113 - The Old Town Clock (horologue) on the southern side of the Town Hall tower
It was constructed in 1410 by Master Nicholas from Kadaň and the astronomer J. Schindel. This original version of the clock was already an impressive example of astronomical knowledge and the art of clock construction. In 1490 the clock was given into the care of Jan z Ruože, known as Master Hanuš, wrongly cited by some sources as the creator of the horologue. He improved the clock by adding its dial, the display of calendar dates and, apparently, also the figure of the Grim Reaper. Another important caretaker of the horologue was, from 1552, J. Táborský from Klokoty who improved the astronomical functions of the clock, and devoted to it the remarkable manuscript entitled A Report on the Prague Clock of 1570. The marching apostles were added to the horologue in the 18th century. In 1866 the decayed and long non-functional horologue was repaired by R. Božek. The graphic decoration from that time was created by the painter Josef Mánes. The original lower calendar plate is today kept in the Prague City Museum, its copy on the horologue is the work of E. K. Liška. The fire in the town hall in 1945 also partially damaged the clock. It was brought back into operation in 1948.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. AROUND 1900
114 - The former Imperial and Royal Military Academy near the Powder Tower
The former Imperial and Royal Military Academy near the Powder Tower which stood on the site of the present-day Municipal House, the Paříž Hotel, the Trade Chamber and the Allianz Insurance Company. The buildings in the picture were originally a part of the Royal Court built in 1380 as the second residence of King Wenceslas IV. It was also used in this way by subsequent Czech rulers until the tradition was interrupted by Vladislav Jagiello who, in 1484, returned to Prague Castle. The buildings underwent a number of reconstructions, first in the 17th century for purposes of the Archiepiscopal Seminary, while after 1777 it was used as military barracks and a military academy. In 1900 the Military Academy moved to its new premises in the Hradčany Quarter. The decaying buildings of the old Military Academy were used for housing circuses, while in the winters the space was used as a skating rink. After 1902 the structures were demolished and the statue of Franz Josef II, standing at the wall of the Barracks, moved elsewhere. The former existence of a royal court in this location is reflected in the name of Králodvorská ulice (i.e. the Royal Court Street).
COLOURED LITHOGRAPH. THE BROTHERS KÜNZLI, ZURICH, 1898
115 - The Powder Tower
The Powder Tower with adjacent small shops and the Church of St Engelbert as seen from the U Hybernů Building. From the 13th century the entrance to the Old Town was guarded by a gate standing on this site, and which in the course of time decayed so much that popular parlance began to dub it Odraná (The Tattered One/Gate). So in 1475 King Vladislav Jagiello ordered the construction of a new gate which was built a few yards away from the original one by Václav of Žlutice and later Matěj Rejsek of Prostějov. Actually, the New Gate, as it was at first called, was rather meant to impress than to serve any defensive purposes, and the rich decoration of the structure was to be in accord with the importance of the adjacent Royal Court which was linked with the Gate by a bridge. However, after the King’s permanent removal to the Castle in 1484, the Gate remained unfinished for centuries. It received its current name due to the fact that in 1700 the building served as a temporary storage place for gun- powder. In the meantime the unfinished structure continued to dilapidate and, moreover, was seriously damaged during the Prussian wars and so the damaged decoration was removed from the gate after 1799. The year 1822 saw the installation of a clock and the repair of the roof. The present Neo-Gothic appearance of the tower dates to the years 1878-1886 when J. Mocker added new decoration to the front, removed the clock and put a new roofing on the Gate. The small shops on the right were constructed by the Prague Municipality in 1816 to replace the old wooden stalls standing until then in the Horse Market and at Můstek. Around the year 1900 the buildings and lots on the site of the former Royal Court Barracks were purchased by the Trade Bank in what must have been one of the largest Prague land speculations of the time. After its parcelling out the area should have been used for the building of 11 residential buildings. However, in 1902 the Town Council decided on the construction of its own representative Municipal Building, and purchased the lots from the Trade Bank, as well as the little shops adjacent to the Powder Tower from their owners. This was really the luckiest hour of their lives as they grabbed the opportunity and demanded the highest imaginable price - and got it. Thus e.g. the watch maker Šťastný received for his premises of 10 square metres the incredible sum of 200 thousand crowns (at that time the price of a three-storey building in the centre of Prague)!
TWO-PART POSTCARD. PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1899
116 - A less usual view of the Powder Tower
A less usual view of the Powder Tower from Josefské Square showing, among other things, the narrow lane between the gate and the Church of St Engelbert which was a short-cut between Celetná Street and the Square. In front of the Tower we can see small shops of traders and craftsmen. The company signs inform us that they were dealing in (and possibly also producing) shoes, hats, tobacco goods, etc. Such shops were also in the rear part of the gate with shop windows facing the lane. On the left, on the corner of Na Příkopě and Celetná Streets, we can see the terraced building No. 966 with another row of small shops (see also picture 115). The structure was owned by the oldest Prague bank, the Czech Discount Bank, founded in 1863. The building housed a pharmacy, a German bookshop and the Café Francais, one of the largest and most elegant of its kind in Prague. In the years 1854-1865 the building also housed the studio of the pioneer of Czech photography V. Horn, and possibly (judging from the sign on the ground floor below the terrace) also another well-known photographer, J. F. Langhans, during the reconstruction of his house in Vodičkova Street. On the right we can see the beautifully shaped iron-cast gas lamp-post, the work of A. Lindsbauer. The lady in the foreground protects the whiteness of her skin, as was the custom at the time, with a parasol.
PHOTOGRAPH. AROUND 1900
117 - The Baroque Church of St Engelbert in Celetná Street, next to the Powder Tower
It was built in the years 1676-1694, probably by J. B. Mathey for Archbishop John Frederick, Count of Waldstein, as an Archiepiscopal Seminary. After its abolition the Church was used as Prague’s garrison church. During Easter celebrations it was used for display of a militarily decorated Christ’s Tomb, and during the Resurrection it was the starting point of military processions. The celebrations were rounded off by a military parade in Na Příkopě Street in front of the Černá růže (The Black Rose) Building. This happened in 1900 for the last time. Three years later the Church was demolished to make way for construction of the Municipal Building. The Church was adjacent to the building of the Military Academy, in front of the Church was a small park, today replaced by U Prašné brány Street. Most of the pedestrians in the picture are going to the lane behind the Church which connected Celetná Street with Josefské Square (see the previous picture).
PHOTOTYPE. F. J. JEDLIČKA, 1902
118 - A panoramic view of Na Příkopě Street and of the Powder Tower as seen from the building U Hybernů
This is a unique and little known picture of the temporary state of affairs after demolition of the Church of St Engelbert, of the Military Academy and of the small shops. The whole parcel was bought in 1899 by the Trade Bank. The ideas about the use of the empty parcel were many. Apart from intention to build residential buildings, the next most popular idea was to construct the building of the Provincial Assembly of the Kingdom of Bohemia. Eventually a lot of 4,200 square metres was parcelled out, purchased by the City of Prague and used for construction of the Municipal Building, begun in 1905. In the background on the right we can see Art Nouveau structures in Petrohradská Street (nowadays U Prašné brány), new Nos. 1078 and 1079, built in the years 1903-1904 and designed by B. Bendelmeyer and E. Weichert.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. 1904
119 - A view of the Hotel Paříž on the corner of Králodvorská Street and Pařížská Street
A view of the Hotel Paříž on the corner of Králodvorská Street (on the left) and Pařížská Street (on the right). The new social centres, imposing hotels and cafés arising at the beginning of the 20th century, were expressions of Prague’s ambition to become at least partly a match for the established European metropoles, especially the metropoles of potentially pro-Czech nations, Paris and St Petersburg. This is also why one of the streets in this area was named after the Russian capital of the time: Petrohradská. The first building on the left, No. 668, housed the men’s tailor’s shop of A. Slavíček, and on the ground floor, the cleaning firm of J. K. Novotný. The third building, No. 666, housed the perfumery of the Imperial Royal supplier F. Prochaska. On the right is the corner of the newly constructed building new No. 1079. Behind it we can see a part of the scaffolding serving the construction of the Municipal Building. Just off the picture on the right were low-rise structures on the site of the later Hotel Steiner.
PHOTOTYPE. PICTURE AROUND 1906. K. BELLMANN, 1907
120 - The Hotel Paříž and the Palace of the Trade Chamber as seen from Josefské Square (from the building U Hybernů)
This block arose approximately on the site of the northern wing of the military barracks. The imposing Hotel Paříž, new No. 1080, was built in the years 1904-1905 and designed by J. Vejrych in a pseudohistorical style combining Gothic and Art Nouveau elements. In 1900 the design of the Hotel received one of the prizes at the world exhibition in Paris. The adjacent palace of the Trade Chamber by A. Turek was built a year earlier in a Neo-Renaissance style. The picture was taken shortly before digging of the foundations for the Municipal Building which nowadays hides the view of the other two buildings when we stand at the building U Hybernů.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. F. J. JEDLIČKA, 1905
123 - A view of the Powder Tower and of a part of the Municipal Building in 1911
Shortly before its completion, as seen from the intersection of Senovážná Street (on the left) and Hybernská Street. The favourable side illumination emphasizes the Neo-Gothic sculptural decoration of the Powder Tower with its figures of Czech kings and emblems of lands of the Bohemian Crown. On the left we can see the Neo-Classical building with the Café Francais and the cramped secondhand book shop of J. M. Berwald below the terrace. On the right we can see a part of the wing of the Municipal Building and its connecting corridor with the Powder Tower, linked into one architectural whole (parallel with the bridge once connecting the Powder Tower and the Royal Court). The Art Nouveau building was constructed to the designs of A. Balšánek and O. Polívka. Although criticised in its time as a monstrosity, it is undoubtedly one of the most important buildings constructed in that style in Prague. It stands out because of the rare balance between its external architecture and the interiors. The work of the craftsmen and artisans, whether the stucco, the metal chiselling, wood panelling, wallpaper or furniture, all represents the pro verbial perfectionism of its time, and continues to generate deserved admiration even today. The decorative work was produced by such great sculptors as J. V. Myslbek, L. J. Šaloun, A. Mára or J. Mařatka, and the painters A. Mucha, M. Švabinský, F. Ženíšek, J. Preisler, J. Obrovský, J. Panuška and M. Aleš. The mosaic above the portal of the main entrance is the work of K. Špillar, as are the mural pictures in side, in the Smetana Hall. The Municipal Building was from the very beginning a centre not only of social and cultural life, but also of political life. In 1918 it was the site of many events connected with the Czech nation’s yearning for its independence, crowned by the Independence Declaration on October 28, 1918. The Building is still the venue of concerts, balls, congresses, lectures, courses, important rallies and many other events.
TWO-PART POSTCARD. COLOURED COMBINED PRINT. AROUND 1911
124 - The imposing front of the Municipal Building as seen from Hybernská Street
The cranked wings of the Building lend emphasis to the entrance with its balcony, as well as to the mosaic “Homage to Prague” by K. Špillar. The central space in the Building is the Smetana Concert Hall. The second storey houses salons in the wings, while the ground floor in the right wing houses a café and in the left a restaurant. The café offered a rich selection of periodicals from all parts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as well as from the rest of Europe and overseas. It was possible to peruse them for as long as you liked - all you had to do was to order a cup of coffee. The ground floor, especially the rear wing (facing Petrohradská Street) and the side wing (facing Pařížská Street) were set aside for luxury shops. E.g. from Petrohradská Street you could enter the exclusive tailor’s shop of V. Mareš. In front of the building we can see the taxi-cab stand which moved here from the Trade Chamber Building.
FOUR-COLOUR AUTOTYPE. MINERVA, 1912
125 - A view of Celetná Street as seen from the Powder Tower
This is the route along which the Czech kings went to the Staroměstské Square and via the Lesser Town to the Castle on their Coronation day. The attic of the Art Nouveau corner building, new No. 1078, on the right (see picture 118) was, around 1910, the lodgings and studio of the leading Czech graphic artist and painter M. Švabinský, the designer, among other things, of a number of Czechoslovak stamps and banknotes. Behind it is the Baroque Pachtovský Palace with an attic roof, No. 585, also known as The Little Royal Court. It was built after the major 1689 fire, and in the mid-18th century reconstructed by K. I. Dientzenhofer. At the beginning of the 20th century it housed the renowned bookshop of J. Andrejs, on the opposite side was the most important German book shop in Prague, that of Borrosch & André. The roof of the next building, U Zlatého anděla (The Golden Angel), No. 588, housed in about 1846 the daguerrotype studio of M. V. Lobethal. The picture is a proof that at the time a true gentleman could hardly appear on the street without a hat and cane.
COLOURED COMBINED PRINT. MONOPOL, 1910
126 - Celetná Street with the Powder Tower in the background
The northern side of Celetná Street with the Powder Tower in the background. On the left we can see the Baroque building U Zlatého jelena (The Golden Deer), No. 598, whose ground floor housed the prestigious bookshop of A. Hynek. The facade of the building was under reconstruction when the picture was taken. We can also see that hanging scaffolding is by no means a recent invention, in fact it was patented a long time ago by the Czech inventor Březina (see picture 535). In the middle of the picture is the five-storey department store U Města Paříže (The Town of Paris), No. 596, one of Prague’s two largest department stores at that time. From the 1860s it was possible to buy here stereophotographs (the store had its own projector where customers could check on the pictures they were about to buy). The tall building gave way in 1934 to a Functionalist building housing one of the shops of the Baťa footwear chain by J. Gočár. Just operating in the street is a horse-drawn tram connecting Malostranské Square in the Lesser Town and the Quarter of Olšany.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANNM, 1899
127 - A view of the southern front of buildings in Celetná Street looking towards the Powder Tower
The original version of the street name, Caletná, documented as early as 1300, was derived from calty, a kind of pastry similar to present-day Czech Christmas cakes (also known in German cuisine as Stollen). The buildings in the picture have undergone little change till today, with exception of the Forberger Building, No. 564 (the first structure on the right) which was somewhat unfortunately adapted for the purposes of Charles University. The ground floor housed the shop of K. Schuss which dealt in brilliant jewels, binoculars and omega watches. The shop window is illuminated by three electric lamps belonging to the shop, the advertising clock shows us that when the picture was taken it was 7.30 in the morning. The next little shop, one of about thirty such shops in Prague, was a Postcard Market. The buildings with Baroque facades are obviously much lower than the tall structure U České orlice (The Czech Eagle) of 1896 by F. Ohmann with frescoes by M. Aleš. The last structure in the row, still with scaffolding, but practically completed, is the unique Cubist building U Černé Matky Boží (The Black Madonna - see picture 131).
128 - The restaurant and the variety show of K. Sýkora in the courtyard of the Menhart Building, No. 595, in Celetná Street
The courtyard of this Baroque palace used to be a cheerful place in the past. As early as the 18th century it hosted theatre performances and concerts, various artistes, such as rope-walkers, the Italian company of flying men and puppeteers. Sýkora clearly tried to continue the tradition of the house, even though Prague was teeming with entertainment and artistic venues at the turn of the century. One of the artists employed here in 1901 was the Hungarian singer and dancer G. Székely who dressed in the uniform of a hussar captain, danced and sang music-hall songs. Her portrait also appears on the publicity postcard issued by Sýkora on the occasion of her guest performances in Prague. And this is only one of many such postcards published by him. The building is today home of the Theatre in Celetná and of the Theatre Institute.
PHOTOTYPE. AROUND 1900
129 - The Turkish wine cellar Orient
Was situated in the basement of the building U Černé Matky Boží (The Black Madonna)the second storey of the building housed J. Tůma’s café of the same name. The interior we can see in the picture may at first sight create the illusion of the Orient (the narrow columns with openwork semi-arches and ornamentation), however it was a far cry from the real thing. The chairs with high backs remind one rather of typical Czech peasant furniture, and the piano was also not exactly very widespread in Turkey either. And of course the owners conveniently ignored the fact that Islam strictly prohibits any kind of alcohol, including wine. Nevertheless the numerous guests did not seem to mind, probably also thanks to the fact that the waitresses were beautiful odalisques. As far as the wine was concerned, the Monarchy was virtually self-sufficient in its production, nor was there any dearth of high quality tobacco goods, due to the 1878 Austrian occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the only oriental part of Austria-Hungary.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. 1912
130 - The garden of the Café U Červeného orla (The Red Eagle), No.593, in Celetná Street
The Café, with its long tradition, was among other things a favourite meeting place for Czech patriots and writers. The picture emanates the sedate, almost family atmosphere of the place. The few tables of the Café are close to each other, used by the small but regular clientele, consisting chiefly of well-off burghers, advocates, journalists, owners of nearby shops and realtors. The relaxed mood under the trees was, in the summer, further underlined by the fountain (today’s air humidifiers are only an imperfect substitute). It was equally pleasant to sit here in the evening as the place was lighted by several gas lamps.
PHOTOTYPE. AROUND 1900
131 - The Cubist building U Černé Matky Boží (The Black Madonna), new No. 569
On the corner of Celetná Street and Ovocný trh Square was built on the site of the original two buildings: U Zlaté mříže (The Golden Bars) and U Černé Matky Boží, and it represents one of the highest achievements of Czech Cubist architecture, unique in a world-wide context. The sensitively designed building with its moderate Cubist decor fits surprisingly well in the neighbourhood of prevalently Baroque structures. Above the ground-floor shops, on the second storey, was the spacious Orient Café, while the third storey housed a large millinery. On the corner of the second storey, behind a gilded grille, is the statue of the Black Madonna with her child, brought here from the original building. The horse-drawn platform in front of the building was used for the repair of tram wires. Even though there were already some motor-driven fitting vehicles from 1909, they were still too few in number to be able to carry out all the necessary work.
132 -The Church of St James with monastery and the Old Town butchers’ shops
As seen from Masná Street looking towards Štupartská Street, which becomes broader at this spot, turning into a little square. The place in front of the butchers’ shops was used by stall-holders selling vegetables and fruit. The Minorite Monastery was founded in 1232 by Wenceslas I and appended to the already existing Church. The Baroque remodelling dates back to the first half of the 18th century. The Church used to be the church of the Old Town butchers whose shops, No. 956 (on the left in the picture), stood in the neighbourhood of the Monastery from times immemorial till 1935. The site is currently covered by a park. The butchers, with their broad axes, were always ready and able to defend the Monastery, whether it was during the Hussite riots, or during the invasion of marauders from the Bavarian town of Passau in 1611. John Luxemburg granted the butchers a number of privileges, as well as their own emblem: a one-tailed lion holding an axe. This was also confirmed by Charles IV. The butchers’ shops were a popular part of 19th and early 20th century city folklore. People liked to go to the shops to have their tripe soup, especially after a night spent in dancing and other entertainment.
FOUR-COLOUR AUTOTYPE. AFTER A WATER-COLOUR BY J. ŠETELÍK, THE END OF THE 1920s.
133 - A view of the Týn Courtyard and of the Church of Our Lady as seen from the eastern gate
The word Týn is apparently of Celtic origin, and means among other things a market surrounded by a wooden fence. Prague´s Týn (also called Ungelt) was, between the 10th and 18th centuries, a center for international trade and for the collection of custom duties from imported goods. The foreign merchants were obliged to report themselves in Týn, present their goods and sell it only wholesale and right on the spot, provided they had paid their dues. The income from custom duties belonged to the king, however the city was entitled to a provision for collecting the money. In the picture we can see the western gate of the Courtyard. To the right of it stands the beautiful Renaissance building, No. 639, with its arcades, sgraffiti and frescoes, which was donated by emperor Rudolf II to J. Granovský junior for his services. The inn (in the picture under the Church) used to serve as a hotel for foreign merchants. The more recent building on the right (behind the lantern) was the seat of the Old Town Cemetery office which was responsible for the management of graves. The architectural beauty of the long dilapidating structures came to life again after the recent restoration of the Courtyard.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1910
134 - A view of Štupartská Street looking towards the butchers’ shops
From the opposite angle to that in picture 132. The street section between Ungelt (Týn) and the butchers’ shops is an example of a typical narrow and meandering Old Town street. Such streets arose in times when it was still usual to build on the spur of the moment rather than on the basis of city planning. The advantage of such construction development was easier defence in case of an enemy attack. On the left we can see the building Nad Branou, (Above the Gate) No. 645, with the entrance to the Ungelt. The two-storey Modrý dům (Blue House) behind it housed in 1835 the café U Komárků which was the meeting place of the Czech National Revival elite including F. L. Čelakovský, K. H. Mácha, P. J. Šafařík or F. Palacký. The originally Gothic corner building U Božího oka (God’s Eye) with its beautiful Baroque front, No. 634, housed in its courtyard a furniture factory. The shop-window of A. Walter’s stationery displays a collection of postcards. The Minorite Monastery on the opposite side of the street was one of the centres of education from the time of Charles IV. The theological faculty of the Monastery was a serious rival to the Jesuit Order even after the Battle of the White Mountain when the Jesuits enjoyed the strongest official backing.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE AROUND 1912. Z. REACH, 1920s
135 - A view of Dlouhá Road from Staroměstské Square looking towards Eliščina Street
The name Dlouhá (Long) was used as early as 1310 and, with its 520 metres, it was indeed one of the longest streets in historical Prague. It ended at a gate with a drawbridge over a moat whose filling in created a free space on which the later Eliščina Street arose. Prior to the rise of the New Town Dlouhá Road was the busiest street in the Old Town, later it was overtaken by Celetná Street. Dlouhá was also known as a street of breweries: in the 16th century there were 13 of them here, and some of them operated until the end of the 19th century. The buildings we can see on the right, with exception of the five- storey building on the corner of Rybná Street, are still extant, without having undergone substantial changes. The Art Nouveau building, new No. 714, is interesting for the fact that it had its own lift as early as 1899. On the left, on the corner of Rámová Street, stands the building U Dvou zlatých nohů (The Two Golden Legs), No. 737. The two-wheeled cart in the picture was the most frequently used vehicle for transport of goods.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1900
136 - Two Baroque buildings on the corner of Dlouhá Road and Masná Street
A view of two Baroque buildings on the corner of Dlouhá Road (on the left) and Masná Street (on the right): the brewery U Zlaté štiky (The Golden Pike), No. 705, with a tall gable, and the adjacent house U Zlaté krávy (The Golden Cow). The name of the brewery is already documented in the 15th century. In 1725 the building No. 705 was bought by F. M. Kaňka, the creator of a number of Prague Baroque buildings who also had the privilege to brew beer. Following demolition of the buildings an Art Nouveau building was built in 1913 by K. Janda on a rather diminished lot. This led to doubling of the width of Dlouhá Road. The house sign from the original structure was moved on the building, and we can still read its message today: this is a house ruled by the lord / we call it the house of the Golden Pike. From 1915 this building was home of Prague’s most famous Jewish writer, Franz Kafka (1883-1924).
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE AROUND 1907. Z. REACH, 1920s
137 - A view from the intersection of Týnská Street, Dušní Street and Dlouhá Road
A view from the intersection of Týnská Street (on the left), Dušní Street (on the right) and Dlouhá Road, looking towards Staroměstské Square. Dlouhá Road had three narrow stretches along its course (see also picture 136). Its intersection with Staroměstské Square was broadened in 1906 by demolition of the corner Baroque building U Slona (The Elephant), No. 609, by shifting the street line, and by creating the arcade (for a view from the Square see picture 176). The building on the left, No. 610, had been remodelled in Neo-Renaissance style and elevated in 1885. The building on the right, new No. 925, on the corner of Dlouhá and Dušní Streets, is one of the more recent buildings (it was built in 1897). The picture captures atmosphere of a sunlit morning, enlivened by the image of a maid with a cornet in her hand, a cycling messenger and a street cleaner who seems to have already done his work. The John Huss monument, which is today an integral part of the Old Town scene, did not yet exist, being erected only in 1915.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1907
153 - A view of the Old Town
The Crown Prince Rudolf Embankment as seen from Železná (Iron), also Řetězová (Chain), or Rudolfova (Rudolf) platform bridge. On the left we can see the Rudolfinum, on the right the building of the Arts and Crafts School. The pedestrian bridge was built in the years 1868-1870 at a cost of 272 thousand guldens on the site of the time-honoured municipal (lower) ferry to the north of the present day Mánes Bridge. The bridge stood on only one pillar fixed in the river bed, it was 200 metres long and 3.8 metres wide. The designer of the bridge was K. Veselý, iron was supplied by the British firm Ruston & Co. and chains from another firm in Sheffield. The bridge was removed in 1914, and the only trace of its existence is the name of the Lesser Town street U Železné lávky (At the Iron Bridge). At that time there already existed the neigbouring Franz Ferdinand d’Este Bridge made of stone, nowadays called Mánesův Bridge. The two soldiers in the picture are apparently on their way from the nearby Bruské Barracks in the Lesser Town.
COLOURED COMBINED PRINT. V. KRÁTKORUKÝ, AROUND 1906
154 - The Rudolfinum, today called Dům umělců (The Artists’ House)
Was built by J. Schulz and J. Zítek in the years 1876-1886 in honour of the Crown Prince Rudolf. The 2 million guldens this construction cost was financed by the Czech Savings Bank. The northern wing of the building holds art collections, the southern wing houses a concert hall. Before the Second World War the Rudolfinum served as the seat of the Czechoslovak Parliament. The building was erected on a terrain elevated by dumps and in the context of the newly arranged embankment. The original terrain was approximately at the height of the foot of the staircase we can see in the forefront of the picture. This lower terrain was apparently the level of the Jewish Town before its clearance. The street between the railing and the Rudolfinum was called Sanytrová after the enormous heaps of malodorous saltpetre (in colloquial Czech sanytr) used for production of gunpowder. The heaps reached the height of four-storey buildings and were here from the 16th century to the beginning of the 19th century.
PHOTOTYPE. LEDERER & POPPER, AROUND 1904
155 - Complex of mostly Neo-Renaissance school buildings in Křižovnická Street, loking towards the Rudolfinum
They were built here on an artificially elevated terrain in the years 1879-1885. On the left there is the Basic Boys’ School of St Francis, its girls’ counterpart is in the other wing of the building facing the embankment. The middle building housed the Institute for the Education of Woman Teachers also called the Paedagogium, founded in 1870. The next structure is the Arts and Crafts School built in the years 1881-1884, to plans by F. Schmoranz junior and J. Machytka, as the first institution of its kind in Austria. It also housed a Painters’ Academy which, in 1902, moved to its own building in Letná. At the furthest right we can see the beginning of a paved depression with railings and stairs (see the previous picture) which provided access to older buildings still standing on the original lower level of the terrain.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. F. J. JEDLIČKA, 1906
156 - Platnéřská Street as seen from Mikulášská Street looking towards Mariánské Square
It used to be one of the oldest and most picturesque lanes in the Old Town with gabled, originally Gothic houses, later remodelled in Renaissance or Baroque style. From the 14th century it was called Ostružnická (i.e. the spur street) or Platnéřská (i.e. armour-plated street), after the most important product of the street’s craftsmen, namely spurs or armour made from plate. However, the street was also known for its production of arms. In the 17th century these crafts began to fade from the street, and from the beginning of the 19th century the street already had a new name, Klempířská (i.e. tinsmiths´street). The building U Tří jezdců (The Three Riders), No. 121, on the northern side of the street on the right, was at the beginning of the 16th century owned by the caretaker of the Old Town Clock, Jakub. The building U Železného muže (The Iron Man) beyond it, No. 119, used to be the seat (from 1573) of the Guild of Armour Makers, as is reflected in the house sign: a knight in armour.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. REINICKE & RUBIN, MAGDEBURG, 1904
157 - A view of Linhartské Square looking towards the Klementinum
The space arose here in the Middle Ages through the parcelling out of the Romanesque Jaroš Courtyard. It was on this site that, from the end of the 13th century, stood the Church of St Linhart. Near the Courtyard there was also a settlement of merchants, most likely French. From 1346 the place was used as (and called) the New Hen Market, as it specialized in selling poultry. The 16th century saw here a rise of municipal kitchens for Prague’s poor. Hence another historical name of this area, V Kuchyňkách (In the Kitchens). The Church of St Linhart and its cemetery stood originally on the site depicted in the picture (on lot No. 128). The second building on the right, No. 129, with the protruding corner, stood close to the church entrance. In front of it stands a Baroque structure which was probably constructed after demolition of the Church in 1789. Standing beyond buildings Nos. 133 and 131 (in the middle of the picture) was, until 1791, the Church of Our Lady in the Pool with a cemetery. While the left side of the Square is still extant, the buildings on the right were all demolished in 1908.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. F. J. JEDLIČKA, 1906
158 - A view of Platnéřská Street as seen from Mariánské Square, looking towards Mikulášská Street
On the left, on the northern side of the street, we can see the building U Zlaté koule (The Golden Ball), No. 106, with the inn U Města Plzně (The Town of Pilsen) with a lantern above the entrance, beyond it the Renaissance building U Sedmi Švábů (The Seven Swabians), No. 108, on the corner of Žatecká Street. (The other corner building was, from 1865, a home of the Prague executioner, J. Pipperger, an upholsterer by profession. Pipperger carried out executions till his death in 1888.) Above the intersection with Žatecká Street continues the row of buildings we can see from the opposite angle to that in picture 156. The whole street was demolished in 1908, terrain elevated by 2 metres, and on it the new axis of the new Platnéřská Street was fixed. On the site of the whole left block of buildings up to the intersection with Žatecká Street the City Library was built by F. Roith between 1926-1930. Demolition of Platnéřská Street is undoubtedly one of the worst losses that occurred in the wake of the Old Town clearance.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. K. ZUNA, AROUND 1902
159 - The northern side of Mariánské Square after demolition of the corner building No. 102 (in 1890)
On the left we can see the corner of the Klementinum, further the building housing the City Library founded in 1891. The Library was moved here in 1903. Its fund of books at the turn of the century amounted to 40 thousand volumes. The hefty four-storey building with the statue of the Virgin Mary, Nos. 101 and 103, was owned by one Sommerschus who sold and probably also produced stoves. The space around the heap of paving blocks was covered until 1791 by the Church of Our Lady in the Pool and by a cemetery (the name of the Church refers to the pools that appeared here after each summer flood). The demolished building, No. 102, in Platnéřská Street (in front of the buildings on the right) housed from 1771 the first workshop of F. Ringhoffer who enriched himself so much by the production of vats for breweries that in the course of time he could buy another five buildings in the neighbourhood. His descendants then expanded production and in 1852 moved the now legendary firm to large factory halls in the Prague Quarter of Smíchov where their activities also included production of railway and tram cars. The buildings in the picture were demolished in 1908, except for the rear wings of buildings Nos. 101 and 103, to make way for the new building of the City Library.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE AROUND 1896. Z. REACH, 1920s
160 - The northern side of Linhartské Square looking towards Mikulášská Street
On the left there is the building U Kozla (The Buck), also called U Zlatého čápa (The Golden Stork), No. 114, in the years 1840-1843 the domicile of the author of the lyrics of the Czech national anthem and playwright J. K. Tyl. Further we can see the buildings U Modré boty (The Blue Shoe), No. 129, and U Černého orla (The Black Eagle) which share the number 128 with two further structures. On the site of these two buildings and in the space in front of them stood the above cited Church of St Linhart with a cemetery. In the background we can see building No. 12, U Zlatého zvonku (The Golden Bell) with arcades, which was a part of Linhartské Square. It could not be seen from this place until 1798 as the view was obscured by the Church. All the buildings on the left side were demolished in 1908 to make way for construction of the New Town Hall. The Square was then changed into Linhartská Street, with a new, shifted street line.
FOUR-COLOUR AUTOTYPE. AFTER AN OIL-PAINTING BY J. MINAŘÍK, AROUND 1907.F. J. JEDLIČKA, AROUND 1915
161 - A picture of the north-western part of the Town Hall block taken from the roof of a building in Kaprová Street
The opening to view of the original, narrow Mikulášská Street was made possible by demolition of the whole block of old buildings delimited by Kaprová and Žatecká Streets and Linhartské Square. The group of structures we can see in the picture are among the oldest in the Old Town (prevalently Gothic, on the left side remodelled in Neo-Classical style and in Baroque style on the right side, with Nos. 12, 11 and 10 with Romanesque foundations). The best-known of them, the building U Zelené žáby (The Green Frog), No. 13, with a famous wine parlour, is in the middle of the picture, under the tower of the Old Town Hall. The enclosure on the left protects the remnants of the Romanesque building No.16, Andělská Kolej (the Angelic Hostel), the former student hostel founded by Charles IV, which was uncovered during clearance. The body of the structure was demolished in 1911, two previous years of passionate polemics and protests notwithstanding. The place became the site of the construction of the New Town Hall, currently housing the Prague City Hall.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1909
162 - A view of Mikulášská Street with a part of the New Town Hall block as seen from Kaprová Street
The tower on the left is that of the Baroque Church of St Nicholas. Alongside it is the Neo-Baroque structure of 1902 by R. Kříženecký which replaced the old Prelates’ Office of the abolished Monastery of the Slavonic Dominicans, demolished in 1897. The former Prelates’ Office housed, in the years 1859-1897, a workshop and a printing office of the well-known firm K. Bellmann which later specialised in publication of Prague postcards. Last but not least, it was the birthplace (in 1883) of the writer F. Kafka. The picture shows the situation after clearance. On the right there is the building of the New Town Hall, constructed between 1908-1911 by O. Polívka. The side wing of the Town Hall creates a part of the new Platnéřská Street. The empty lot next to the extended Kaprová Street was used in the 1920s for construction of Pragues’ City Administration Building. On the site of the stored construction material stood the former Andělská Kolej (the Angelic Hostel) (see picture 161), allegedly the oldest residential building in Prague.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. J. ŠOREYS, AROUND 1914
163 - The eastern front of the Klementinum at Mariánské Square
The Klementinum was founded by the Jesuit Order summoned to Prague by Ferdinand I on the site of the older Dominican Monastery and Church of St Clement, dating back to the 11th century (hence the Klementinum). The construction of the whole Baroque complex was begun approximately in 1600 by C. Lurago, and completed about 1730 by F. M. Kaňka, and possibly also by K. I. Dientzenhofer. The mission of the Jesuit Order was to spread the Roman Catholic faith, education and school institutions. In 1654 Ferdinand III connected the Klementinum University with Charles University into one, Charles-Ferdinand University. In 1773 the Jesuit Order was abolished, and the Klementinum became the domicile of the Archiepiscopal Seminary which was in turn moved to the Prague Quarter of Dejvice in 1928. From 1842 the tower of the astronomical observatory on the left was used for announcing noon (by thence waving a flag). The book fund of the Klementinum Library amounted in 1900 to 2 million volumes. Today the whole Klementinum complex serves the purposes of the National Library.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1899
164 - The northern side of Malé Square with a glimpse of Linhartské Square
In popular parlance the whole area used to be called (and still is by some) Malý ryneček (The Small Marketplace). On the left there is a part of building No. 143, followed by the Neo-Renaissance building U Tří bílých růží (The Three White Roses), new No. 142, built by F. Rechsiegel in the years 1895-1897 with sgraffiti designed by M. Aleš. From 1850 to 1990 this building housed the most popular ironmongery in Prague, V. J. Rott, nowadays it houses a luxurious delicatessen. The corner building U Černého beránka (The Black Lamb), No. 138, constructed in 1871 by I. Ullmann, was also owned by Rott. This building housed the Old Town Post Office. On the right we can see a part of building No. 4. In the middle of the Square there is a fountain with a Renaissance lattice from 1560, which used to be covered on the cold days of winter with wooden casing filled with manure to protect the lattice against freezing. A model of this Renaissance square(to an authentic scale) could be seen by visitors to the Ethnographic Exhibition in 1895.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. LEDERER & POPPER, 1898
165 - A view of the north-eastern front of the buildings of Malé Square
On the right we can see the Late Renaissance Petzold Building known also as Zlatý roh (The Golden Horn), No. 4. The original ground floor shops (such as that of the First Czech Dairy in Prague on the margin of the picture) were removed in the 1930s to make way for the arcade restoration. The arcades of the further five buildings had been preserved. In the background we have a glimpse of the narrow Mikulášská Lane with a part of the corner of building No. 128 on Linhartské Square, linked at this point in time with the tram system. On the left, in the space before the fountain, stands a miniaturized version of the four-branch Lindsbauer gas lamp post. In comparison with the previous picture it is obvious that the lamp post has undergone a curious adaptation of the gas lanterns with what appear to be electric bulbs.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE AROUND 1907. Z. REACH, 1920s
166 - The southern side of Malé Square
With the imposing, originally Gothic buildings owned in the past by foreign pharmacists. There were seven of them in Prague at the beginning of the 14th century, all of them settled in the Old Town, e.g. Augustino of Florence whose pharmacy was in the building U Modrého jelena (The Blue Deer, also known as the Richter House), No. 459 (the first on the left), or Angelo, likewise from Florence, whose pharmacy was in the building called V Ráji (In Paradise), No. 144 (the second on the right). The other buildings also housed apothecaries, however only one of them continues in the tradition: U Zlaté koruny (The Golden Crown), No. 457 (in the middle of the picture). Apart from medicaments the pharmacists used to produce various kinds of sweets (there were no specialised sweet shops in those days). The Blue Deer Building also made history by housing the first telephone exchange in Prague, launched in 1882 with 98 participants. Next to the fountain we can see the cast-iron stand of the municipal water main.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. PICTURE AROUND 1910. R. MACHAČ, 1914. SENT BY POST ONLY IN 1974!
182 - A view of Na Můstku (At the Bridge) Street as seen from Václavské Square, looking towards Rytířská Street
The ancient name is derived from the little stone Gothic bridge over the moat which started at a gate in the Old Town fortification, and its remnants are in the vestibule of the Můstek Metro Station. The fortification still stood here long after founding of the New Town and was demolished only at the end of the 17th century. The corner building on the right, new No. 388, constructed in 1900, was known for the department store of E. Löbl which sold cloth, and a café originally called Kovářova, later the Edison. Beyond it stands a slightly older structure with a bay called U Kasírů. Both buildings were demolished in the mid-1970s in connection with construction of the Metro, and on their site the building of the ČKD Company was erected in the 1980s. In the background, on the corner of Provaznická Street, is building No. 386 with the shop of A. Müller. At the furthest left we can see the famous jewelry shop of J. Rechner. The buildings on the left side of the street, and the original buildings on the right side, between Provaznická and Rytířská Streets, are still extant.
COLOURED COMBINED PRINT. AROUND 1905
183 - Na Můstku Street from an opposite angle to that in the previous picture
Thanks to this publicity postcard of the M. Pressburg Company (a cravat manufacturer) we have an interesting view of Václavské Square. On the left is the above-cited bay of the u Kasírů Building, new No. 387, behind it is the building U Zlatého jednorožce (The Golden Unicorn), protruding into the street. Its demolition in 1900 made it possible to shift the street line, broaden the street and to build the Löbl department store (see picture 312). On the right, behind the block of buildings, once stood the Gate of St Gall, the largest and most important gate in the Old Town fortification. However, by creating a street in this area shortly after founding of the New Town which connected the Old Town with Václavské Square, the Gate lost its significance. The striking advertisement for the Na Příkopě based money exchange of J. G. Selig proves that the busy centre of Prague could not, even a century ago, do without exchange offices.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1897
184 - A picture of Melantrichova Street as seen from Rytířská Street, showing both sides of the street
In the rear, in front of building No. 463, the street turns to the right and eventually intersects with Staroměstské Square (see picture 186). On the left we can see a small group of ladies attracted by the shop window of the firm O. Tuček. The exquisite Neo-Renaissance carved frame of the shop window is decorated on the corner by two lions, illustrating the name of this Neo-Classical building of 1835, built on the site of three small Gothic cloth shops, namely U Dvou červených lvů (The Two Red Lions). The Neo-Renaissance building, new No. 536, of 1894 on the opposite corner houses the City Savings Bank. This building also replaced the original small shops (see picture 195). It was at that time that the Prague city planners seriously considered demolition of a number of buildings between Václavské Square and Staroměstské Square in order to create a boulevard linking the two squares, passing through the Na Můstku and Melantrichova Streets.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1907
185 - The south-western side of Melantrichova Street as seen from Rytířská Street
The first two buildings on the left, Nos. 962 and 514, and the lane which separates them, arose in the 18th and 19th centuries on the site of small mediaeval textile shops. This historical past is reflected in the name of the lane: V Kotcích (The Small Shops). The third building on the left on the corner of Havelská Street was in the 14th century owned by J. Junoš, one of the handful of Prague burghers who lived in the German Havelské Town. Junoš’s building housed in 1597 the printing office of D. Sedlčanský who published what is regarded as the first Czech periodical (according to the 1903 Chronicle of J. Ruth), Noviny pořádné, probably one of the first Central European periodicals. As we can see in the picture, the streets are cleaned by women, apparently instead of the male street cleaners who had to go to war. Typical of the first war years is also the fashion of gentlemen’s straw boaters which spread like wildfire throughout Central Europe in the summer of 1914.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE AROUND 1915. Z. REACH, 1920s
186 - A section of Melantrichova Street before Staroměstské Square
On the left we can see a part of a building, with another beautifully carved window frame, which is probably a fashion shop, and beyond it two buildings of the former Servite Monastery of St Michael, Nos. 970 and 971. The Baroque Monastery of the Servites was founded in 1628, and abolished by Emperor Josef II. Next to the protruding corner with the advertisement for the C. Lüftner Company (a warehouse for leather and preparations for shoemakers) is the passage to the St Michael Church. This church, first documented in 1313, saw, 90 years later, the first preachings of Master John Huss. From the 17th century the street was called Sirková (derived from the Czech word for sulphur, which was sold here). In 1894 it was renamed after the Czech nobleman J. Melantrich from Aventinum who owned his legendary printing office in the building U Dvou velbloudů (The Two Camels), No. 471. This building is just off the picture, to the right of the photographer. The pulled-down shutters hid the shop windows of mostly furriers’ shops. The shutters had to be down as it was either Sunday or one of the church holidays, both strictly observed in the Austrian Monarchy.
187 - A view of Železná Street as seen from the Stavovské Theatre, looking towards Staroměstské Square
The name of the street was derived from the presence, from the 14th century, of many ironmongeries in the street. In the 16th century the street was inhabited by a number of foreign, especially German merchants. On the left we can see the former Monastery of the Shoe-wearing Carmelites linked to the Church of St Gall. One could get to the Church through Havelská Street which begins at the corner building U Goliáše (The Goliath). The building with an arcade and gables, No. 495, and the building beyond it, No. 494, both dating back to the 17th century, were demolished in 1898. They were replaced by a Neo-Renaissance commercial and residential building (see picture 189). On the right is the corner of the Karolinum and the lane leading to Ovocný trh Square. At the time this picture was taken, the abolished monastery housed the Association for the Advancement of Industries in Bohemia, founded in 1833. From 1849 it was the seat of the Prague Realgymnasium (grammar-school with a scientific bias) with Czech as the language of instruction, and later the seat of the Imperial Royal Lace Factory.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE 1898. Z. REACH, 1920s
188 - The intersection of Melantrichova Street with Staroměstské Square
With the buildings Na Kamenci (On the Stone) and U Vola (The Ox). Both buildings are connected by a horizontal arch. The narrowness and meandering of mediaeval lanes was partly unintentional, partly intentional. In the first case it was the result of the more or less spontaneous attempt to make the most of the available space and to broaden one’s own premises at the expense of the public road. This arbitrariness was in some cases so flagrant that the use of parcels for building had to be regulated by special rules. In cases where this was intentional, the reasons were defensive, especially in towns bothered by frequent enemy attacks, as the meandering streets offered better cover to the defenders when retreating. In this Sunday picture we can see the above-mentioned shops of A. Horák and E. Bittner (see picture 168).
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE AROUND 1910. Z. REACH, 1920s
189 - A view of Železná Street as seen from Rytířská Street
From an angle opposite to that in picture 187. The present picture was taken several years later and from a greater distance. In the picture we can see the corner of No. 539 with a shop selling linen goods, and a part of the front of what is now called Stavovské divadlo (The Theatre of the Estates) and what was then the Royal Provincial German Theatre. On the site of two houses called U Goliáše (The Goliath) stands a five-storey Neo-Renaissance building of the same name. The name is also epitomised by the statue on the level of the second storey. Behind the Theatre we can see a part of the building of the Karolinum. Beyond it the street turns somewhat to the left and ends at the intersection with Staroměstské Square.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1907
190 - Vejvodova Street, narrow and picturesque, as seen from Jilská Street, looking towards Michalská Street
On the right we can see a part of the building U Zlatého kohouta (The Golden Rooster), No. 430 (with a second front facing Michalská Street), further the building U Žluté růže (The Yellow Rose), No. 431, with an unusual roofed underpass which houses a part of a flat. Vejvodova Street owes its name to the Lord Mayor J. V. Vejvoda who, in the 18th century, owned a building on the corner of Jilská Street (No. 353 - on the right, just off the picture). Previously the street was called Míčová (Ball Street), after the real tennis court at the house on the opposite corner of Jilská Street (No. 445, on the left, just off the picture). This house was bought in 1675 by the Italian V. Ringolini. It was the venue not only of ball games, but also of dancing parties. Ringolini was one of the dancing masters who taught Prague people how to dance foreign dances. He also acquired the exclusive right to hold balls in the Old Town.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1909
191 - The building of the Karolinum on the corner of Železná Street and Ovocný trh Square
This centre of Charles University, the oldest university in Central Europe, has always been connected with fate and social development of the Czech nation. This was the case with issuing of the Decree of Kutná Hora, with activities of John Huss, or with the student movement in 1848. The university was founded by Charles IV on April 7, 1348 for the good of the Kingdom of Bohemia so that its inhabitants eager to get acquainted with arts would not have to look for this abroad, but would have access to these arts in their own kingdom. Of the original Gothic Rothlev House only the bay Chapel of St Cosmo and St Damian survived the Baroque remodelling by F. M. Kaňka. The ground floor used to house shops of booksellers and pharmacists. Around the year 1910 the building housed a hairdressers and the Maader and Son Company - the exclusive representative office of the fishing company Nordsee. The space between the Karolinum and the Stavovské Theatre (on the right) was used for trading in dogs.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE AROUND 1910. Z. REACH, 1920s
192 - A view of Havířská Street as seen from the Stavovské Theatre, looking towards Na Příkopě Street
The name of the street has nothing to do with mining (as the Czech meaning of the street name might indicate), but apparently arose as a corruption of a name or a nickname of one or other of the two owners of buildings in this street (Haller and Tobiáš, who both hailed from Kutná Hora, a famous mining town). The street arose through demolition of a part of the city fortification in approximately 1402. The fortification ran approximately along the line of Provaznická Street, behind the second building on the right. The fronts of the mediaeval buildings standing before them, faced Ovocný trh Square. The structures in the street are mostly Neo-Classical, with exception of the corner Baroque building on the right, No. 398. The opposite corner house U Modrého hroznu (The Blue Grapes), No. 580, was also Baroque, and in the 18th and 19th centuries housed a well-known café and wine-parlour frequented by patrons of the adjacent theatre who came here after the performance through a covered corridor linking the two buildings. After demolition of the house U Modrého hroznu a new building was constructed here in 1899. In the background we can see the Rococo Sylva-Tarouc Palace in Na Příkopě Street.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE AROUND 1910. Z. REACH, 1920s
193 - The interior of the Old Town Marketplace
It was on this site that food and all kinds of articles were sold in the open. Only increased hygienic demands of the 19th century, as well as technical developments (electricity, artificial refridgeration, heating, water mains, etc.) led to construction of covered market halls with all the appropriate facilities. The first market built by the City of Prague was erected in the public space between the new building complexes in Rytířská and Ovocná Streets in the years 1894-1897 at a cost of 2.7 million crowns. In the passage-like market hall accessible from both these streets were over 300 stalls located among cast iron columns supporting the glassed roof. Moving of the stallholders from the open air to the market hall was no easy matter. The stallholders, mostly women, were averse to the many novelties, not to speak of the fact that the rent for the market hall stalls was by no means negligible. However, eventually the spacious hall housed the majority of the open-air stallholders from Vaječný trh (The Egg Market) in Rytířská Street.
LACQUERED COLOURED COMBINED PRINT. D. KOSINER AND CO., 1907
194 - Rytířská Street
Rytířská Street between Uhelný trh and Ovocný trh Squares with the Stavovské Theatre in the background. The name of the street (the Street of Knights) was derived from the knightly tournaments documented for the first time in connection with the Czech coronation of Charles IV, and carried on still in the 18th century. Otherwise, the street was best known as a marketplace, one of the largest in Prague, with a number of stalls both in the street and under the arcades, full of hustle and bustle. The articles sold here included practically everything: both dead and live poultry, eggs, curds, butter, soups, doughnuts, coffee, etc. The whole pother ended here in 1897 with construction of the market hall inside the Neo-Renaissance administrative building designed by J. Fialka. The hefty five-storey structure was built on the site of four old houses, Nos. 405 to 408. Of the old buildings we can actually see only the first three buildings on the right, originally mediaeval, with arcades. The middle of the three buildings (No. 410) was from 1651 the domicile of the famous Baroque sculptor J. J. Bendl.
PHOTOTYPE. H. SEIBT, MEISSEN, AROUND 1898
195 - Rytířská (Knight) Street between the Stavovské Theatre and Uhelný trh Square
It was originally a part of the New Marketplace in the Havelská (St Gall) Quarter, founded in the 13th century and inhabited by German settlers. The Marketplace had an advantageous location between the Old and the New Towns, and its importance grew even more after Charles IV had ordered moving of the sale of some articles to this market from Staroměstské Square. The stalls in Rytířská Street offered such varied articles as cloth and fur, but also meat. After demolition of the stalls in 1891 the street saw construction of the City Savings Bank designed by O. Polívka and A. Wiehl, and built in the years 1892-1894 at the cost of 1.2 million crowns. Cecorations on and in the building were created by some of the leading sculptors and painters of the time. The originally three-storey structure (in the picture) was elevated in the 1930s by one more storey. On the right we can see a part of the former Carmelite Monastery, a Baroque building of 1671. In 1848 it housed the St Wenceslas Committee, the leading Czech political authority during the revolution of that year.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. LEDERER & POPPER, AROUND 1900
196 - A part of Rytířská (Knight) Street
Between Melantrichova and Na Můstku Streets, looking towards the Stavovské Theatre. Until the end of the 19th century this area was one of Prague’s busiest marketplaces. The stretch on the left side used to be called Husí trh, i.e. The Goose Market, as geese were sold here direct from the wagons (a decent half of a goose then cost one and a half guldens). In the area on the right side one could buy ironware and other kitchen utensils. On the left we can see the corner of the newly built City Savings Bank, on the opposite corner we can see the house U Modré růže (The Blue Rose), No. 403, with the originally Gothic tower which was a part of the Havelské Town fortification. The picture makes it obvious that most of the market people had already moved to the nearby market hall. The hustle and bustle and the usual haggling over prices were replaced by the a metropolitan image of carriages and pedestrians heading for Václavské Square.
PHOTOTYPE. E. SCHMIDT, DRESDEN - BUDAPEST, 1899
197 - Rytířská (Knight) Street with the Stavovské (Nosticovo) Theatre and the former St Gall Carmelite Monastery
The Stavovské Theatre was built in Neo-Classical style in the years 1781-1783 by A. Haffenecker. It was further adapted in the 19th and the 20th centuries. The Theatre was founded by count Nostic-Rieneck, a member of a group of patriotic Czech noblemen aiming to uplift Prague’s cultural life. The Theatre became famous thanks to its performances of W. A. Mozart: The Marriage of Figaro and the premiere of Don Giovanni in 1787. Language of the performances was prevalently German (until 1920), but at certain periods also Czech. Thus, e.g., in 1834 the Theatre saw a performance of J. K. Tyl’s comedy Fidlovačka to the music of F. Škroup, which included the future Czech national anthem Kde domov můj. The monastery building on the left was built in early Baroque style by D. Orsi and M. Lurago. On the right we can still see a few remaining stalls.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1900
198 - The northern side of Havelská Street (also called Zelený/Zelný trh)
The area is a part of the former marketplace of the Havelské Town. The street saw, among other things, the cheerful coronation of Wenceslas II on June 2, 1297 when wells yielded wine rather than the usual water. Another famous historical celebration took place here in connection with the coronation of Charles IV on September 2, 1347. After 1362 the original marketplace of Havelské Town was divided by small shops into two parallel streets, today’s Rytířská and Havelská (in the picture). The houses with Gothic arcades have retained their historical appearance until today, with exception of the corner house U Mrázů, No. 504 (on the right) which was in the 1920s insensitively reconstructed for purposes of the bank on the opposite corner. The Czech name of the market (Zelený or Zelný) means Green or Cabbage, with vegetables still being the chief article sold here today. Even though the picturesque sun-shades and the baskets of the market women belong to the past, the local marketplace remains the most popular marketplace in Prague.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1907
199 - The north-eastern side of Uhelný trh Square as seen from the intersection with Martinská Street
It is from here that we can best see how the original marketplace of Havelské Town gradually split - through erection of stalls and of two rows of buildings - into three streets: Rytířská, V Kotcích and Havelská. On the left the square intersects with Skořepka Street. Protruding in front of the intersection is building No. 424, with the café U Tří stupňů (The Three Grades) (see picture 201). Until the beginning of the 19th century there was a smithy in the middle of the Square which also sold charcoal - hence also the Czech name of the Square: Uhelný trh (The Coal Market). At the time of taking of the picture the articles sold here also included cut flowers and funeral wreaths. As in Ovocný trh, the Uhelný trh Square was also location of many refreshment stalls. Until the First World War you could obtain here a ladle of hot potatoes or noodles, a cupful of soup or a big doughnut, any of these for a mere two kreutzers.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1900
200 - The south-eastern side of Ovocný trh (The Fruit Market) Square
From the 14th century to the 18th century the Square was called Masný trh (The Meat Market) after the chief article sold here in this period. From the 18th century the market was reserved for sale of vegetables. It was open throughout the year, with the busiest time being obviously between spring and autumn. But even at times when no fresh local fruit was available, the stalls offered dates, figs, oranges, pressed appricots, nuts and many other fruits. The first buildings on the right, Nos. 576-574 (the last one with a passage to Na Příkopě Street), were demolished at the end of the 1920s. For a long time it remained empty, until in 1997 the commercial centre Myslbek was constructed here. The fourth building, No. 573, with the former hostel established in 1381 by Wenceslas IV for masters of the free arts, was also used as a passage to Na Příkopě Street, but was broader, with a number of small shops, especially furniture shops. This commercial passage, one of the first in Prague, was established in 1872. The next building with the broken gable housed, in the years 1539-1784, the Prague Mint.
PHOTOTYPE. PROBABLY E. ČÍŽEK, AROUND 1900
201 - The building with the Café U Tří stupňů (The Three Grades) in Uhelný trh Square, No. 424
It is the only building of the row of arcaded old buildings which lined the western side of the Square which is still extant. All the other buildings were demolished and on their site was constructed the residential building U Šturmů (on the left, on the corner of Skořepka Street), and in 1883 a school building (on the right). The Café, also called U Sester kafíčkových (The Coffee Sisters), was mostly frequented by greengrocers and other stallholders. A hefty cup of coffee with milk was offered at a price of 8 kreutzers, i.e. 16 hellers, at a time when, for instance, a stamp for a postcard cost 5 hellers. The second-hand clothing shop (next to the Café) certainly suffered from no dearth of customers. The market woman in the foreground is selling her products immediately from her basket. This postcard was used by the owner of the Café for publicity purposes.
PHOTOTYPE. UNIE PRAGUE, AROUND 1900
202 - The north-western side of Ovocný trh Square looking towards Celetná Street
The first two buildings on the left, Nos. 560 and 563, were in the 1960s reconstructed for use by Charles University. The fifth, five-storey building U České orlice (The Czech Eagle) was constructed in 1896 by F. Ohmann in an attempt to create a specific Czech architectural style combining elements of Gothic, Renaissance and Czech folk architecture. At the end of the row we can see the building U Zlaté mříže (The Golden Bar), No. 570, replaced in 1912 by Gočár’s Cubist building. In the background we can see the jagged wing of building No. 587 which, in the revolutionary year 1848, housed the headquarters of the ill-famed Austrian General Windischgrätz who suppressed the democratic rebellion. Interesting period details include the gas lamps lighting the shop windows on the right, as well as the stylish public convenience behind the sun-shades.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1899
203 - The Church of St Gall (Havel in Czech) as seen from Zelný trh Square
The originally Gothic church was founded by Wenceslas I in 1232 as the parish church for the Havelské Town. Later the Church served as a grave for remains of St Gall acquired by Charles IV in St Gallen, Switzerland. The Baroque remodelling of the Church was carried out in 1723-1738. Unfortunately, the Neo- Renaissance building of the City Savings Bank built on the site of the former stalls partly obscures the view of the Church. The area in front of the Church, and the narrow lane along it, was in the 18th century covered by stalls, standing mostly in the arcades, and rented from their Christian owners by Jewish merchants from the ghetto. Due to the noise of their trading, the Jewish merchants had permanent conflicts with the Carmelites. This area was called the Jewish Tandlmarkt, to differentiate it from the Christian Tandlmarkt on the site of Zelný trh Square.
PHOTOTYPE. KOLEM 1900
204 - The courtyard of the Mühldorf House, No. 185, with a passage conecting Anenská and Karlova Streets
The original low-rise mediaeval structure was reconstructed many times over, as is attested by its current four storeys with its Neo-Classical front facing Karlova Street, and by its courtyard annexes with a porch and the large lunette windows. In contrast to the small windows of the main wing, these had the advantage of allowing more sunlight into the flats, certainly a fact welcomed by families with children who were tenants of this building. Apart from the posing family, we can also see omnipresent, practical two-wheeled carts. From 1902 the building was owned by the Jewish religious community which also established here a ritual mikve bath. In the period between the two world wars the Prague brewery Pragovar opened here the beerhouse U Rytíře Malvaze which until recently served many generations of students who came here from the nearby Klementinum Library.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1909
205 - The southern part of Husova Street from the Church of St Giles, looking towards Na Perštýně Street
Originally Dominikánská (Dominican) Street, it was renamed in 1870 after the church reformer Master John Huss. On the right we can see building No. 241 which, from the end of the 14th century, held the Archives of the Property Register of the Czech Kingdom. The third building on the right housed the German Technical University in Prague, while the Czech Technical University had its home in Charles Square. The corner building, No. 236, housed the Old Prague Pub called U Vocelků, renowned for its cuisine and good beer. The large shady garden was on Sundays the venue of afternoon and evening brass band concerts which diffused noise throughout the otherwise quiet environment.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1902
206 - Betlemské (Bethlehem) Square looking west
In the middle we can see the bulky house U Halánků, No. 269, a former brewery plus malthouse owned from 1826 by the Náprstek family. V. Náprstek, a Czech patriot and traveller, inspired by technical progress in America, decided on his return from the U.S. in 1858 to found a Czech Industrial Museum. He used the building U Halánků for this purpose and also, in 1886, the newly-built four-storey building (in the background) designed by A. Baum and B. Münzberger. Later the Museum also included ethnographic and historic collections. In the Middle Ages the Square was the site of the Bethlehem Chapel used by John Huss for his preachings. The Chapel was demolished in 1784 and its remnants can be found in the building No. 255 (at the furthest right). In the 1950s, following demolition of both buildings on the right, the Chapel was reconstructed in a somewhat modified form.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1900
207 - The northern part of Husova Street
Between the intersections with Karlova Street and Mariánské Square. On the right we can see the house U Hesínů, No. 154, with the exquisitely carved shop-window of the firm Raymann and Co. which had here a store for its linen and table-cloths. The Austrian Eagle with two heads, with the imperial crown and with winged lions on the sides, attests to the fact that this firm was an Imperial Royal Court supplier. The next building, the originally mediaeval house U Zlatého koníka (The Golden Horse), was remodelled in Neo-Classical style in 1804. Behind it stands one of the leading works of the Prague Baroque, the monumental Clam-Gallas Palace built in 1713-1729 by J. B. Fischer of Erlach. It was in fact a reconstruction, using remnants of the Gothic palace of the margrave John Henry, brother of Charles IV. The decoration, including the eight giants on both entrance portals, is the work of M. Braun. Currently the building houses the Prague City Archives, founded in 1851. The original location of the City Archives was in the northern wing of the Old Town Hall which burnt down during the anti-Nazi uprising in May 1945. While a great deal of the archive materials burned to ashes, the preserved documents were deposited in the Clam-Gallas Palace.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1899
208 - Seminářská Street
Meandering around the Klementinum complex to the right to Karlova Street. The name of the street was derived from the General Seminary for Priests founded in 1783 by Josef II in the Klementinum. Looking at the sunlit facades, we can see on the left in the shade a part of the Trauttmannsdorf House, No. 159, earmarked for demolition to provide the Seminary standing on the opposite side of the street with more light. Fortunately, the plan was never realised. The following building, the little Nostic House, also called U Černé hvězdy (The Black Star), No. 177, is a Renaissance structure with exquisite sgraffiti on the front. The street continues with building No. 176 with a Baroque front, followed by the house U Zlaté studně (The Golden Well) with Baroque porches on brackets, a bay and two gables. In 1900 the City Electric Transportation Company intended to include even this narrow lane in the tram network. However, the protests of experts and of the Club for Old Prague, prevented this plan from materialising.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1909
209 - The house U Zlaté studně (The Golden Well), No. 175
On the corner of Karlova and Seminářská Streets. The name of the house was apparently derived from a legend about gold treasure hidden in the local well. The facade of the originally mediaeval house is remarkable thanks to its Baroque stucco decoration by J. O. Mayer dating from the beginning of the 17th century. The front relief shows altogether seven saints, including St Rochus, the patron saint of plague sufferers (on the right above the shop window). St Rochus apparently owes his inclusion among the saints to the fact that the house owner, J. Wersser, and his wife survived the plague epidemic of 1714. Due to the decrepit state of the house, it underwent a partial renovation in 1957 during which the shop window was removed. The structure returned to its original beauty only in 1987 when the fourth storey was completely rebuilt. The building was connected with the adjacent building in Seminářská Street which had to be rebuilt too. Karlova Street (on the right), although narrow and meandering, used to be one of the most important and busy streets of Prague, a part of the Royal Coronation Route, and a part of routes for other processions between Staroměstské Square and the Castle.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE AROUND 1910. Z. REACH, 1920s
210 - A view of the intersection of Jilská and Jalovcová and Karlova Street
A view of the intersection of Jilská (on the right) and Jalovcová (on the left) and the little Karlova Street in the background. This is how the final stretch of Karlova Streets between Husova Street and Malé Square, a part of which we can see behind the group of buildings in the middle, was popularly known. The little Karlova Street runs a somewhat complicated course in this area. It starts behind the first building on the left, it turns into the above-described stretch, and finally ends in Malé Square (in the background on the right). Jilská (St Giles) Street is so called after the nearby Church of St Giles of the 14th century, belonging to the Dominican Monastery. The first house on the left, U Kočků, No. 147, originally Gothic with a Romanesque core, a wonderful Baroque front and portal, was owned around the year 1700 by I. Bull, the administrator of tobacco production in Bohemia. The opposite building, U Velryby (The Whale), No. 453, used to house the Czech People’s Bookshop, including a secondhand bookshop, and the publishing house of J. Springer which specialised in musical literature.
PHOTOTYPE. AROUND 1900
211 - The little Karlova Street, looking towards Jilská Street
The narrow lane was part of the Royal Coronation Route. It used to be one of the busiest Old Town streets with a large number of shops. On the left we can see the above-mentioned house U Hesínů, housing the shop of Raymann and Company, and beyond it building No. 152. Further, we can see building No. 149 with its three dormer-windows in the gable. It arose through linking of two Gothic houses and by their Neo-Renaissance remodelling in around 1600. It has a beautiful courtyard with Renaissance arcades, and with Renaissance and Baroque ceilings in some rooms. On the building we can see the circular-shaped advertisement for jackets manufactured by the Dejl Company. Beyond it is No. 146, whose corner can be seen in picture 210. This building housed the umbrella shop of J. Morgenstern. On the right we can see the house U Panny Marie Pomocné (Our Lady of Succour) of the 14th century, with a facade remodelled in Neo-Classical style, and with the clothing shop of J. Löbl. The shop windows have their own electric lighting. The first shop on the left has only the metal holders on which the lights are yet to be fixed.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE AROUND 1912. Z. REACH, 1920s
212 - Křižovnické (Knights of the Cross) Square as seen from the Old Town Bridge Tower
Its present appearance dates back to 1849 when the statue of Charles IV was erected here at a cost of 60 thousand guldens (acquired through public collection). The dominant structure of the Square is the domed St Francis Seraphinus Church of the Knights of the Cross, built between 1679 and 1688 to the plans of the French architect J. B. Mathey. The Church is a part of the Monastery of the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star, the only purely Czech order, founded by St Agnes of Bohemia in the 13th century. In the middle we can see an entrance to the Klementinum, next to it the Church of St Salvator, founded in 1578 by the Jesuits. The Early Baroque front of the Church was finished in 1601. The entrance portico is most probably the work of C. Lurago, the statues on the front were created by J. J. Bendl. In the background we can see an electric tram passing from the National Theatre to Linhartské Square, while the horse-drawn tram in the opposite direction is heading for the Charles Bridge.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. 1905
213 - The Old Town Mills and Waterworks with Novotného lávka (Novotný Bridge) (on the left) and the Karlovy (Charles) Baths
The access bridge is so named after an old Prague family of millers. Mills stood in this place from time immemorial, and in the 15th century a water tower was added (in the middle). The water ran from the tower through a wooden pipe-line to public fountains. The buildings in the picture were built later, after two large fires in 1848 and 1878. On the left we can see the Waterworks, No. 201, built by A. Wiehl in 1883 on the site of a burnt-out mill in the Czech Neo-Renaissance style. Another building on the site of the Mills, No. 200, also dates back to the end of the 19th century. The Waterworks was closed in 1913, following construction of a water main bringing water from Kárané. The buildings to the right of the tower, standing along Poštovská Street, Nos. 198-194, were constructed after 1848. The middle double building housed, until the 1970s, the Karlovy Baths. The new building (at the time of taking of this picture on the right), new No. 206, was built after 1896 on the site of three older buildings.
PHOTOTYPE. AROUND 1900
214 - The first Prague embankment, the Franz Embankment
Was constructed after demolition of old buildings in the period 1841-1843. After Na Příkopě and Ferdinandova Streets, this was the third Prague promenade, affording a new, intriguing view of the Hradčany Castle. The Neo-Gothic statue with the equestrian statue of Emperor Franz I was erected at the expense of the Czech Estates. The foundation stone was laid in August 1845 on occasion of the arrival of the first train in Prague. The statue has a shape of a Gothic tower with the bronze statue, created to the model of J. Max, inserted into it. In the lower part of the statue, which serves as a fountain, we can see 25 allegorical stone statues by the same sculptor. In 1919, after the Czech Declaration of Independence, this pro-Austrian statue was moved to the Lapidarium of the National Museum, while a part of the original monument still adorns the Embankment. The buildings in the picture are Neo-Classical. Electric trams started to operate on the Embankment in 1901.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. 1901
215 - The last journey of a horse-drawn tram
From Křížovnické Square over Charles Bridge to the Lesser Town on May 13, 1905. In front of the white horses drawing the festively decorated car full of passengers went a policeman, behind the carriage a numerous crowd of Prague locals. After that horse-drawn trams were replaced by electric trams with special electric mains providing power from below (see the caption to picture 38), because conservation considerations ruled out erection of columns for electric trolley wires. Humorous periodicals then suggested that the wires could be fixed to the throats of the stone saints on the Bridge. A humorous postcard illustrating this idea was even published. At any rate, the supply of electricity from below led to many problems and, following intervention of the General Inspectorate of the Austrian Railways, the trams were withdrawn from Charles Bridge for good after three years of operation, even though the trackage remained here till 1914. In the picture, behind the horse-drawn car, we can see electric trolley wires leading to both routes connecting Křižovnické Square and the Franz Embankment. It is a little curious that the optician J. Šebek anounces in his advertisement (next to one of the thoroughfares) that he has at his disposal his own home telegraph.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE 1905. Z. REACH, 1920s
217 - The garden restaurant on Střelecký ostrov (Fusilier Island)
It offered a place of repose in the midst of nature and in the shade of trees in the very heart of Prague. The music pavilion in the background hosted a military band every day. In some restaurants it was usual to print the programme on the back of postcards which could be posted by the visitors during the concert. The name of the Island is fitting as it has always been used for shooting (first with bows, later with rifles). However, the Island was also the site of mills, and for some time it was used for growing hops. Prague’s marksmen began to use the Island under Emperor Ferdinand I, and in 1742 they acquired the Island which became their property. In 1812 they opened a new shooting range and an inn. The shooters here also included - during their Prague stays - Emperor Franz Josef I and the Crown Prince Rudolf. In 1882 the Island hosted the first grand Sokol Rally. The Island was also sought out by workers’ organizations for their celebrations - thus it hosted the first May day celebrations in Bohemia in 1890. The Island also had its own baths and a swimming pool. Information on the entrance fees appears on the board fixed to the tree.
PHOTOTYPE. E. JÍLOVSKÝ, 1916
218 - A bird’s-eye view of the former Convent of St Anna
Between Anenské Square (on the left) and Liliová Street (behind the Church). However, the picture is not necessarily quite true to reality. The Convent, No. 211, was founded as a Templar monastery in the 13th century. From 1313 it housed nuns belonging to the Convent of St Dominic, whose spiritual needs were met by the new Gothic red-brick Church of St Anna (in the picture without the tower which was removed in 1870). Following closure of the Convent and the Church, the buildings were bought in 1795 by the printer Schönfeld. He quickly became rich through publication of official gazettes in both German and Czech from 1786, and so he could devote himself to his passion - collecting antiques. From 1835 the buildings housed the printing firm of B. Haas, which also owned the adjacent building No. 948 (with the chimney) which housed a part of the printing office and a storehouse.
PHOTOGRAVURE. PROBABLY AFTER A WATER-COLOUR OR GOUACHE FROM AROUND 1900. PUBLISHED AFTER 1910
219 - The Emperor Franz Chain Bridge connecting Ferdinandova Street via the Střelecký Island with Chotkova Street
It was built in the years 1839-1841 by V. Lanna to the plans of B. Schnirch. Until then Prague had only one bridge - Charles Bridge. The chain bridge had five quarry-stone pillars, it was borne by four chains on either side, and the bridge decking and railing were wooden. Built at the cost of 333 thousand guldens, it was no doubt elegant, but its unstable construction led to swaying, and it could not be used by the horse-drawn trams. The passengers had to get off at the National Theatre, cross the Bridge on foot, and continue on the other side by taking another tram. At the same time the crossing of the Bridge was mercilessly taxed at 1 kreutzer (no bridge toll was collected on Charles Bridge). As early as 1870 experts aired their objections to the lack of safety of the Bridge, its use was gradually limited, and finally in 1898 it was removed.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. AROUND 1896
220 - A temporary bridge
A temporary bridge, serving during construction of the new Emperor Franz Bridge in the years 1898-1901, as seen from the Old Town side. The wooden bridge was constructed, thanks to the famed workmanship of Prague carpenters, in a mere 4 months, 33 metres streamwards from the old bridge, at the cost of 260,000 crowns. It was 343 metres long, 7.3 metres wide and consisted of 17 sections. How thoughtful and frugal the project was, is attested by the fact that the axis of the bridge was determined in a way that would prevent any damage to the verdour on both Střelecký Island and the embankment. Its construction, moreover, was carried out with the intention of moving the whole bridge to the Quarter of Libeň after it had met its purpose. It was dismantled in 1902, and from 1903 it connected, after being extended by 57 metres (at the cost of 360,000 crowns), the quarters of Libeň and Holešovice. This wooden bridge served this purpose until construction of the present stone bridge in the 1920s.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1899
221 - The Emperor Franz Bridge
Not the Franz Josef I Bridge as it says by mistake on the postcard, made of stone (nowadays Most Legií, i.e. the Bridge of Legions), as seen from Chotkova Road. It was built in 1898-1901 on the site of the original chain bridge (see picture 219) by the Hungarian company Gregersen and Son, to the designs of A. Balšánek. The pillars began to be built under the old bridge, as the new temporary bridge nearby was not yet completed. It was only after completion and opening of the temporary bridge and after removal of the old chain bridge that the building of the new bridge could continue. The Bridge has 10 pillars and 9 vault sections, is 343 metres long and 16.4 metres wide. The total cost of the construction amounted to 3.9 million crowns. The opening of the Bridge in 1901 occurred in the presence of Emperor Franz Josef I himself. Thanks to an ambiguous newspaper caption under a picture showing the Emperor on a walk across the bridge, referring to this activity as Procházka (meaning a walk, but at the same time one of the most frequent Czech surnames), the irreverent Prague people nicknamed the ruler old Procházka. On the sides we can see the stone huts of the bridge toll collectors.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. F. J. JEDLIČKA, AROUND 1902
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