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Lesser Town
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Lesser Town
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map showing Lesser Town in Prague
The Lesser Town (Lesser Quarter/Little Quarter), founded officially in 1257, is one of the key central areas of Prague. It nestles around the foothills of Prague Castle, on the opposite side of the Vltava River to the Old Town.

The Lesser Town (Malá Strana) is very picturesque. Its main square and cobbled side streets contain ancient burgher houses, since transformed into boutique shops and quaint cafes, riverside restaurants, and lovely old Czech pubs.

The area also has a number of beautiful churches, such as the Church Of Our Lady Victorious, home to the venerated Infant Jesus Of Prague.

Unsurprisingly, the Lesser Town is a popular location to shoot movies and commercials.

The focal point of the Lesser Town is the Baroque Lesser Town Square (Malostranské náměstí). At its centre, and dividing the square in two, is the Lesser Town’s foremost landmark and Baroque masterpiece, St. Nicholas Church.

Charles Bridge is the main pedestrian connection between the two sides of Prague. A multitude of tourists stroll across it every day from the Old Town to the Lesser Town, and head up to Prague Castle.

As you are crossing the bridge, once you are over the river and on the Lesser Town side, below on your left is a small square called Na Kampa, which can be reached via some steps. This is part of Kampa Island. If you walk through the square, out the other side and keep going, eventually you arrive at a nice riverside park called Kampa.

The Na Kampa square itself is lined with nice cafes and restaurants, and it often hosts small markets, most notably at Christmas and Easter.

Continuing on through the Lesser Town on your way to Prague Castle, a popular route to take is Nerudova street. This is also a good place to pause for lunch, a coffee, or a quick beer. It can be thirsty work climbing up to Prague Castle!

If you are looking for accommodation in Prague, the Lesser Town is a lovely area to stay in. It is quieter than the Old Town and New Town, it is slightly cheaper too, yet it offers easy pedestrian access to the sights and entertainment in both.

Hotels in the Lesser Town are mostly charming old buildings with plenty of character, beautifully restored, and retaining original features.

Finally, wander through the Lesser Town at night and you will most likely find it almost deserted. Its lantern lit side streets offer a sense of wonder, a real feel of olden day Prague.

History of the Lesser Town: The Lesser Town started life in the 8th century as a market settlement.

In 1257, King Premysl Otakar II granted it town status.

Between 1360-1362, fortifications were added by order of Charles IV. Known as the Hunger Wall (Hladova Zed), it is believed they were built to give employment to the poor during a period of famine.

The Lesser Town has been devastated twice: first during a battle between the Hussites and the Prague Castle garrison in 1419, then in the Great Fire of the Lesser Town in 1541.

The destroyed houses were replaced with magnificent Renaissance buildings and palaces. And in the 17th and 18th centuries, Baroque churches and palaces were added.

While it is the latter buildings that we see mostly today, a significant number of original buildings survived the devastation. And many now operate as pubs, restaurants and hotels.


To explore the sights in Prague, take a Prague tour.

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Lesser Town in Prague | Information & History
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