From Břevnov to Strahov: The Magic of (Semi)Rural Prague
This walk is quite undemanding, but offers a surprising variety of terrain and architecture. It’s ideally suited for beer-loving history buffs, as it begins and ends at two monasteries where excellent beer has been brewed since time immemorial. From the Baroque Břevnov Monastery and its gardens, you’ll walk through a tidy Communist-era housing estate to a charming village, around an old vineyard farmstead and on to Strahov Monastery with its famous library and picture gallery. Finally, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of Prague’s historical centre.
Route Length: 5 km / 3 miles
Větrník tram and bus stop – Ankarská St. – U Větrníku St. – Větrník
The ordinary-looking street hides an interesting three-storey building – a former windmill called Větrník, which was apparently functional until the 1860s. The building was restored and converted into a bed & breakfast with a restaurant.
– at the intersection turn left into the terraced Monastery Gardens and orchard – Břevnov Monastery – Benedictine Archabbey of Sts. Adalbert and Margaret
You’ll find a plethora of interesting buildings and objects in the extensive Monastery Gardens. On the way to the monastery, don’t miss the Vojtěška pavilion, which houses the wellspring of the Brusnice Stream; the orangery, home of the Entrance Gallery, which holds exhibitions of young artists; and the Baroque Cathedral of St. Margaret. The dominant feature is the oldest monastery in the Czech Republic, which, together with the Markéta garden, is protected as a cultural monument. The tradition of beer brewing is closely associated with the monastery – the Břevnov Brewery (Břevnovský pivovar) is the oldest in the Czech lands.
– around the fishpond – Markétská St. – Sartoriova St.
This area could be called a “trip to the recent past”: During the 1970s, this neighbourhood of “paneláky” (prefabricated buildings) was built and soon gained the nickname “The Bludgeon,” as many of the units were intended for families of the infamous Ministry of Interior employees. The only remnant of the Old Břevnov village green is a small chapel situated directly in between the apartment buildings.
– Ve Střešovičkách St. – Na Kocourkách St.
One of the oldest streets in Střešovice, with old houses and typical bumpy cobblestones (called “cat heads” in Czech). It’s a beautiful, quiet place. Once you reach the small square with the gas lamps, take a break and let yourself breathe in the atmosphere of the “olden days”.
– Pod Andělkou St. – Na Petynce St. – down the stairs – Kajetánka Park and Château
Originally a vineyard farmstead, Kajetánka has undergone many changes over the past century. It served as a small monastery, and was later converted into a château, an oilcloth factory, and finally a restaurant.
– Radimova St. – Vincentinum Fishpond – Břevnov farmsteads Petynka and Šlajferka
At the Petynka farmstead, you’ll have to really use your imagination. Formerly a vineyard farmstead and a favourite destination for locals, Petynka hosted balls and celebrations in its heyday. Later it was used as a poorhouse and hospice. It still awaits its renovation.
The third farmstead also has an interesting history. In addition to the chapel that was established here, Šlajferka also served as a cultural centre, a renowned music club, and there was even a recording studio here. In its current post-renovation state, the building serves as a homeless shelter surrounded by a park and an orchard.
– Pod Královkou St. – Bělohorská St. – Dlabačov – Strahov Courtyard – Strahov Monastery and Picture Gallery
This Premonstratensian monastery was founded in 1140 AD. On its grounds you’ll find the Church of the Assumption, the rare and unique
Strahov Library with over 200,000 medieval manuscripts, maps, and globes, and the Strahov Picture Gallery. Also located on the grounds of Strahov Monastery is the Strahov Monastery Brewery (Klášterní pivovar Strahov), which offers its own St. Norbert beer. Its history is documented all the way back to around 1400 AD.
The most beautiful view opens up from the Raoul Wallenberg Promenade, directly below the monastery.