Hunger Wall in Prague

Among well preserved structures in Prague dating back to the 14th century belongs a long white defensive wall going from Strahov across Petrin Park to Ujezd, visible from many parts of Prague. It used to serve as the fortification of the southern part of the Lesser Town and Prague Castle from the west or south for more than 500 years (1362-1848).

The Hunger Wall (Hladova zed) has been reconstructed several times, e.g. during the reign of Ferdinand II or Maria Theresa. These days about 1.200 meters have remained from the original length of the wall, which is about 6 meter high and almost 2 meters wide. Its inner walkway is protected by battlements and a platform for marksmen. It’s assumed that the wall used to have eight bastions. Notice that the bastion behind the Stefanik Observation on Petrin Hill offers a nice view of Prague.

The Hunger Wall was built by order of the Holy Roman Emperor and the Czech King Charles IV. between 1360 – 62. It’s said that Charles IV. built this wall with the aim to help the poor in Prague in the time of terrible famine. Poor people working on this structure got food for themselves and their families. Old records prove that Czech lands really suffered from great famine in the 1360s, but building the wall was probably only a strategic act.

Even though there were protection walls built by Charles IV’s ancestors, they were too close to the inhabited area. By building the Hunger Wall, Charles IV. strengthen the city protection with strong defensive walls and enlarged the protected area so that the city could develop.

How to get there:
The best view of the wall is from Ujezd in the Lesser Town. You can get there by trams no. 6, 9, 12 or 20 from metro station Andel.

Top of the page.

© 2008 |