Hotel Red Lion residing in the building of the historical burgher house located in the heart of Prague directly on the Royal Mile in the vicinity of the main entrance to the Prague Castle and only a few minutes' walk from the Charles Bridge.
The first historical records of the building come from the 15th century. Its cellars have kept their Gothic features and now house a restaurant with a wine bar, while the Renaissance period is represented by painted beam ceilings in the restaurant and in some rooms. An extensive reconstruction that took place from 1994 to 1995 saw all historical elements renovated and complemented by luxurious furniture of the modern times. Authenticity of the building is emphasized by original pieces of antique furniture carefully chosen to match the personality of each room.
Praha 1, 118 00
GPS: 50°5'18.150"N, 14°23'51.850"E
Metro: station Malostranská, line A
Tram: stop Pohorelec
line no. 22 (and then down the hill)
Tram: stop Malostranske namesti
line no. 12, 20, 22 (and then up the hill)
Nerudova Street forms a part of the Royal Mile and represents the main connection between Hradčany and the Lesser Side. Until 1711, it was divided into two parts by the Strahov Gate, which stood approximately in its half from the 13th century. Although the majority of facades on the houses come from the Baroque period, some of the houses were build already in the middle Ages. Its steep incline has always posed a problem and in the past it was solved by the so-called plumbing rules, which were called Sparren in German. From the 17th to the 19th century, a distorted form of this word gave the street its name - Sporengasse, which was translated into Czech as Spur Street (Ostruhová ulice). The name of the street was changed in the 19th century when it was named after Jan Neruda, a famous Czech writer of the period. At about the same time, a construction of a rack railway in Nerudova Street was considered.
The residence of the Czech kings and presidents is undoubtedly the most significant place not only in Prague but also in the entire country. Přemyslid princes moved their seat here at the end of the 9th century. However, the most important period for the development of the Prague Castle was during the reign of Charles IV, who initiated extensive reconstruction and construction works in the Gothic style. The end of the period of rapid development falls to the period of reign of Ladislav Jagiello, who refortified the Castle and added new halls to it. The majority of these halls were created in cooperation with Benedikt Ried, whose most significant piece of work is represented by the extraordinary Vladislav Hall - the most magnificent hall of the late Gothic period in Europe, and by the Ludwig Wing built already in the Renaissance style. Even a fire that erupted in 1541 and severely damaged the buildings of the Castle did not stop the development of this center of the Czech lands. Further flourishing of the Castle was secured by the first Habsburg rulers on the Czech throne, particularly Rudolph II who made Prague his seat and dramatically changed the Castle by a number of new buildings and gardens. However, after the Thirty Years' War, Habsburgs made Prague only their secondary residence. Their interest returned in the second half of the 18th century in a somewhat problematic manner: the fundamental reconstruction they initiated at that time irreversibly changed the historical character of the Castle. Although, the Theresian Reconstruction resulted in the current form of a coherent front of palaces dominating the Prague scenery, its toll was unification of the Castle in the Classicist style. The architects taking care of the Castle after it had become the seat of the president of the newly established republic showed more respect and thoughtfulness. Particularly the work of Josip Plečnik sets until today the example of sensitive interventions into historical architecture that do not give up on modern approaches. These approaches were foundation of the reconstruction initiated by the first Czech president Václav Havel.
The Prague Castle is not only the St. Vitus cathedral but also the New and the Old Royal Palaces, Basilica and Monastery of St. George, Institute of Gentlewomen, Lobkowicz Palace, The Supreme Burgher's House, the Black Tower, Vikárka, Prague Castle Picture Gallery, the Golden Lane, the White Tower, Daliborka tower, Stag Moat, Riding School, Lion's Court, Summer Royal Palace - Belveder, Ball Game Hall as well as the gardens of the Prague Castle and other monuments.
The biggest cathedral in Prague was built during the reign of the emperor Charles IV in the place of a Romanesque basilica. It houses the remains of Czech rulers and the Bohemian Coronation Jewels.
The most magnificent and significant building of the Prague Baroque was built in the place of an old Gothic church between 1704 and 1752. Thanks to the mastery and intuition of its creators - father and son Dientzenhofer – it constitutes the landmark of the settlement around the Prague Castle and forms the market space of the Lesser Side Valley. Rich decorations in the interior of the church correspond with its exterior. It is distinguished by a ceiling fresco and sculptures of saints and religious teachers. The organ was used by W.A. Mozart.
Probably the most beautiful garden of Prague was created in the first half of the 18th century in the place of a former vineyard behind a smaller palace, which was built by the Count Sezima of Vrtba to replace to burgher houses. However, the foundation of the garden was the work of his grandson Jan Josef of Vrtba, who assigned its creation to architect František Maxmilián Kaňka. Around 1720, he designed the project that perfectly utilized the sloping terrain to create an Italian-style garden based on a system of axes and gradual stratification of terraces. The supporting walls of terraces form the foundation of the gallery of vibrant Baroque sculptures and vases created by Mathias Bernard Braun, the greatest sculptor of the Czech Baroque. A system of stairs leads the visitors all the way the highest point of the garden that opens up an enchanting view over the roofs of the neighboring palace and houses as well as numerous Lesser Side Towers.
Petřín hill (name probably derived from the Latin petra - rock) closes the Lesser Side valley from the West: its slope is divided by a Gothic stone fortification built upon the order of Charles IV (the legend says that the reason for the construction was to provide work and subsistence to the poor of Prague - hence its name Hunger Wall, Hladová zeď). In the Middle Ages, the hill was used as a vineyard, and later on, in the half of the 19th century, it was transformed into a garden based on the decision of Count Chotek.
On the summit of the hill in the altitude of 200 m, a 60 m high lookout tower was constructed on the occasion of the General Land Exhibition in 1891. Its construction copies the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris. There are 200 steps leading to the top of the tower. Its glass-walled ramp opens up a fascinating view not only of the Prague Castle and the entire Prague valley but also of the surroundings of the capital.
The Petřín garden invites to relaxing walks in all seasons of the year.
One of the most visited monuments of Prague is Loreta, originally a place of pilgrimage built in the first half of the 17th century. It was created around the so-called Santa Casa founded by Benigna Lobkowicz based on the famous Santa Casa in Loreto, Italy.
This rectangular house was gradually surrounded by arcades, to which chapels was being added. In the place of the main chapel, Christoph and Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer later built the church of the Nativity of Our Lord. At the same time, a new facade in the style of High Baroque, adjacent to the early Baroque tower, was also built. The tower houses one of the most famous Prague attractions - the carillon, formed by 27 bells, plays a Marian song "A thousand times we greet thee" every hour. The carillon mechanism works on the principle of a metal cylinder. Loreta attracts tourists also by its renowned treasury with the collection of precious liturgical objects dominated by a diamond monstrance adorned by 6 500 diamonds.