Golden Lane by Daliborka Tower - Prague Castle
Picturesque colourful houses built-in into castle’s northern fortification walls from the period of Vladislav II of Jagiello, much admired by foreign and domestic tourists, were originally conceived as an emergency housing for servants and serfs who worked at the Castle (there were several places like this around the Castle).The first such areas could be found there even before the great fire of 1541, the construction of new houses for castle shooters was permitted by Rudolph II himself in 1597. The noise and smell from the lively lane bothered the nuns from the neighbouring Convent of St. George so much, that at the end of the 17th century they had a wall built in between. The lane originally had houses on both sides and it was only around a metre wide and had only one latrine for all its inhabitants, food was cooked on open fires...After the castle shooters battalion was dissolved, new inhabitants came to the lane, in the 19th century poor people used to concentrate there. The picturesque nature of this place was only discovered in the 20th century when artists started to move into the small houses; one of them was even Franz Kafka who lived at no.20/22 between 1916-1917 and wrote some of his works there. After 1948 when the housing stopped being used, the lane underwent a reconstruction and the artist J. Trnka designed their façades. At present time there are tourist shops, small galleries and exhibitions. The most valuable buildings include the house no. 16/20 (probably the oldest house in the lane) and house no. 2/13 (preserved design from Rudolph II era).