All You Need to Know About Golden Lane in Prague
A quaint little street filled with colorful houses best describes the charming Golden Lane in Prague. This unique street is situated inside Prague Castle and is home to interesting historical facts. Read on to find out more about this delightful attraction.
What is Golden Lane?
Where is The Golden Lane in Prague?
The Golden Lane, also called Zlatá Ulička in Czech, is located in the extreme north-east of Prague Castle. It is situated in the easternmost part of the interior perimeter of the castle's northern wall. You will find it on the opposite side to the main entrance, which is located in Hradčany Square. It is an integral part of Prague Castle's history.
Why Visit The Golden Lane in Prague?
Colorful Tiny Houses
Golden Lane was built in the 16th century by the order of Emperor Rudolf II. The tiny houses in Golden Lane were built for the marksmen of the castle. Since there were 24 marksmen but not enough space, the houses were built small to accommodate their large number. Between 1952 and 1955, the houses were restored and were given their present-day pastel colored appearance.
Exhibits and Souvenirs
In the nineteenth century, the houses became shelters for criminals and beggars. In the twentieth century, the houses within Prague’s Golden Lane were transformed into shops selling trinkets like puppets and other traditional Czech products. Nine of the houses are home to exhibitions documenting everyday life in this alley.
History Of The Golden Lane in Prague
The Golden Lane in Prague was originally inhabited by defenders of the Prague Castle, servants and goldsmiths. It was built in the sixteenth century by the order of Emperor Rudolf II to house the castle marksmen who guarded the castle.
The tiny houses situated on the lane were occupied until WWII. Between 1952 and 1955, the houses were restored. During this time the facades were given a pastel color. Seven of the houses are now souvenir, toy and book shops. The other nine are home to exhibitions documenting everyday life in this alley.
House No. 13 on Prague’s Golden Lane is a great example of a sixteenth century dwelling. It was home to a member of the guard called ‘Red Musket’. House No. 14 also has an interesting story. It was home to a famous fortune-teller ‘Madame de Thebes’ before WWII. Her clientele comprised locals and people from overseas.
History Behind The Name Of Prague’s Golden Lane
Prague’s Golden Lane was named after the goldsmiths who used to live in the houses. House No.15 on the Golden Lane will give you a glimpse of this! It was called ‘Goldsmith Lane’ in the sixteenth century and was later changed to ‘Golden Lane.’
Historical Residents Of Prague’s Golden Lane
During the 19th century, Golden Lane became a famous spot for artists. Throughout its history Prague’s Golden Lane has been home to a number of famous figures.
Famous author Franz Kafka lived in house number 22 for two years in 1916. It was his sister’s home. He allegedly wrote his novel Das Schloss, translated into English as The Castle in the same house. The house has now been transformed into a souvenir shop.
Josef Kazda, an amateur film historian lived at house number 12. Kazda is remembered for saving thousands of films and documentaries from the Nazis during World War II. When the Nazis were destroying films, Kazda hid copies in his house and even held secret film screenings.
Jaroslav Seifert, who is a Nobel Prize-winning writer and poet, lived on Golden Lane in 1929. Sadly, his house was one of the houses that were demolished.
Know Before You Visit Golden Lane in Prague
Golden Lane in Prague is located within Prague Castle.
Address: Hradčany, 119 08 Prague 1, Czechia
By Tram: No 22 & 23. The nearest station is Pražský hrad, from which the 2nd Courtyard of the Prague Castle is a 5 min walk.
Alternate Tram Route: No 22 & 23. Get down at Pohořelec instead of Pražský hrad and enjoy a scenic 10 minute down the hill walk to the Castle via Courtyard IV.
By Metro: Line A (Green). Nearest station Malostranská, which is a 7 minute 500m walk to the Castle.
- Take a leisurely stroll around Golden Lane in Prague and admire the tiny houses and the quaint street.
- Many of the homes have been converted into stores where you can shop for trinkets like puppets and other traditional Czech products.
- Visit the art galleries and exhibition rooms to understand the history of Golden Lane.
There are no restaurants within Golden Lane or Prague Castle. However you could visit some of these restaurants in the Prague Castle district for an authentic taste of the local food. They are all known for their delicious food and lovely ambience.
- U Černého Vola
- Lo Veg
- Kavárna Nový Svět
- Villa Richter
Golden Lane Prague Entrance and Tickets
The Golden Lane is situated within the Prague Castle and is therefore a part of your general admission tickets to Prague Castle itself. There are different types of Prague Castle tickets available including: Skip The Line tickets, Guided Tour tickets, Fast-track tickets and Skip The Line Combo tickets. Learn more about the types of tickets and book your tickets to visit the Golden Lane and Prague Castle here.
Myths & Legends Of Golden Lane
Prague’s Golden Lane is also known for certain myths and legends that define its history.
- Golden Lane is often referred to as the ‘street of alchemists’ but the houses were never occupied by the king’s alchemists.
- Emperor Rudolf II of Austria, who moved to Prague permanently, used to have alchemists living in the Prague Castle but they did not live on Golden Lane. Instead they occupied rooms inside the main structure.
- The royal goldsmiths that lived on the street were responsible for Golden Lane getting its name in the seventeenth century.
All Your Questions Answered About The Golden Lane in Prague
A: The famous residents of Golden Lane include Franz Kafka, Josef Kazda and Jaroslav Seifert
A: It is named after the goldsmiths who used to once live in houses on the street.
A: The Golden Lane is situated in the north-east corner of Prague Castle complex.
You can reach Prague Castle and the Golden Lane within it by trams no. 22 and 23 from metro station Malostranska (stop Prazsky hrad) or from metro station Malostranska by Old Royal Steps.
A: The Golden Lane has now been redone as a tourist attraction. The houses are no longer occupied by residents.
A: Yes, Prague Castle tickets include access to the Golden Lane and other attractions within the castle.
A: Yes, Prague Castle is open to visitors.
A: Yes, Prague Castle has safety measures in place for all tourists.
A: You need a minimum of 2-3 hours to tour Prague Castle and see all its sights.
A: You can visit the Golden Lane as part of your admission tickets to Prague Castle.