Where kings used to walk in the centre of Prague

Souvenir shops on Celetna Street Top-notch of the tourist paths in the city of the 100 spires is the Royal Route. Its name derives from the coronation processions of the Bohemian Kings, starting with George of Podebrady in 1458. The historical path can’t be missed by anyone walking in the old centre of Prague, as it has been marked with a silvery plate (arrow) that can be seen on the side-walk, which wears the inscription “Silver Line”.

Lamps before the Prague Castle Coronation processions are things far gone, but their greatness remained forever imbued on the murals of the splendid buildings, in the entire atmosphere of the narrow streets and in the stones that form the mysterious old paths. The Royal route used to link the gates of Old Prague, the Jewish Town, Lesser Quarter and the Prague Castle. The Silver line starts at the Powder Tower, in front of the Municipal House and finds its way through Celetna Street down to The Old Town Square.

On Celetna, one of the oldest Prague streets, stand evidence of the past beautiful historical houses decorated with breathtaking murals and house symbols and façades. The most interesting façades are At the Three Kings, At the White Lion, At the Black Sun and At the Vulture. Don’t miss also the Cubist façade on the House of the Black Madonna, which dates from 1912 and houses a branch of the Czech Museum of Fine Arts with a permanent exhibition on Czech Cubism.

St Vitus Cathedral by night On each side of the Celetna Street there are all sorts of souvenir shops: amber, garnet, porcelain or wood dolls and toys, painted glass and of course the famous Bohemian crystal shops.

The Royal route than leads into the Old Town Square (Staromestske namesti). Besides the well known attractions (The astronomical Clock, the Tyn Church, the statue of Jan Hus), you can stop for a while and climb the Tower of the Old Town Hall and take a look ever the historical center of Prague up to the Prague Castle and Vysehrad. At the Tower you can make your own souvenir (a 20 CZK coin is needed).

Charles Bridge Follow the silvery path through the narrow streets down Karlova Street to the famous Charles Bridge. Pay some attention to your bag and belongings as you pass the beautiful narrow streets. The surroundings are indeed marvelous, so don’t get too carried away and make yourself an easy mark for the possible pic-pockets nearby.

On your way through the Charles Bridge you will get the chance to have your portrait or caricature made by different artists waiting for you on the bridge. Especially during early evenings jazz bands and different artists and singers have live performances, so the town and the bridge seem to have come to life. And when you pass by the statue of St. John of Nepomuk don’t forget to make a wish and touch the statue. (you can’t miss it, just notice the line of tourists waiting for their turn to get their wishes fulfilled).

Then the royal route goes up to Lesser Quarter Square and continues through Nerudova Street, another magnificent place of historical Prague. The way up the Castle may be a bit tiresome but it is unquestionably worth every step.

The old path ends at the Matthias gate at the Prague Castle with a splendid view over Prague. After exploring the castle premises and the Castle Gardens you can set off on your way back, down the Castle Stairs (Zamecke Schody) to Lesser Town Square.

For more pictures see Royal Route photo gallery

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