|The Lesser Town (Lesser Quarter/Little Quarter) in Prague is one of the key central areas in the city. It nestles around the foothills of Prague Castle, on the opposite bank of the Vltava River to the Old Town.
The Lesser Town (Malá Strana) is very picturesque. Its ancient burgher houses, main square 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.
Charles Bridge is the main pedestrian connection between the two sides of Prague. During the day, a multitude of tourists stroll across from the Old Town into the Lesser Town, pause for some lunch, shop for souvenirs, then climb up Nerudova street to reach Prague Castle.
At night, a wander through its almost deserted, lantern lit streets can leave you with a sense of wonder, a feel of olden day Prague.
Unsurprisingly, the Lesser Town is a favourite setting to shoot movies and commercials.
The Lesser Town is also a lovely area to stay in. It is quieter than the Old Town and New Town, but offers easy pedestrian access to the sights and entertainment in both.
Hotels in the Lesser Town are mostly old buildings charmingly restored, with plenty of character and retaining original features.
The Lesser Town started life in the 8th century as a market settlement. In 1257 Premysl Otakar II granted it town status.
Between 1360-1362 fortifications were added, on the 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.
Destroyed houses were replaced with magnificent Renaissance buildings and palaces.
Then in the 17th and 18th centuries, Baroque churches and palaces were added.
A number of the original buildings did survive the devastation however, and many of these operate today as hotels, 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 Explorer Tour & Boat Trip
Prague City Tour & Boat Trip.