Its predecessor was an old street existing long before the establishment of the city. Houses and courts gradually agglomerated along this street. More continuous housing development was created in the lower part of the street after the construction of Přemyslid walls, and in the upper part as late as after the construction of Gothic walls under Charles IV. Until the 16th century its lower part - from Malostranské Square to the Church of the Virgin Mary - was named after the Strahov Gate built in the first Gothic fortification under King Přemysl Otakar II (it was located near the Church of the Virgin Mary). From the 14th to the 17th century the upper part of the street behind this Gate (which was used to get to Strahov Monastery) was located outside the municipal walls and it was called Na dláždění (On the Pavement). The old Strahov Gate, also referred to as the Black Gate after the colour of the brickwork, later Hansturkovská Gate after the neighbouring pub of Hans Turek, was demolished as late as 1711 because it did not serve its purpose any more. At the place where it used to stand we can still notice its remains which divide the street into two equal halves.
Later the whole street was called Ostruhová which was a mutilation of the German name Sparrengasse. In the street, which grew steeper and steeper, beams were laid (Sparre = beam) so that draught harnessed cattle had something to grip on. Currently (since 1895) it is named after the Czech poet and writer Jan Neruda (1834-1891) who used to live there and depicted Prague in his works.
The memorable and picturesque street which is a penultimate section of the Royal Route, is lined with a number of burgher houses and two splendid palaces - Morzini Palace (housing the Romanian Embassy) and Thun-Hohenstein Palace (housing the Italian Embassy). The Baroque crowned the overall character of the street and covered many facades of originally Renaissance and sometimes Gothic houses. The original character of the street survived till today thanks to the sensitive reconstruction and repair carried out in the last decades.
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