Walking Tour: Not Quite The Royal Way
- Start Republic Sq (náměstí Republiky)
- End Charles Bridge
- Length 1.5km, 45 minutes
From Republic Square head towards the Gothic extravaganza of the Powder Gate and set off along Celetná, which is lined with interesting buildings, including the House of the Black Madonna, a fine example of cubist architecture.
Turn right into the passage at Celetná 17, which leads through a courtyard housing the Celetna Theatre, whose facade, foyer and cafe sport a mixture of medieval, baroque and modern design motifs, and then go straight ahead along Malá Štupartská for a look at the baroque sculptures of the Church of St James. The cobbled passage opposite the church leads to the Týn Courtyard, a lovely square with a Renaissance loggia. Exit at the far end and go along the alley to the right of the Church of Our Lady Before Týn.
You emerge into Old Town Square, dominated by the brooding statue of Jan Hus and the Gothic tower of the Old Town Hall. Continue past the clock to reach Little Square, which is dominated by the gorgeously decorated facade of the VJ Rott building. From here, bear right and then left into Linhartská.
This leads to the quieter Mariánské náměstí (Virgin Mary Sq) and New City Hall, seat of Prague’s city council. Nip into the lobby of the Municipal Library (on the northern side of the square) for a peek at the interesting book tower sculpture by Matej Kren.
Facing New City Hall is the main gate of the Klementinum. Go through the gate and turn left; on your right is the Chapel of Mirrors, where classical concerts are held daily. Continue through the triple arch, then turn right to pass through quiet courtyards (look up to your right to spot a modern sculpture of a child with a paper plane, perched on a ledge).
At the far end of the Klementinum you emerge into the bustling crowds of Křížovnické náměstí. End your walk by climbing up the Old Town Bridge Tower for a view over Charles Bridge.