|The Lesser Town (or Lesser Quarter/Little Quarter) in Prague clusters around the foothills of Prague Castle, on the opposite bank of the Vltava River to the Old Town.
The Lesser Town (Malá Strana) is a highly picturesque area of the city. Its ancient burgher houses and cobbled side streets
contain boutique shops to browse, churches to explore, and traditional Czech pubs and restaurants to delight in.
At its heart is the Baroque Lesser Town Square (Malostranské náměstí) and St. Nicholas Church.
The Lesser Town is a lovely area to stay in. It is quieter than the Old Town and New Town, but offers easy accessibility to both on foot.
To wander through its almost deserted, lantern lit streets at night gives a sense of wonder, affording visitors the feel of olden day Prague. Unsurprisingly, this area of Prague is a favourite setting for movies and commercials.
Hotels in the Lesser Town are mostly old buildings charmingly restored, with plenty of character and retaining original features.
Charles Bridge connects the two sides of Prague for most pedestrians. A multitude of tourists each day stroll across the bridge from the Old Town into the Lesser Town, and climb Nerudova Street up to Prague Castle.
The Lesser Town started life in the 8th century as a market settlement, and in 1257 Premysl Otakar II granted it town status.
Between 1360-1362 fortifications were constructed by order of Charles IV. These are known as the Hunger Wall (Hladova Zed), built it is believed to give employment to the poor during a period of famine.
The Lesser Town was devastated twice: first during a battle between the Hussites and the Prague Castle garrison in 1419; then in the Great Fire of Prague in 1514.
The destroyed houses were replaced with magnificent Renaissance buildings and palaces. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Baroque churches and palaces were added.
Some considerably older buildings survived the devastation however, many operating today as pubs and restaurants.
Prague is a compact city: the Lesser Town Square is only 10-15 minutes walk from the Old Town Square.
To discover more about the Lesser Town, take one of the Prague tours:
Prague City Tour & Boat Trip
Prague Explorer Tour & Boat Trip.