This picturesque alley runs along the northern wall of the castle. Its tiny, colourful cottages were built in the 16th century for the sharpshooters of the castle guard, but were later used by goldsmiths. In the 19th and early 20th centuries they were occupied by artists, including the writer Franz Kafka, who stayed at his sister’s house at No 22 from 1916 to 1917.
The cottages have been restored to show a variety of former uses. No 15 is a goldsmith's workshop, No 16 a tavern, and No 14 is the home of celebrated Prague fortune teller Matylda Průšová, who died at the hands of the Gestapo during WWII; Kafka's cottage is now a souvenir shop. The most evocative is No 12, at the far eastern end. It's the cosy former home of an amateur film historian who seems to have just popped out for lunch – archive footage of the castle is projected onto the living-room wall.