Pisecka Brana is another small, yet very interesting destination. It's not high on the standard to-do list. And the guide books aren't going to twist your arm to get here.
Ah, that's maybe more reason to visit.
This place is totally unique, easy to find and won't take much of your time. Better yet, it has a fabulous little cafe inside that is perfect for an afternoon tea or beer.
Písecká Brána (Pisek Gate) was built as part of Prague's fortification in 1721. This was one of three gates that controlled the traffic entering the city. The other two were apparently destroyed in subsequent years.
The gate was named after one of the suburbs at the time, Pisek. This suburb no longer exists because of the changing landscape of Mala Strana, but the gate remained a symbol of fortification and saw years of armies and supplies pass through.
Then, by 1866 the gate was no longer deemed necessary but somehow remained intact.
The gate is now part of Prague 6, Hradčany. And it surrounded by beautiful villas and residential buildings.
The gate itself is not a large attraction in size so most of what you will experience is just from walking around its perimeter.
Curiously, the front and back sides are completely different from one another. The front side which faces toward Prague Castle and Queen Anne's palace is softer with white and blue coloring. While the back side is more menacing with carved figures and military styling in the stonework.
We particularly like how the roof and sides of the gate have gone natural with grass growing around it. It makes the gate seem to be connected to the earth and landscape in a way no other place in Prague is.
Inside Pisecka Brana you'll find a gallery space for exhibitions, weddings and the occassional small concert. There's also a cute litle cafe beckoning visitors with its cozy atmosphere and incredible arched brick layered ceilings.
This is one of the wonderful details on the back side of the gate.
Faces like this are everywhere throughout the city. Maybe they were meant to ward off enemies or just to make us chuckle every once in a while.
Another side of Prague which seems to embed itself into the memories of visitors are its eclectic doors and doorways. Pisecka Brana is no different. It has interesting thresholds and doors on both sides.
This is one detail of the carvings in the gate's facade. The care and creativity that went into building details from centuries ago always leaves an impression on us.
This cool gate is easy to find. It's one tram stop before Prague Castle and one street from the tram stop Kralovsky Letohradek. Take the tram 22 to the stop Kralovsky Letohradek, walk down into the little street and turn right at the first street. The gate will be on your left.
You can also find the gate easily from metro station Hradčanská (A line).
The gate is also near Letna park with impressive views over the city. The view below is a short walk from the gate.
The address is K Brusce 5/208, Hradčany.
Above: interior of the cafe inside the gate
Below: view of the city from the park nearby