The “Royal Way” is an established name for a route going through the historical centre of Prague. It used to be a way, connecting the former Royal Court with the Prague Castle. Czech kings went this way on their coronation parades, as well as did couriers from foreign countries. The Royal way starts in the Old Town, goes to the Charles Bridge and than through the Lesser Town to the Prague Castle. Most of the important sights of the historical Prague are situated along this way.
The whole Royal Way is lined with important historical houses and palaces, mostly originally Gothic or Romanesque and rebuilt in Renaissance and Baroque styles. Almost all of them are registered as a protected real estate. The name “Royal Way” is not historical, it was established as late as in 1955, during the reconstruction of buildings along it.
Former Royal Court
The Royal Way starts at the Powder Tower, which was a gateway to the Old Town in the past. It wasn´t a part of the fortification, it was founded just to embellish the Royal Court, which was situated next to it.
King Wenceslas IV. founded the Royal Court at the place of the present Municipal House in the 14 th century. He lived there since 1383. The Royal Court was later a residence of Emperor Sigismund, King Albert II., King Ladislas the Posthumous and King George of Podebrady. The last king living there was Vladislaus Jagiello, who moved back to the Prague Castle in 1483. The Royal Court became an archiepiscopal seminary then. It was finally demolished in 1915.
Royal Way in the Old Town
The beautiful Gothic Powder Tower leads to the Celetna Lane, one of the oldest streets in Prague. There are many splendid houses and palaces and also the important Cubist house “At the Black Madonna”.
The Royal Way continues along the left side of the Old Town Square. It is the most important historical square in Prague and there is the Old Town City Hall with the famous Astronomical Clock. The kings then went through the Little Square, with its Baroque and Classicist houses, to the Karlova Lane. You can see there for example the richly decorated Colloredo – Mansfeld Palace or the House “At the Golden Well” with stucco reliefs on the facade.
Royal Way in the Lesser Town
The coronation parades continued along the Charles Bridge, the oldest bridge in Prague, decorated with statues of saints. It leads to the Mostecka Lane on the other side, which was the most important street in the Lesser Town since the middle ages. It is lined with noble buildings from the feudal era. The Royal Way goes to the Lesser Town Square with the imposing St. Nicholas Church and continues up the Nerudova Street.
Nerudova is probably the most beautiful street in Prague, with picturesque houses adorned with colourful house symbols. The present way from the Nerudova Street to the Prague Castle didn´t exist in the middle ages, it is from the 17 th century. That is why the coronation parades continued to Pohorelec and then along the Loretanska Street to the Prague Castle. The coronations took place in the St. Vitus Cathedral.