Prague Castle District and Little Quarter Hradcany Mala Strana
The Castle District (Hradcany) refers of course, to the area around the Prague Castle. The Little Quarter (Mala Strana) is the area between the castle and the Vltava River. The Prague Castle was built at a high point, back from the Vltava River, in the 9th Century. The town developed around the castle and eventually spread over to the Little Quarter. The Castle District is the main attraction in Prague, and the castle itself contains numerous attractions within its walls. The Little Quarter is known for its extraordinary old mansions and gardens.
Prague Castle District and Little Quarter Map
Established in the 12th century, the Strohav Monaster and Library is a collection of buildings that is amongst the oldest in Prague. The Monastery is known for its two fine Baroque libraries.
The Sternberk Palace (Sternbersky palác) was built for Count Václav Vojtech of Šternberk and Klára of Maltzan. The Baroque palace was constructed in the late 17th Century. In the early 19th century the building was acquired by Society of Patriotic Friends of Art, at which time it was renovated extensively. The building exchanged hands and was used for other purposes until it fell to the National Gallery after the Second World War.The Sternberk Palace is now considered to be the center piece of the National Gallery, housing some of its most famous artworks. The gallery's banner is "European Art from the Classical Era to the close of the Baroque period. On display are ancient Greek and Roman pieces, and 14th to 16th Century Italian masterpieces from the Konopište Castle collection. On the second floor is where visitors will find some of the main highlights of the gallery, with 16th to 18th Century paintings by such artists as Tintoretto, Ribera, Tiepolo, El Greco, Goya, Rubens, van Dyck, Rembrandt, Hals, Terborch, Ruysdale and van Goyen.16th to 18th Century German and Austrian art is located on the ground floor. There are also drawings, sketches, crafts, and other artworks housed at the Sternberk Palace.
Built on Petrín Hill, Petrín Tower (Rozhledna) is a mini replica of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Visitors can climb the Petrín Tower and be treated to the panoramic view. Although the tower only stands one fifth as high as the Eiffel Tower, the Petrín Towers position high on the hill, gives it extra height allowing for the extraordinary view. The tower was built out of used railway track in time for the 1891 Exhibition in Prague. It was originally constructed at a different location and moved to Petrín Hill in the 1930s.Visitors can climb the hill or take the funicular railway. There are also walking trails on the hill and gardens, making this a very pleasant area to spend some time. At the base of the Petrín Tower is a café.
St. George's Convent at Prague Castle
St. George's Convent at Prague Castle (Kláster sv. Jirí na Prazském hrade) stands next to the basilica. This Benedictine convent was founded in the 10th Century and was secularized in the late 18th Century during the reign of Joseph II. In the 1950s St George's Convent was renovated to accommodate a gallery. The building is one of the venues used to display collections from the Prague National Gallery. On display at the convent are Baroque paintings and sculptures by Czech artists. The main artists represented at the gallery are Karel Škréta, Petr Brandl, Václav Vavrinec Reiner, and Matyáš Bernard Braun. The gallery is also known for its collection of portraits by Jan Kupeck
The Lennon Wall in Prague is a tribute to the rock singer John Lennon. When Lennon was killed in 1980, this wall, not far from the Charles Bridge, became a place of out pouring for the people of Prague who painted it with graffiti. It became a sort of memorial wall, which despite police efforts to paint over and clean off on a regular basis, kept coming back. Although the communist era was taking its toll on the Czech population, John Lennon's lyrics offered hope and an idealistic vision of what could be. Today the Lennon Wall is still a symbol and a memorial. People come here each year at the anniversary of his death.
Prague Church of St Nicholas
Located on Little Quarter Square, the Church of St Nicholas (Kostel sv Mikulase) was built by the Jesuits in the 18th Century. It is a fine example of High Baroque and was designed by K. I. Dienzenhofer, who is known for some of his other architectural accomplishments around Prague. The interior houses a unique 19th Century chandelier from the town of Harrachov. It also contains large paintings by Karel Skreta a well known Czech painter from the Baroque period. The Church of St Nicholas also features a bell tower which visitors are permitted to climb. From the top there are great views of the church's dome and the city.
Map - Prague Castle District and Little Quarter
Map of Prague Attractions