50 - The last part of the street Pod Bruskou, called the Mouse Hole
Ascending from the first curve of Chotkova (Chotek) road northwards. Behind this, near the column, follows a path leading to Chotek Park, to the Letenská Plain, and to Dejvice. When the city walls were still standing in the north of Prague and Chotek road was non-existent, the street Pod Bruskou and its continuation formed a very busy pass in the rock, through which the main thoroughfare passed northward out of the city via Písecká Gate. On the right, one can see three picturesque houses, Červený jelínek (The Little Red Deer), No. 135, followed by Nos. 136 and 137, with the inn V Balonu (In the Balloon). The little houses overstep the street line and are reminiscent of Prague wooden buildings of ancient times, with their various projections and cellars under the pavements. In the place of these houses, on the left-hand side, luxurious Hoffmeister hotel now stands. An older Písecká Gate stood in the place shown in the lower part of the picture, in 1588-1829.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. AROUND 1912
51 - The western part of Letenská Street, here considerably narrowed down, near Malostranské Square
In the background, one can see the arch of the two-storey linking wing with the former corridor between the Oettingen-Wallerstein Palace (originally Lobkovic, built around 1551), No. 34, in Josefská Street, and St Thomas’s Church. There is a buttress arch with a small roof between the two buildings. A single pair of rails and trolley power-line for electric trams lead through the lane. It is apparent that the cramped space served for pedestrians as well. Nowadays, there is a separate subway for pedestrians in the ground floor of the Palace (on the right, outside the picture), and also a separate passage for cars.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. K. BELLMANN, 1910
52 - A part of Letenská Street: a view from its intersection with Lužická Street westwards
In the middle in the background, there is a high wall with the entrance to the garden of Valdštejnský Palace. The steeples of St Vitus Cathedral can be seen above the wall. Trams ran here on the Exhibition Area - Malostranské Square - Smíchov route, but only in one direction. They returned through Valdštejnská Street situated to the north (see picture No. 59). Both streets were narrow and twisting, hence the single-track line. On the left are the nobilities’ houses - Windischgrätz house, No. 119, from the 18th century and, behind it, the Thurn-Taxis House from the 17th century. On the right, a state administration house, No. 123, with a metal-plate spread-eagle emblem on the wall, which several offices occupied successively from the eighties of the 19th century.
PHOTOTYPE. F. J. JEDLIČKA, AROUND 1908
53 - The second building of Klar’s Home for the Blind
This home was founded by Professor A. Klar in 1832, originally for four inhabitants. The first building was erected by the founder’s son, Alois, in 1836-1844. This building failed to offer sufficient capacity, and a second was therefore built at the beginning of the 20th century. The corner building on the triangular plot opposite the Straka Academy was built by A. Möse, according to the project draft of J. Piskač in 1906-1908. In contrast to other houses of that time, elements of the Art Nouveau are scanty on this building. A mixture of historical styles are used, for instance, for houses in Mikulášská Street. Among others, a ceremonial hall and a winter swimming-pool for the needs of the home (and for hire as well), were established in the three-wing building. After the adjacent barracks were abolished in 1930, this building found itself at the corner of the newly-created streets U Bruských kasáren and Pod Letnou.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. J. BLAŽEK, 1910
54 - Barracks at Bruska - No. 132 in Pod Bruskou (Under Bruska) Street
The correct name should be Nad Bruskou (Over Bruska), as it refers to the Bruska Brook, which flows underground. In the times when Brusnice still ran on the surface, a mill, a slaughterhouse, and a brewery were located here, from 1599. Later on, under the rule of Maria Theresa, the Bruska Brook ran underground from Jelení Příkop (the Deer Ditch) to the Vltava (crossing the present-day Klárov). At that time, military workshops, then Barracks of the 28th Regiment, were located here. The Barracks were pulled down in 1930. In their place was one of the Prague public transport company’s transforming stations, used by trams. The low building on the right, No. 149, was also owned by the military administration. Above, there is a steeple of the old Klar Home for the Blind.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1900
55 - Pod Bruskou Street - a view northwards
On the left, a one-storey building, No. 149, originally the royal lime-works and Brick-Kiln from 1612; from 1779, it was a military supply base. Towards the end of the 19th century, it became the seat of the Imperial Royal Military Economic Commission. The building was demolished in 1924. On the right, one can see a part of Klar’s Home for the Blind, No. 131. This Empire-style building from the years 1836-1844 was built by V. Kulhánek. A large portal of the gateway to the home’s courtyard is adjacent to the north-east corner of the building. Behind it, the Barracks, No. 132, at that time the seat of the 28th regiment, founded in 1698. The regiment bore the name of the Italian King Umberto until 1915. However, it was best known as the Prague Children. Under this name the regiment became famous, particularly during the First World War, because some of its soldiers got, under unclear circumstances, to the Russian side in 1915. This was believed to have been a deliberate desertion, the regiment was dissolved by the Emperor’s decree, and its banner was deposited in a museum. However, the last unit of the regiment fighting on the Italian front displayed such bravery in battle that the emperor revised his decision, and in 1916 the regiment was reinstated.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. AROUND 1902
56 - Tomášská Street - a view from Malostranské Square northwards
This is one of the few streets lying on flat ground, most unusual in the Lesser Town. It links two squares, Malostranské and Valdštejnské. The two sides of the street differ in appearance: the western side has arcades along its entire length. On the right, the house U Zlatého jelena (The Golden Deer), No. 26, ranks among the most significant Baroque houses of the Lesser Town. Above the entrance is a sculptural group of St Hubert with a deer by F. M. Brokoff. The front and the Baroque adaptation is the work of K. I. Dientzenhofer. The plumber’s shop of J. Koprnický was in this house. Almost all the houses on the left-hand side originate from the 14th century. The nearest edifice with an arcade, No. 518, was owned by the Šternberks after 1836. Almost at the end of this side of the street, the house No. 15 stands where the painter and graphic artist V. Morstadt (1802-1875), the engraver of many well-known Prague vistas, lived and died.
57 - The Ledeburský (also Trauttmannsdorf) Palace, No. 162, at Valdštejnské Square
A spread-out Baroque building with two gateways and an interestingly designed roof, covered by slate from 1898, and with high chimneys. Above the building, part of the southern wing of the Prague Castle can be seen. On the right, behind the Palace, in Valdštejnská Street, are two narrow houses, U Zlatého slunce (The Golden Sun) and Kastelmurovský. On the furthest right, one can see the corner of the early Baroque Valdštejn (Wallenstein) Palace. On the left is a corner of the Aldringen (also Aueršperský) Palace, No. 16, with an arcade, the last house on the western side of Tomášská Street. The then owner, Duke K. V. Aueršperk, sold the Palace to the National Committee for the Extension of the Parliament Offices in 1904.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE AROUND 1899. Z. REACH, END OF THE 1920s
58 - The pub U Schnellů, No. 27, at the corner of Tomášská (left) and Letenská Streets
This is a Renaissance house rebuilt in the Baroque style in 1787, when it was bought by O. Schnell. The house became famous because of its Pilsner pub and wine-cellar, and it has ranked among the best-known up to the present day. Behind this, in Tomášská Street, is the house U Zlatého jelena (The Golden Deer) . On the right, in Letenská Street, one can see the Church of St Thomas, with three naves; it is one of the largest churches in Prague. The originally Gothic Church was completed in 1379. It suffered damage during the Hussite wars, and was subsequently under repair for a long time. It burnt down after a lightning strike in 1723. The Baroque adaptation is the work of K. I. Dientzenhofer. At the beginning of Tomášská Street, a municipal policeman, wearing a typical hat with cock feathers, is standing. Accordingly, policemen were called shaggies in the vernacular.
COLOURED AUTOTYPE. HUSNÍK & HÄUSLER, 1899
59 - Valdštejnská Street after rain
The painter stood approximately half-way up the street, facing west. On the left, the wall of the Valdštejnský Palace Garden with the entrance and a part of its north-east wing. On the right, the late Baroque Fürstenberg Palace, No. 153, today the embassy of Poland. It was built for Count Netolický in the years 1743-1760. The garden of this Palace, ascending terrace-like up to Prague Castle, ranks among the most beautiful in Prague. Behind the Fürstenberg Palace, hidden from view, stands the Kolovrat Palace (nowadays the Ministry of Culture); fur- ther on is the entrance into the Kolovrat Garden, and the widespreading house U Tří králů (The Three Kings), No. 158, with a high Baroque portal. The main southern tower of St Vitus Cathedral rises above this house. The rails of the one-way tramway wind along the street (see the text of picture 52).
FOUR-COLOURED AUTOTYPE. AFTER A WATER-COLOUR BY J. ŠETELÍK, END OF THE 1920s.
60 - The Imperial Royal Military Swimming-Pool, at the Lesser Town bank behind the Iron Footbridge
Founded in 1809 by a lover of swimming, Captain Arnošt of Pfuol, it was the oldest in Austria, the swimming-pool in Vienna being opened in 1812 (in Berlin, 1817). It served primarily for swimming lessons for soldiers, but civilians swam here as well. Due to frequent quarrels and disputes, civilians established the Citizens’ Swimming-Pool somewhat further down the stream. The original Military Swimming-Pool was stabilised by being bound to several anchored ships, loaded with four guns and iron balls. Despite this, the swimming-pool floated away as far as Roztoky during the flood in 1824. Local people immediately took possession of the swimming costumes left in the cubicles and then father-workers and children dressed in them walked about for a long time, looking mottled (V. Krolmus). Swimming exercises, accompanied by military brass bands, were held here in the 1840s. Strange games, like swimming in full military outfit or carrying up gun balls from the river bottom, were also very popular but the free-and-easy times terminated in 1846 when Duke B. Rohan drowned during such an event.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. LEDERER & POPPER, 1902
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