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Prague Castle ramp and Radniční stairs

Ke Hradu and Radniční stairs, Hradčany

At the point where Nerudova Street becomes Úvoz street two paths leading to Hradčanské Square emerge: the Prague Castle ramp (Ke Hradu street) and Radniční stairs. It would be hard for us to imagine this part of Prague without them, yet both of them were built relatively recently – until 1683 everyone who wanted to access the Prague Castle from this side in a coach, including royal coronation processions and other ceremonial rides, had to go through Úvoz to Pohořelec, then take a sharp turn and continue through Loretánské Square and Hradčanské Square towards the western gate of the Castle. The Prague Castle ramp was designed by J. B. Matthey during the Thirty Years War and set in a rocky slope below the Schwarzenberg Palace. It was carved out in two stages by stonecutters between 1638 and 1683; until then there was just a steep path leading from the Lesser Town to the Prague Castle in place of today´s Castle stairs. The ramp is adorned by two sculptures in its upper part: a statue of St. Wenceslas by Č. Vosmík from 1906, standing on a Baroque pedestal, and a Baroque column with Pietà group of statues by an unknown author. At the upper end of the ramp there are ruins of a Baroque chapel of Our Lady of Einsiedel, demolished after 1783; the ruins of the enclosure walls form gallery of the viewing terrace. Further up, right below the Castle, the Castle stairs coming from Thunovská street end and are decorated by a statue of St. Philip Neri by F. M. Brokoff from 1715.

Radniční stairs connect the upper end of Nerudova Street with Hradčanské Square and were built at the same time in place of a narrow, steep track. The bottom of Radniční stairs is decorated by a statue of St. John of Nepomuk by M. J. Brokof from 1709 and statue of St. Joseph by an unknown author from 1714.

 

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