Wednesday, 18 February 2009
When looking south-west from Karlův Most the alignment of sight has the crenellated line of the Hladová zeď [Hunger Wall] (1360-1362) descending Petřín hill end in the rhyming crenelles of Museum Kampa, a restoration of the medieval Sova Mills.
Hladová zed', also known to be zubatá [toothed] and chlebová [bread-like], was built to give south-west protection to Malá Strana and Pražský Hrad. (Under Charles IV, Prague Castle became an imperial residence, the palace was rebuilt, fortifications strengthened, and St Vitus was to take on the heights of French Gothic.) The wall was built from marl from quarries on the same hill over which it folds and unfolds. Its hungry attribute arises from the coincidence of its construction with the time of the 1361 famine, caused by crop failures.
I walked alongside the wall from Strahovský klášter, stopping to pass through an aperture into Strahovská zahrada, overlooking the steep slopes of Petřínské Skalky, returned to the south-west side of the wall to proceed on to Štefánik Observatory, by which time snow began to fall.