It is one of the Lesser Town’s most beautiful streets and it leads from the Lesser Town Square to the Prague Castle, and therefore, it is the final part of the Royal Route. The street dates to the second half of the 13th century, when most of the surrounding area was formed. The houses and the palaces in the street are mostly of a medieval origin with either Renaissance, Baroque or Classical facades.
The House Signs on the individual houses tell us about their history and their homeowners. Right at the beginning of the street, on the right side, the House Number 2 is Dům u Kocoura (The House of The Puss) with a Renaissance portal and stucco decorations. The local pub, which also has the same name, is one of the most renowned. The House Number 12 is dům U Tří housliček (The House of the Three Violins) and it was originally a Gothic house that was rebuilt in the Renaissance style in the 18th century. The sign refers to the violin making family, Edlinger. A little further along and to the left there is the Morzin Palace, today’s residence of the embassy of Romania. It was designed by the builder, the architect and the master of Czech Baroque, Santini-Aichel, who also lived on the same street. The balcony, supported by two Moors sculptures, was made by Maximilian Brokoff. On the opposite side there is the Thun-Hohenštejský Palace, also referred to by the name of its original owners, Kolovrat. It is the work of the same architect and today, it houses the Italian embassy. Roughly, in the middle the street stands a famous Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady Mother of Perpetual Help, which was designed by Jean Baptiste Mathey and it is also called u Kajetánů.
At the corner, turn right and there is the Dům u Dvou Slunců (The House of Two Suns). This house is directly linked with the street’s name. The street was originally called Ostruhová, which was a corruption of the German Sparrengasse. The Sparren were the rafters that were put on the street to act as a kind of cross thresholds, which helped people pass the unusually steep street. The German Sparrengasse is very similar to the Sporrengasse which means Ostruhová (Spurs), which however, has nothing to do with rafters that were used by local cabs. Today’s name of the street may be misleading for foreign tourists. Usually, people know the Chilean Nobel prize laureate from 1971, Pablo Neruda, but they do not know Jan Neruda. Pablo Neruda chose his pseudonym after the Czech poet Jan Neruda, who is linked with this area. Jan Neruda was an exceptional journalist, novelist and poet and he lived in the house, U Dvou slunců, where his memorial plaque is placed. His book Povídky malostrnaské made the area of the Lesser Town famous.