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Timings : Always open to visit

Time Required : Preferably day hours so that all the main attractions are open to visit

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Lesser Town Prague, Prague Overview

Beginning with Charles bridge and clustered amidst the foothills of the Prague Castle, the river, and the neighbouring hills, Malá Strana or Lesser Town Prague is a district in the city of Prague, Czech Republic. With tight corners and narrow streets paved in cobblestone, walking in the Lesser Town Prague emanates the feeling like one is strolling down the streets of medieval Prague.

Founded in 1257, this town was initially known as the ‘New Town beneath the Prague Castle’. Though this name was later changed to what it is called now - Lesser Town Prague when Charles IV established the New Town of Prague in 1348. This picturesque town is further known by various other names such as ‘Little Quarter’, ‘Lesser Quarter’, and ‘Lesser Side’. This town offers its visitors a relatively quieter area to stay in as opposed to the ever-crowded Old Town.

Also, this town houses a large number of tourist attractions such as museums, galleries, restaurants, traditional Czech pubs, churches, and hotels with ancient buildings. One can also expect to enjoy some splendid views of the river, and the quaint architecture of the buildings in the town makes it the perfect spot for movie and commercial shootings.

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Must-Visit Tourist Spots of Lesser Town Prague

Inside of St. Nicholas Church in Lesser Town Prague

1. St. Nicholas Church
Modelled by Christoph Dientzenhofer and his son Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer between 1704-1755, this enormous green dome is a prime example of the amazing Baroque architecture in Lesser Town Prague. One can expect to witness some of the most incredible sculptures, the Baroque organ with over 4000 pipes that was played by Mozart in 1785, a 70-meter high dome, and a 79-meter tall belfry that offers a magnificent panoramic view.

2. Wallenstein Palace
This palace, built as a rival to Prague Castle, used to be the residence for Imperial Generalissimo Albrecht von Wallenstein and it now serves to be the housing for the Senate of the Czech Republic. This beautiful Baroque styled palace covers a main wing with a complex set of corridors that allowed Duke of Wallenstein to wander freely from the Audience hall to his private study room and furthermore to gardens and stables. The mythological corridor illustrating beautiful Stuccowork and housing famous paintings in the audience chamber, the richly decorated palace chapel, and the Wallenstein Garden are also the reasons behind the popularity of this palace.

3. Lesser Town Bridge Tower
The 43.5 meter-high Lesser Town Bridge Tower is connected with the smaller Judith tower through a gate, and both of these towers served to protect the entrance of the Lesser Town Prague during the early 15th century. The tower is currently used as an entrance to Malà Strana from Charles Bridge. While this tower was used as a watchtower and storehouse in the past, it now serves as a public lookout which displays a permanent exhibition of the history of the Charles Bridge.

Many other scenic sightings captivate the attention of the visitors of this town by their beauty. These include Malstranská Beseda, Vrtba Garden, Mirror Maze, and the Cathedral of St. Lawrence on Petřín Hill, among others.

History of Mala Strana

This royal town was established by King Ottokar II of Bohemia who had integrated several settlements situated beneath the Prague Castle into a single administrative unit. Though it was a royal city, the King did not rule it as a whole and ousted the original residents of these settlements away; inviting only a few German merchants and artisans to stay. Lesser Town Prague was further extended in the latter half of the 14th century by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV and the King who had then constructed a new defence wall known as Hunger Wall.

Malá Strana was subjected to damages by fire twice; first in 1419-1420 (by Hussites) and later in 1541. The second fire caused the death of 50 people and led to the reconstruction of the town in the Renaissance style. The market place situated in the middle of the town was renamed to Lesser Town Square and was segregated into upper and lower segments with St. Nicholas Church placed in the centre.

Architecture of Mala Strana

Baroque style architecture of Malá Strana, Prague

While the history of this town can be traced well back than Baroque era, the renovation of the town post the devastating fires that took place here in 1541 ensured that Malá Strana did not lose its charm. With several churches and palaces designed in the beautiful Baroque style, the locals have come to call Lesser Town Prague as ‘Baroque Pearl of Prague’. Therefore, this lesser known town with its grand Baroque style museums, churches, and streets continue to be aesthetically pleasing sites that are greatly admired by the locals and visitors alike.

How To Reach Lesser Town Prague

Trams in the Lesser Town Prague

With Prague being a compact city, it is relatively easy to walk from the Old Town or the New Town to the Lesser Town Prague. Even from the centre of the Old Town, i.e. Old Town Square, it just takes a 10-min walk to reach the centre of the Lesser Town Prague, i.e. Lesser Town Square. There are also many public transportation alternatives such as buses, trams, and Subways that one makes use of to reach Lesser Town Prague, much like the rest of Prague. Travellers can also choose to travel in cars, town cars, or taxi to reach this town.

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