32 - A view of Prague Castle, with the incompletely constructed St Vitus Cathedral
And a part of the Lesser Town, from the slopes of the Petřín Hill, most probably from the Schönborn Garden. In the forefront lies the Colloredo-Schönborn Palace - today, the United States Embassy. A drawing or a photograph of an earlier date, from around 1888, served as the basis for this picture postcard.
COLOURED LITHOGRAPH. B. F. P. (PERHAPS BATOVEC F., PRAGUE), AROUND 1900
33 - One of the most typical views of the Lesser Town roofs and spires from Na Valech Garden of Prague Castle
From the left, St Thomas’s Church, the Bridge Tower on the Lesser Town side, two low pyramids of steeples of St Mary the Virgin Church of the order of the Knights of St John, and the dome of St Nicholas’s Church, with its slender belfry - an inseparable landmark of the Lesser Town - and of the whole historical centre, which could not be contemplated without this dominant feature. On the furthest left is the Charles Bridge; on the right, near the National Theatre, is the Emperor Franz Chain Bridge (it was still standing then but was removed in 1898).
TWO-PART POSTCARD. PHOTOTYPE. PICTURE 1897. K. BELLMANN, 1899
34 - South-eastern front of the former Straka Academy
Now office of the Government of the Czech Republic. This Neo-Baroque building, No. 128, was built in 1896 at the cost of more than one million guldens, funds provided by Count J. P. Straka’s Foundation for the impoverished descendants of Czech nobility. Originally, a Jesuit garden and a “summer house” were located here. After abolition of the Jesuit order, a dance-hall functioned here, and, towards the end of the 19th century, the Bicyclists’ Club established its base here; there was a bicycle and athletic track of 200 meters length in the garden. Above right is Mary Magdalene’s Bastion.
TWO-PART POSTCARD. COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1900
35 - A fascinating panorama of Prague Castle and the Lesser Town
Viewed from the embankment wall at Křižovnické Square. The building Prašný Dvůr (The Powder Courtyard), No. 515, is located to the left of the Charles Bridge, on Kampa Island. Behind the poplars, one can see the mouth of Čertovka (The Devil’s stream). The oblong ground-level building, No. 102, is Herget’s brick-kiln and, on the right, is its owner’s house. This riverside housing is crowned by the elongated line of Prague Castle with St Vitus Cathedral on the horizon.
TWO-PART POSTCARD. PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1899
36 - St Nicholas’s Church - supreme Late Baroque in its full beauty
The photograph was taken from the Schönborn Garden. The majestic St Nicholas Church was originally built for the Jesuits in 1703-1751. The architects and master builders of the pre-dominant part of the Church were K. Dientzenhofer and his son, K. I. Dientzenhofer - the two most important master builders of Prague Baroque. Later on, the slender spire of the belfry was built, the work of A. Lurago. Immediately below, the roofs and upper floors of the northern fronts of houses in Tržiště Street are clearly shown (see picture 61).
TWO-PART POSTCARD. PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1899
37 - The Charles Bridge after the great flood of September 4th, 1890
The Charles Bridge as it collapsed after the great flood of September 4th, 1890. In front of the Bridge, blocking the spans, there is drift wood of all kinds: from rafts, from dumps in Podskalí, and from elsewhere. The Bridge was not able to resist the huge pressure of water for very long. The level of the Vltava River suggests that the photograph might have been taken one or two days after the centre of the Bridge broke. Behind the Bridge, one can well see the flooded houses of the Lesser Town on the riverside. One little-known interesting point concerns the shape of the Bridge. When looking at the Bridge from the Bridge Tower on the Lesser Town side, it can be seen that it is not straight but curved approximately into the shape of a very elongated letter S, resembling the human spine. The St Vitus Cathedral, with its main steeple (with three recognizable architectural styles), still lacks its transept and western nave. The newly rising western steeples are under scaffolding.
38 - The Lesser Town end of the Charles Bridge
Leading into a gate between Juditina věž (Judith’s Tower) of 1172 and the higher Bridge Tower on the Lesser Town side (finished perhaps before 1470). Thirty Baroque statues, two of them in the foreground, decorate the Bridge. Tram rails can be seen on the Bridge. By 1883-1905, horse-drawn trams and, in 1905-1908, electric trams were running here. As it was impossible to erect trolley power-lines that would obstruct historical monuments, trams in the section from Křižovnické Square to K mostu Street were powered through a lower lead with contacts (along the rails) and special electrical fittings which secured the supply of current only for moving trams. Otherwise, the contacts in the road were without power. The originator of this odd solution, F. Křižík, was an outstanding Czech electrical engineer and inventor, as well as creator of the first Prague electric tram.
39 - A span of the Charles Bridge on Kampa Island
On the left, the upper part of the Bridge tower on the Lesser Town side protrudes. Under this, at ground level, is the annex to the house U Zlatého lva (The Golden Lion), No. 493, and a line of little shops. In the picture, only one is open, the ladies’ hairdressers of F. Holejšovský. The place in front of the little shops still belongs to Kampa Square. From here, a connecting lane under a span of the Charles Bridge leads to a small open place at the end of Lužická Street, over a short bridge across an arm of the Vltava River, which flows around Kampa.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. AROUND 1910
40 - A view of a part of Prague Venice
And of the adjacent arm of the Vltava River, called Čertovka (The Devil’s Stream), facing north-east. This arm embraces Kampa Island at the Lesser Town bank and, together with the surrounding picturesque houses, creates an attractive milieu with a special atmosphere resembling Venice. The photographer stood on the little bridge over Čertovka, behind the third span of the Charles Bridge (see picture 39). On the left, the rear wings of the houses in Lužická Street, i.e. part of the house U Pláničků, No. 87 (with open windows), followed by the house U Felbrů, by the higher newer house Červená bota (The Red Boot) (where a tollbooth used to be), and by the houses U Brykců and U Tří kaprů (The Three Carps). F. Holina, an excellent calligrapher and chamberlain to a General of the Order of the Knights of the Cross, lived in the next house U Tří zelených křížků (The Three Green Crosses). Here, Czech writers and patriots, including Jan Neruda, gathered in the first half of the 19th century (see page 66). Holina’s daughter, Anna, was Neruda’s lifelong love.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1899
41 - A view from the same place as the previous picture, but southwards
One can see the Velkopřevorský Mill, No. 489, probably built by the second third of the 14th century. In the course of time it acquired various nicknames, such as Maltézský (Maltese) and Spálený (Burnt-out). It was sold to the Lesser Town municipality in 1596, and reconstructed approximately into its current appearance in 1597-1598. The great mill wheel, now renovated and sometimes in operation, is still situated in the annex to the building. On the left, there is a wall of a garden on Kampa belonging to the house U Zlatého lva (The Golden Lion), with workshop of the sculptor J. Krucký (see picture 45). Later, there was a restaurant here. From the Golden Lion, stairs lead to the river. Here, boats were berthed, water was brought, and laundry was washed and rinsed, as was common along all riversides. On the right, there is a ground-floor wing of a newer house adjacent to the bridge.
PHOTOTYPE. V. KRÁTKORUKÝ, AROUND 1900
42 - The southern side of the Velkopřevorské Square with Count Buquoy’s two palaces
The first from the left is the Great Buquoy Palace, No. 486, with statues by M. Braun and a large garden which ends at the arm of the Vltava. Archbishop Valdštejn (Wallenstein) built the Palace in place of three houses. Two of them were owned by Valdštejn and the third one bore the name U Černého orla (The Black Eagle). The Palace was bought by Count F. L. Buquoy in 1748. Nowadays, the embassy of France is located here. Behind is the little Buquoy Palace, No. 484, with a valuable Renaissance gable; it closes the square on the western side. Though this square is located close to the main thoroughfares, and today’s tourist routes, no road traverses it. The majestic peace and picturesqueness of nearby Kampa seem to reach as far as here. The conclusion of the text below the picture: I look forward to our meeting tonight supports the supposition that the sender could fully rely upon the then postal services.
PHOTOTYPE. L. J. ČECH, 1899
43 - The northern part of Maltézské Square (of the Knights of St John)
The northern part of Maltézské Square (of the Knights of St John) with a statue of St John the Baptist by J. Brokoff, from the year 1715. On the left, one can see a Baroque house, No. 479, with a portal; behind it, the house Stará pošta (Old Post) with an inn, No. 480. The Prague General Post Office was located here in 1622-1723. Behind the Old Post is the entry to Prokopská Street, where one of the Prague Lottery centres (see picture 88) was situated at the time the photograph was taken. From about 1855, railway carriages produced in the Ringhoffer factory at Smíchov were transported from there in horse-drawn fashion to the state railway station in Hybernská Street; the section between Maltézské Square and the Charles Bridge ranked among the most difficult. At that time, there was no railway connection between the left and right banks of the Vltava; this was only accomplished by building the Railway Bridge below Vyšehrad in 1871 (see picture 540).
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. 1905
44 - The Na Kampě Square - a view from south to north, to the stairs to the Charles Bridge
More compact housing on Kampa was possible after the elevation of the terrain on the Island by bringing fire debris from houses burnt down after a big fire in Hradčany and the Lesser Town in 1541. The house U zlatých nůžek (The Golden Scissors), No. 494, (at the end of the left-hand row) is one of the oldest, first mentioned in 1568. The only continuously built-up space on the Island, with two- and three-storeyed medieval, Baroque and Neo-Classical houses, it is now a picturesque quiet corner in the centre of the Island, which revives the traditional potters’ market (including ceramics) once a year. Kampa, however, has not always been so idyllic. Förster’s textile factory, where about 130 workers (both men and women) worked, was situated in the two-storeyed house U Štýgrů, No. 511 (the fourth from the right), towards the end of the 18th century.
45 - J. Krucký’s sculpting and plastering workshop in the house U Zlatého lva (The Golden Lion), No. 493
View of the area outside the workshop, in the garden, which was enclosed by a wall from the Čertovka side (see picture 41). The location of the workshop close to water was logical, as the work mostly required plaster of Paris. The company’s range was relatively wide, as the picture shows. It manufactured and supplied prefabricated decorative elements for building industry needs - pyramids, little steeples, pylons, obelisks, and various reliefs, as well as statues of the saints, little angels, and other statuettes for churches and cemeteries. J. Krucký himself is probably on the right and, to the left, are his three employees. From a collector’s point of view it is interesting to note that the house was, at the end of the 18th century (according to F. Ruth’s Chronicle of Royal Prague and Neigbouring Places), the home of A. Renner, a teacher, whose collection included such varied things as an electric machine, a vacuum pump, barometers, ashcans and an accordion, of which he is said to have been the first Czech producer.
PHOTOTYPE. PHOTOGRAPHER A. F. WANNER, ŠTĚCHOVICE N. VLTAVOU. J. KRUCKÝ, AROUND 1910
46 - A quiet corner U Rybáře (The Fisher) in the place of today’s park and square at Klárov
This is a small part of a large complex of military supply bases (formerly bakeries), which were pulled down in 1917. The predominant part is situated behind the photographer. The buildings in the picture stood near the end of the former Železná lávka (Iron Footbridge) on the Lesser Town bank, at the corner of U Železné lávky (At the Iron Footbridge) and Pavelská Streets. The house with stairs, No. 129, demolished in 1916, probably served as an administrative building for the supply bases, while the low building on the right, No. 125 (demolished in 1917) most likely served as a store. Pavelská Street, ending with a passage through the cross-wing of building No. 129 (see picture 47), led behind these buildings. It is worth noticing that the courtyard is being swept by civil employees of the military administration, while the soldiers themselves are enjoying their leisure time at the end of their shift.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. AROUND 1910
47 - Pavelská Lane - a view eastwards
It was a connection between Letenská Street and the entrance to the Iron Footbridge on the Lesser Town bank. (It went through Lužická Street, which reached as far as today’s Klárov, to the Home for the Blind). On the left, a low component of the military supply base, No. 125, (built in 1769, rebuilt in 1837) and, behind, a higher house, No. 129, where the lane ends in a subway (for the opposite side of these houses, see picture 46). Behind the subway, steps led to the raised terrain of U Železné Lávky Street. On the right, the house No. 126 (built about 1540), the former guard-room at the ferry which operated before the Iron Footbridge was built. The buildings in the picture were pulled down around 1917. Today, there is a park here - a part of Klárov square.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. AROUND 1910
48 - The Lusatio-Serbian Seminary, No. 90/13, at the corner of Lužická Street and Míšeňská Street (right)
Upper Lusatia belonged to the Bohemian Kingdom since the time of Charles IV, but it became property of the Saxon Elector in 1635, and the local Slavic language and the Catholic faith began to retreat before the German language and Protestantism. For this reason, brothers Šimon from Bautzen founded the Catholic seminary for Upper-Lusatian students in 1704, originally in house No. 11, which was bought by the brothers in 1707, together with the neighbouring plot. In about 1728, they built a Baroque house here (in the picture) later owned by the Bautzen Chapter. Josef II intended to abolish this seminary but the Chapter sprang to its defence. In 1846, Lusatio-Serbian students founded here Serbowka - the first Slavic student association in Prague. Notable Czech Slavists, such as J. Dobrovský, V. Hanka and others, were in the habit of visiting Serbowka in order to take care of the linguistic and patriotic education of its members.
PHOTOTYPE. B. EHRLICH, 1898
49 - One of the yards of a tenement house, perhaps in Lužická Street
This kind of house was usually constructed by builders without detailed plans, who dealt with problems and details directly on the spot during the course of building. In this way, they succeeded in creating houses with courtyards which have preserved their charm up to the present day. The romantic atmosphere of these places is described in Lesser Town Stories by J. Neruda. The woman on the stairs (which lead to a gallery) may have had anything in the jug with a narrow neck - water from a pump on the municipal water main, beer, or lamp oil; who knows?
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PROBABLY THE 1920s
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