One of the first public parks in Prague and having its first name as Letná Hill, which means a Hill facing the summer, Letná used to be a combined of 25 ha of green areas for the purpose of a park walk from lower Holesovice to the Prague Castle.
The extensive park used to be filled with vineyards on the slops and used as an army camp on its plains.
FRENCH ARMY & A BLASTED THE CHATEAU
In 1742, a beautiful chateau called Belvedér and built in 1716 by Count Voldštejn was blasted by the French Army during their withdraws of the Siege of Prague. The name was then incorrectly transferred to the Queen Anne’s Summer House. After the death of the owner of the land, the Letná plain became a forgotten piece of land and desolated.
We named our hotel Belvedere Prague, which is located next to Letná to pay tributes for this part of history.
CREATING A PUBLIC SPACE
From 1860, the city of Prague began buying out the land to establish a public park with project of artistic gardener Bedřich Wünscher and Jiří Braul. During this phase, the beautiful restaurant Letenský Zámeček or Letná Chateau, formerly known as Belcredi was built according to designs of architect Vojtěch Ullman. The restaurant is still open serving Czech specialties for over 150 years.
Fruity trees were planted along with bushes on the slopes and a long plane tree-lined avenue provides not only a pleasant to sit and relax.
CZECH BEER & PRAGUE VIEWS
Letná is well-known for its beer garden, serving a variety of Czech lagers and street food for a very affordable rate. The large space which sits right in front of Letná Chateau has fantastic views of Prague and the Vltava River (photo) and it is very popular from the beginning of spring until as long as people can bear the cold in autumn.
EXPLODING STALIN & THE METRONOME
In 1955, a large monument of Joseph Stalin was built at Letná opposite to Pařížská road. The statue was the largest in the world. The memorial was blasted off in November of 1962 and a metronome was built in its place.
The 75-foot-tall metronome was built by Vratislav Karel Novák to represent a new-era pos -Stalin. Today, the area is very popular for skateboarders and young locals.
SPORTS & CHILDREN PLAYGROUNDS
Letná is today a popular location to playing sports. From its clay tennis courts, artificial football pitch to the odd medieval ball sport or Frisbee trick show, summer at Letna is ideal for playing games, riding bikes and skateboards or just making use of the children’s playgrounds, which has been expended offering different options for everyone.
HOW TO GET THERE
You can walk there easily from tram stop Sparta (lines 1, 8, 12, 25, and 26) and tram stop Chotkovy sady (lines 2, 12, and 18).
Every year on New Years Eve and New Years Day a massive show of fireworks and lights are in display at the Metronome.
Written by Mauricio Schuler