overcast
Sa 25.5.
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Su 26.5.
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Mo 27.5.
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Smíchov and Zbraslav

On the opposite bank of the Vltava River lies Smíchov, which runs along the river all the way to Petřín and Lesser Town. It entered into history as a suburb of Prague during the reign of Wenceslas II, who, in the year 1297, held a magnificent coronation banquet for, according to the chronicles of that time, 190,000 noble guests and their entourage. Up to the 19th century, it was only sparsely settled along the route leading to Zbraslav and Pilsen. Bourgeoisie and noble farmsteads (Bertramka, Šmukýřka) came into being here and later even summer castles. The Renaissance Lesser Town Waterworks Tower (1562) is one of the older preserved monuments on the banks of the Vltava River, on Petržilkovský Island. Today, the local park is arranged as a children’s playground. Not far away, but farther from the riverbank, the Baroque summer castle, known as Portheimka or Buquoyka still stands. It was built in the year 1725 by K. I. Dienzenhofer and its interiors were frescoed by V. V. Reiner. The cooperation of these two outstanding artists created one of the most beautiful Czech Late Baroque monuments. The gardens that once belonged to the estate reached all the way to the Vltava River and in the year 1775 became the basis for today’s botanical gardens. Nearby at Portheimka, after the year 1884, Antonín Barvitie built the neo-Renaissance Church of St. Wenceslas (kostel sv. Václava). This illustrates the rise of Smíchov in the 19th century, when it became an industrial sector. Today, its centre is the Crossroads Anděl (Angel), where the most modern buildings are now being built and are meeting the remains of classicist structures. The crossroads are dominated by the business and administrative Centre Zlatý anděl (Golden Angel), which was created from glass and aluminium by Jean Nouvelle from 1996-2000. Above Smíchov, which is an industrial, workers and business district, one can find Barrandov Cliffs, in which at the beginning of the 19th century, Joachim Barrande found a number of noteworthy animal fossils. The illustrious film studios are located there and in 1927 the lookout restaurant came into being. One can find the famous Bertramka in these parts – a 17th century residence that was rebuilt in the middle of the 18th century and even hosted W. A. Mozart. He lived here with his friends, the pianists F. X. Dušek and his wife Josefína, and even composed some of his works. Today in Bertramka, one can find the museum of W. A. Mozart and the Dušeks. Concerts are held in the building and adjoining garden.

Farther south, on the left bank of the Vltava River, lies Zbraslav. The famous Gothic Cistercian Cloister, which was supposed to function as the burial place for Czech kings, stood here. It was totally destroyed at the beginning of the Hussite Wars. The current Baroque version of the cloister was worked on by J. Santini, K. I. Dienzenhofer and V. V. Reiner. Today, the complex, with its adjoining park, is an oasis of calm and it houses the Asian Art collections of the National Gallery. Above Zbraslav, on the other bank of the Vltava River – Na Závisti there is evidence of an ancient Celtic Fortress, whose 170 hectares was surrounded by 9 km of complex ramparts.