The lively Karlova Lane leads from the Little Square in the Old Town to the Charles Bridge. It is one of the historical lanes in the centre of Prague, lined with interesting buildings and worth your attention. It belongs to the Royal Way, the former way of coronation parades of Czech kings. There are many shops, especially with souvenirs, nowadays. The name “Karlova” means “Charles´s” and it refers to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV., like many other places in Prague do.
Interesting houses in Karlova Lane
The Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace (No.2) with arcades and galleries was built in 1735. The frontage of this building is adorned with sculptures by M. B. Braun. Remains of the former Romanesque house are preserved in the basement. A beautiful fountain with a Triton is situated in the inner courtyard.
The house “At the French Crown” (No.4) is connected with life of the astronomer Johannes Kepler, who lived and worked there between 1607 and 1612.
There used to be the oldest cinema in Prague, called Ponrepo, in the house “At the Blue Pike” (No.20) since 1907. The cinema survived the both world wars and also the start of the sound film. It was finally closed in 1945.
Decorative house “At the Golden Well”
The former Jesuit college Clementinum lines the part of the Karlova Lane near the Charles Bridge. The house No.3 near the Clementinum is called “At the Golden Well”. It has a beautiful Baroque facade, decorated with stucco reliefs, depicting plague guardians. A pension and a restaurant are in the house at the present.
Ghosts wandering Karlova Lane
There are several ghost stories about the house “At the Golden Well”. The house got its name after the well in the basement, which used to shine like gold. It was said, that it was because of a treasure, that was hidden somewhere inside. A curious servant once fell to the well and drowned, when she looked inside. The well was then emptied and a treasure was really found there behind a stone. The ghost of the dead servant was then seen walking around the house and moaning.
Another story says, that a knight with his wife were once killed in the house “At the Golden Well” and that their headless ghosts haunted the house, till their bodies were properly buried.
A ghost of a flaming man allegedly wanders along Karlova Lane at midnight. He was a very miserly man when he was alive, and now he has to carry a heavy bag full of money. He can be rescued only if somebody will help him carry the bag from the Karlova Lane to the Old Town Square. However, when somebody approaches him, he starts burning and has embers instead of eyes, so everyone rather runs away.