61 - The market in the street of the same name (Tržiště)
A photo taken from the lower end of Tržiště Street, which leads into Karmelitská Street. At the end of the street, to the left, outside the picture, the Schönborn Palace is situated, now the embassy of the United States of America. The moderately ascending street is rather wide in the context of the Lesser Town. The burghers’ houses have simple frontages, and are not especially imposing. The buildings on the right side of the street stand in the locality of the former ditch and Přemyslid Gothic bulwark, which had passed through here. Thus, after removing the walls and filling-in the ditch, the plots (which originally reached only to the walls by the burghers’ houses with fronts facing the Malostranské Square) were extended. In the southern parts of the extended plots, the houses on the right side of Tržiště Street were gradually erected. The Lesser Town marketplace was originally situated at Malostranské Square but, in 1784, it was moved to this street. The picture, taken in the morning at about 10 o’clock (see the shadows), shows only a few stands with sunshades, as the market-place was no longer busy by that time. In contrast to marketplaces in the old and new towns this one was rather small. In spite of this, it was sufficient for the Lesser Town people, as they bought other goods in small shops. Small shops, as well as places rendering various services, existed in almost every house; a part of one of them can be seen on the right - J. Žák’s pressing shop. The posing children show children’s fashions of that time - the group of barefoot children in the middle of the picture undoubtedly ranked among the poorer ones, whereas the three neat children with small hats (left) indicate more wealthy parents.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1899
62 - A vista through the Bridge Gate into K Mostu Street westwards
The picture expresses the then character of the relatively short street which leads to Malostranské Square. In the background, the house U Petržilků with a bay window, No. 272, and the belfry of the Church of St Nicholas in the square are shown. Trams were running in both directions over the Charles Bridge and through the street until 1908. Interesting electric lights are hanging on the wires above the rails. The lights cannot be seen in the following older three pictures, proving that they were installed shortly before the picture was taken.
63 - The north side of K Mostu Street
This is very old housing, either replaced (particularly after fires) or adapted by stylised reconstructions in the course of centuries. On the right, the double-house U sv. Salvátora (St Salvator) and Černý medvěd (The Black Bear), Nos. 54 and 53. At ground level, one can see the stationer's shop of J. Šváb Malostranský with a display of picture postcards and cabaret songs, published and sold by him. The cards were predominantly funny, the themes drawn from both better and less well-known Prague painters, like M. Aleš, K. V. Muttich, and Jiras. This is why the artistic value of these picture postcards varied greatly. Šváb began publishing them around 1890, and his own collection was most highly appreciated at the world exhibition in Paris in 1900, gaining the Grand Prix.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. PROBABLY E. ČÍŽEK, AROUND 1898
64 - K Mostu Street
A view westwards from about the middle of the street towards Malostranské Square and St Nicholas’s Church. On the left, the portal of the Kounický Palace, No. 277, designed by A. Schmidt in 1780 in the spirit of the Classical decorative revival - today the embassy of Serbia. The house with a bay window in the background, named U Petržilků, stands in Malostranské Square. On the right can be seen the long, slightly protruding front of the Lesser Town Savings Bank from the year 1895, built on the side of three houses in this street and one in Malostranské Square (see picture 74).
65 - Street traffic in K Mostu (to the Bridge) Street
A view from the west towards the Bridge Towers and Charles Bridge. On the right, in front of the Judith Tower, stands the Saxon House, No. 55. Originally a Gothic house owned by Saxon Dukes in the second half of the 14th century, it was rebuilt in the Renaissance style around 1590. The appearance today is Neo-Classical, dating from the years 1826-1828 when J. Chaura removed the Renaissance gables and added an extra floor. Until 1899, F. Kytka’s bookshop was situated here (see the corner of the building on the furthest right), then the shop of J. Šváb Malostranský, who moved to this place from his little shop on the opposite side of the street. The best Lesser Town shops were concentrated in this street, in much the same way as in the main streets of the Old and New Towns. On the right, Lázeňská Street, from which drays with railway carriages drove out, turning to the right to the Charles Bridge (see the text of picture 43).
75 - The Assembly of the Kingdom of Bohemia
A complex of the former Thunovský Palace, No. 176, it ranks among the largest buildings in Prague, occupying the entire eastern side of Sněmovní (Assembly) Street. Originally, five mediaeval houses stood on a plot nearly 100 m in length; by their integration, successive additions, reconstructions and modifications, a bulky building with a complicated internal plan was formed. The Palace underwent major Baroque development after the Thun family bought it. The original Baroque front acquired a Neo-Classical appearance but both the Baroque portals were saved. The palace has two courtyards and a labyrinth of corridors with a great number of rooms. Countess Thun sold the Palace to the Czech estates in 1799. From 1861, the assembly of the Bohemian Kingdom sat here, and so did the revolutionary National Assembly of the Czechoslovak Republic for a while after 1918. At present, the Palace is the site of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. On the left, one of the typical gas street-lamps made of cast iron can be seen.
PHOTOTYPE. L. J. ČECH, AROUND 1900
76 - Sněmovní Street
A view from approximately half-way along the street, southwards. On the left, part of the front of the assembly building; in the middle, the rear double wing of the Smiřický Palace in Thunova Street, which intersects Sněmovní Street. At the end of the western side of the street, where it narrows (behind the lamp), one can see the side of the office building of the Imperial Royal Vice-Governor, No. 1. Nearby, on the right, is the entrance portal of the corner house U Zlatého stromu (The Golden Tree), also known as the Kolovratský House, No. 177, the former St Nicholas parsonage. Following recent investigations, the origin of the oldest marketplace in Prague and the oldest settlement is believed to be located in the area in the picture.
78 - Pětikostelní (Five-Church) Square, now Sněmovní Street
This incorrect but long-established name arose in the 17th century by a verbatim translation of the name of the owner, Fünfkirchen, who possessed several houses in this locality. Five churches never stood here, just two, even in the old days, St Andrew and St Martin Churches. On the right, the house called Turkova hlava (The Turk’s Head), No. 164, originally Gothic, perhaps from the turn of the 15th century, followed by Zlatá labuť (The Golden Swan), one of the best preserved Prague Renaissance houses. Across the street is the house U Kominíků (The Chimney-sweeps), No. 171. Looking at this peaceful corner, one would never say that the most ancient history of the town relates to these places. In the Middle Ages, a road led across the square to the southern gate of Prague Castle, walled up in the time of Charles IV.
79 - A view from approximately the centre of Thunovská Street facing west
Looking as if it were a bit of Italy or Croatia transferred to Prague. The street has a cramped character, especially here and in its continuation, there are supporting buttress arches. On the left, the rear wing of the Imperial Royal Vice-Governor’s Office, No. 1, the former Jesuit Grammar School. In the middle of the picture, in the background, there is the eastern Renaissance front of the house Zlatý kapr (The Golden Carp), No. 181. This narrow high house protrudes into the street, narrowing it down, and seems to create a doubly-vaulted corridor with its buttress arches. In front of it, a monument of the English politician Winston Churchill (1874-1965) is placed today. On the right, the front of the house Stará fara (The Old Parsonage) or U Zlatého domu (The Golden House), No. 178; behind it, the house U Bílého slona (The White Elephant).
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. R. SVOBODA, AROUND 1908
88 - One of the Prague collection offices for a lottery game
One of the Prague collection offices for a lottery game in Prokopská Street, close to its entry into Karmelitská Street. The lottery game called Lotynka was a popular entertainment for all strata of the population. Five numbers were selected out of ninety. Besides the possibility of winning, Lotynka also had in itself something mysterious and magical for most of those who became addicted to it. It was believed that a high chance of winning could be gained by an inspiration which come subconsciously in a dream. In connection with this, the demand for dream-books, known in the Czech lands from the middle of the 16th century, increased. In addition to Lotynka, various other lottery games existed at the same time. For example, a lottery ticket for the benefit of the Czech Children’s Hospital in Prague cost one crown in 1913-1914, and the main prize was 40,000 crowns. At the same time, the Lottery Office in Charles Square also issued promotional picture postcards with the portraits of some of the main winners, their names, towns of origin, and the sums they won.
PHOTOGRAVURE. PICTURE AROUND 1890, PHOTOGRAPHER F. WERNER. UNIE PRAGUE, BEGINNING OF THE 1920s
89 - A work-room of the Girls’ Orphanage of St Notburga, where needlework is being performed
Girls sewed on machines while the piano was played. The institution was led by the sisters of mercy who also taught there. From the girls’ facial expressions, their contentment and good humour can be read, testifying to the kind educational methods of the sisters. It contrasts with the haste, nervousness and high workload of today’s teachers.
PHOTOTYPE. AROUND 1925
90 - A view of a little house , a pavilion and a greenhouse, in the Schönborn Garden
A southern view of a little house (perhaps for a gardener), a pavilion and a greenhouse, in the Schönborn Garden. In the centre of the background, the almost indistinct roof of the Schwarzenberg Palace at Hradčany. There is an interesting text on the back: a son writes to his father "I am sending you a postcard from the garden of the Counts of Schönborn, taken by your camera." This is an example of sending a photograph as a postcard. The person on the photograph is most probably K. Tomsa, who made the photograph, signed it, and sent it to his father, Director V. Tomsa, to Letiny Spa near Blovice, where he was staying during the summer vacation.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PHOTOGRAPHER PROBABLY K. TOMSA. 1912
91 - The Girls’ Orphanage of St Notburga in Šporkova Street, No. 321, a view of the south-west front
The house, called Šporkovský, has a late Baroque front with beautiful stucco decoration. Originally it was called U Dvou zlatých (žlutých) lvů (The Two Golden or Yellow Lions). From 1835, it was in the possession of the Prague association of the ladies of St Notburga for Orphan Girls’ Education in Ladies’ Art Work. This women’s association was founded in 1813. Inside the building, there was St Notburga’s Chapel with a painting by F. Čermák. On the right, a part of the front of an interesting house U Kameníka (The Stonecutter) (see picture 92).
PHOTOTYPE. AROUND 1925
92 - The house U Kameníka (The Stonecutter) in Šporkova Street, No. 320
It is a large edifice, like a palace of irregular shape. Its north front faces Janská Street, the east side looks to Šporkova Street (in the picture). This narrow front, richly decorated with stucco, ranks among the most important in the Lesser Town. The year 1729, inscribed over the portal, reveals when a storey was added to the house and when it was reconstructed in the Baroque style. On the left, a corner of the St Notburga Institute; on the right, a house called Bílá voda (White Water), No. 319, (with a garden in front), the original late Baroque front of which was adapted to the Neo-Classical style. This is another example of a picturesque quiet corner of the Lesser Town where several buildings with very valuable architecture are concentrated in a small area. This picture postcard is interesting in that it was issued by the Artěl Art Cooperative, founded by two avantgarde Prague artists (P. Janák and V. Hofman) in 1908. The output of the cooperative was relatively broad-ranging, including modern objects of art, such as furniture, textiles, wallpaper, ceramics, and also picture postcards. The Cooperative, seated in Na Příkopě Street, was dissolved in 1934.
COLOURED LITHOGRAPH. AUTHOR OF THE DRAWING, M. H., ARTĚL, 1915
100 - A view through Karmelitská Street northwards
Towards St Nicholas’s Church and the U Klíčů (The Keys) opening (see the closer detailed picture 94). On the left, the large front of the German Institute for the Education of Teachers, No. 528. In the inside area, there was a German grammar school, where Dr. M. Tyrš, the first leader of the Sokol movement, studied. Above the rigorously functional building, one can see the top of the gable of the Church of the Virgin Mary Victorious, where the world-famous little statue of the Infant of Prague is kept. On the right, the corner Rohanský House, No. 386, formed by uniting and reconstructing two houses in 1787. In the street are rails for two-way tram traffic. The tram is running southwards down the electrified route from Malostranské Square to Smíchov. This connection was built here, following some delay, after the first stage of demolition of the house complex the Keys - the traffic did not start until June, 1901.
PHOTOTYPE. AROUND 1902
101 - A view through Karmelitská Street from the U Klíčů (The Keys) opening towards Újezd
On the left, on the corner of Prokopská and Karmelitská Streets, is the house U Zlatého pštrosa (The Golden Ostrich), No. 376, originally from the 14th century, adapted to the Garni Hotel in 1884. The next in line is the house U Černého lva (The Black Lion), also called the Thun-Hohenštejnský Palace from 1747, No. 379, and behind it, the Grand Muscon Palace. The former St Mary Magdalene Church is in the centre. In 1740, the Church had a beautiful Baroque front with two onion-shaped domes. At the time the picture was taken, the whole building was already converted into the Gendarme Barracks. At the turn of the century, two bodies - the police and the gendarmes - were engaged in ensuring the security of the monarchy. The police were active in the towns (in Prague there were then over 1,000 policemen), the gendarmes in the country. From the right: the house U Zlaté koruny (the Golden Crown), No. 375, where the office of the association of Prague Removal Companies and, on the ground floor, a pork-butcher’s shop were located. In front of the shop, there is a van of the F. Zátka Company, a soda-water producer and supplier. one can also see a palace building, the site of the technical department of the office of the Imperial Royal Vice-Governor; behind it, a hospital called Petřín.
PHOTOTYPE. F. J. JEDLIČKA, 1905
102 - The Imperial Royal Czech Science Secondary School in Novodvorská Street, No. 457, a former grammar school
The house was built in 1876 and it was visited by Emperor Franz Josef I in 1880. Inside the spacious building there is a gorgeous staircase and the Chapel of St Wenceslas. The two-storeyed house of Count E. Chotek is behind it. Chotek was, among others things, the owner of the Nový Dvůr estate near Kutná Hora, from which the name of the street was derived. The street is closed at the back by a low two-storey building, No. 464 - a studio of J. Eckert (1833-1905), a court photographer and municipal council member. In the early 1890s, he started to document the Prague quarters scheduled for clearance, and most of the older pictures published by Z. Reach in the 1920s originate from his estate. On the left, in the background, the former Markvartský House, No. 462, protrudes into the street, narrowing it down substantially.
PHOTOTYPE. AROUND 1908
103 - The garden restaurant Na Nebozízku, also called Haasenburg, No. 411
It stands well up on the slope of the Petřín Hill, under the top station of the funicular. Around 1800, there was a vineyard here, through which a zig-zag path, in the shape of a small auger (nebozízek in Czech), led up. At that time, B. Haase, a book-printer (1824), acquired it; the restaurant building was named after him. After integration into the town administration (1784), the Petřín area started to decline, with some exceptions. In the first half of the 19th century, the upper part of the park was turned into an orchard, especially slope under Nebozízek, with the aim of establishing a recreation area to counter-balance the densely populated parts of the town. In 1882, this cultivated area started to be known as Petřín Park. The steps of an ever-growing number of Prague inhabitants, in particular lovers, made for Petřín in their leisure time. Subsequently, some technical attractions were located here (a lookout tower, funicular, mirror labyrinth) at the end of the 19th century. In the background of the picture, one can see a glazed verandah, affording not only an uncommon vista of Prague, but also a view of the moving funicular carriages.
104 - The Petřín funicular - the route and the lower station
It was built in 1891 on the initiative of the Club of Czech Tourists, in connection with the construction of the Petřín Lookout Tower and with the staging of the Provincial Jubilee Exhibition. On the route, 397 metres long, with an elevation difference of 102.2 metres and a slope of 26 degrees, two carriages moved with a 7-cubic metres water tank each, on a common cable. The principle consisted in that the descending carriage, with a full tank, used its weight to raise the ascending carriage, with an empty tank. There were three rails (one in common), in the middle with an abt shunting-place for the carriages to pass. The journey took 6 minutes, the fare in 1891 was 12 kreutzers up and 6 kreutzers down; a return ticket cost 15 kreutzers, later on 12 kreutzers. On the top right, one can see the Petřín Lookout Tower, 60 metres high, the construction which was inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It enjoyed the unprecedented interest of Prague inhabitants and of the Jubilee Exhibition visitors; from its gallery, there was (and still is) a ravishing view of the whole of Prague, and also far and wide, as far as the border mountains in the north of Bohemia. Visitors could also ascend the top of the lookout tower in a lift driven by a gas engine for 1 crown in 1900.
105 - The small Gothic, originally Romanesque, Church of St John the Baptist on the Laundry
It stands at the corner of Říční and Všehrdova Streets, close to Újezd, in the centre of a picturesque group of little houses. The former parsonage church is actually the last remainder of the mediaeval village of Újezd, lying outside the Přemyslid walls of the new town under the Castle. It originated in the early 12th century and there was initially a cemetery around it. In 1660, the Lesser Town hospital, a part of which can be seen in the background on the right of the Church in Všehrdova Street, was established by the Church (see the next picture). At the time of taking the picture, in the long abolished Church, there was a store and sale of coal. On the furthest right, one can see part of the corner house, No. 446, bought in 1585 by the Lesser Town Municipality, and ceded to its clerk, J. Kocín of Kocínov, for 23 years’ free use. The house was also called Osecké prádlo (the Osek Laundry) as the laundry of J. Holovský was once there. (It was pulled down in 1903.)
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELMANN 1900
106 - A view into the courtyard of the former hospital, later called Na Prádle (The Laundry), No. 440
In fact, this is a courtyard of the Church of St John the Baptist (which stands outside the picture on the right). The whole spacious house, L-shaped on the ground plan, with, on the left, a Renaissance column gallery, was built around 1660 by G. de Capauli. Most of the picture is occupied by its north-east gallery wing. On the left, below two arcades, one can see annexes which served as cellars or sheds. The Church and the hospital, where about forty impoverished Lesser Town burghers lived, were abolished in 1784. Then both edifices were bought in 1787 by the burgher F. Vogl, and converted to a laundry. After that, the house and the church got the nickname The Laundry. At the time of taking the picture, neither the hospital nor the laundry was there, just tenants were living in the house. Among them, maybe, was the cabman who can be seen in the courtyard engaged in cab maintenance.
PHOTOTYPE. A. L. KOPPE. 1905
107 - The beginning of Chotkova Road, a view from the Lesser Town embankment westwards
The street is a continuation of the Emperor Franz Bridge (today the Legion Bridge), terminating at the Újezd Barracks. In the section in the picture, the road is quite wide, since the row of houses on the left (in the shadow) was built at the time when the original chain bridge stood here. Its construction, including the anchoring of the chains, reached up to Královská (formerly Mostecká) and Všehrdova Streets, i.e. to the level of the corner of the first house from the right, No. 560, hence far beyond the present embankment wall. The picture shows the situation after the replacement of the chain bridge by today’s stone bridge in 1901, after filling in the hollows of the former wedged-in bridgehead and levelling the terrain. Three corner houses in the postcard are typical of common civic housing in the last quarter of the 19th century.
SVĚTLOTISK. K. BELMANN 1905
108 - A view through Chotkova Road from Újezd eastwards, towards the Emperor Franz Bridge
Almost the whole street originated in the mid-19th century in connection with the construction of the chain bridge in 1841, for which Count K. Chotek, in particular, was responsible. Gardens and plots in this area were parcelled out in 1839 with regard to the newly demarcated axis of the future street. Two houses on the left and right, as far as Šeříková Street, were among the first built here. The houses of the so-called barracks type acted as an economical pattern for social housing, for example, in the area of Karlín and Žižkov. In brick gallery houses, with court-yard wings, were flats without bathrooms or toilets (these were located at the ends of brick gallery and wings). Behind the last house on the right, No. 530, are still empty plots. Later there was housing, but on the other side, as can be seen in the preceding picture. The southern side of the street now belongs to Smíchov.
109 - A view of the southern part of the Újezd Barracks from Chotkova Road
On the left there stands a beautiful cast-iron column with a decorative relief frame, denoting one of the public transport stops. The inscription on the table reveals where the tram lines ran from here. From this stop one could take the tram running to the left (to Smíchov) or to the right (to Malostranské Square). On the portal of the stone wall of the Barracks are an advertisement and sign-posts to the funicular, the lookout tower, the café, and the restaurant on Petřín. On the furthest left, a corner house, No. 419, with the shop of Mrs Kejřová. From 1845, J. Barrande, a well-known French scientist, lived in this house, with writer J. Neruda’s mother in attendance on him. One cannot fail to notice the women, with their long skirts, sweeping the Prague pavements and streets. It is certain that Prague streets were far cleaner then than they are now.
PHOTOTYPE. KOLEM 1903
110 - The Újezd Barracks in the street of the same name
A noon picture of the east front of the Barracks, No. 413. They were built around 1712 on the site of a part of the Petřín vineyard of F. Fleischmann the Elder of Thunbach. In the north and south, they were terminated by short transverse wings. In 1775 they were raised by one floor. An interesting feature of the otherwise monotonous, strictly functional, building were the pairs of chimneys protruding at regular intervals, determining the width of the dormitories. The courtyard of the Barracks, at an elevated level, was separated from the street by a stone wall. Unlike the previous picture, here one can well see the rails of the direct tram route Smíchov - Malostranské Square. One of the tram stops is under the Barracks entrance. In the Barracks, J. neruda, a Czech poet and writer, was born on July 9, 1834; his parents owned a canteen here. The Barracks were demolished in 1932.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. PICTURE AROUND 1902. F. J. JEDLIČKA, AROUND 1906
111 - The Albrecht Barracks
The spacious edifice was built in 1890 in a rather more pretentious style than was the case with the other-wise standardized barracks buildings of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After the formation of the Czechoslovak Republic (1918), the Barracks were renamed Štefánik’s Barracks. Today, the Palace of Justice is here. After 1945, the Soviet tank No. 23, which was allegedly the first to arrive to help revolutionary Prague in May 1945, stood in front of the building. After the events of 1989, it was discovered that the tank had actually been chosen randomly. In 1990 it was painted pink by some radical members of the then Federal Assembly, as a protest against outmoded symbols of the former regime, and it was removed shortly after. The open space in front of the Palace, originally nameless, was successively called Štefánik Square, the Square of Soviet Tank Crews, and is now Kinských Square.
SVĚTLOTISK. K. BELMANN 1903
112 - A view from the entrance into the Albrecht Barracks, towards Újezd Street northwards
The Barracks were named after the famous Austrian military commander, archduke Albrecht. The street in the picture postcard is wrongly denoted as Brückengasse (Mostecká Street). In fact, the latter ran on the right, one block further along the front of the rear wing of the Barracks. From the left, are new tenement houses, new Nos. 600-595, reaching up to the Újezd Barracks, the southern traverse wing of which can be seen in the background. Nearby stood the Újezd Gate, demolished in 1892. In front of the Gate, there used to be a deep moat, serving the people of the neigbourhood as an illicit dump and, in winter, for the youth as a skating rink. A soldier is walking towards the photographer, probably to the nearest pub round the corner.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1900
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