of two buildings wedged into one another in a bizarre fashion, probably because of a lack of space, or because of the necessity to observe the street line, or because of both. As a result we can see the irregular ground plan of one of them. An interesting thing about the front building is the low ceiling, as is indicated by the disposition of the lower and upper windows. Judging from the curious gaze of the gentleman wearing a bowler, we can conclude that something very interesting must have been taking place inside.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. T. VOJTA, 1918
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