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Prague - Charles Bridge and Lesser Town

Updated: May 28, 2023

Second of three posts all about beautiful Prague.


Lesser Quarter / Little Quarter / Lesser Town (Malá Strana)


Lesser Quarter, Little Quarter or Lesser Town is the large area below Prague Castle to the Vltava River and the Charles Bridge. Due to devastating fires in the 15th and 16th centuries, everything was rebuilt in Baroque style architecture.


From the cobblestones to the lantern lit streets – it’s as though you have stepped back in time. This quarter is full of shops, pubs and restaurants, as well as charming Baroque palaces.


Little or Lesser Quarter - Malá Strana
Little or Lesser Quarter - Malá Strana

The Lesser Town square has been the heart of this quarter for more than 1000 years. It’s here where Czech nobles gathered in 1618, triggering a series of events that resulted in the Thirty Years War.


It’s also where you’ll find St Nicholas Church, one of the most important High Baroque buildings in the city. Its bell tower was one used to warn people of fire and the Secret Service used it as an observation point during Prague’s Communist period.


St. Nicholas Church in Little or Lesser Town, or Malá Strana, viewed from the Castle
St. Nicholas Church in Little or Lesser Town, or Malá Strana, viewed from the Castle

It is still a church, and now also serves as a concert venue. Famous composers, Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart both had concerts at this Church.


Kampa Island


Kampa Island is such a quiet peaceful respite just off of the busy Charles Bridge. This is where the locals come with their families and enjoy the outdoors and take in the incredible scenic views of the Vlata River. It is also where you will find the Kampa Modern Art Museum or where you will find outdoor sculptures and events.


Kampa Island Christmas Market
Kampa Island Christmas Market

Historically, this area used water mills to power local homes and businesses. Today, only two mills remain along the canal, known as Devil’s Stream. It is a picturesque area with tiny stone bridges that allow you glimpses of the former mills flanking either side of the canal.




Charles Bridge (Karlův most)


Charles Bridge (Karlův most) is a medieval stone arch bridge that crosses the Vltava river. Its construction started in 1357 under King Charles IV, and finished in the early 15th century. This new bridge was originally called Stone Bridge or Prague Bridge, but has been referred to as "Charles Bridge" since 1870.


Charles Bridge (Karlův most) at Night
Charles Bridge (Karlův most) at Night

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the bridge is 516 metres long and nearly 10 metres wide, it was built as a bow bridge with 16 arches shielded by ice guards.


Charles Bridge (viewed from Letna Gardens)
Charles Bridge (viewed from Letna Gardens)

It is protected by three bridge towers, two on the Lesser Quarter side (including the Malá Strana Bridge Tower) and one on the Old Town side, the Old Town Bridge Tower.


Old Town Bridge Tower
Old Town Bridge Tower

Malá Strana Bridge Tower
Malá Strana Bridge Tower

The bridge is decorated by a continuous alley of 30 statues and statuaries, most of them baroque-style, originally erected around 1700, but now all have been replaced by replicas.


Charles Bridge and Statues
Charles Bridge and Statues

Most sculptures were erected between 1683 and 1714. They depict various saints and patron saints venerated at that time.



You will find various performers and artists along the Charles Bridge, night and day!




Read more about Prague:




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Комментарии


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