The Deer Moat or Jelenni prikop used to form part of the Prague Castle northern fortification system. It served as a natural wall affording protection against any attacks from the North. However, the invention of artillery fire reduced the need of this strategic advantage. It was the main reason for Vladislav II Jagiello ordering the building of strong fortifications on the southern slope of the moat with powerful artillery posts. The moat was created by the Brusnice stream which was drained into underground pipes in 1899. Archaeologists found out in the 19th century that traces of a prehistoric settlement had been concealed inside the moat.
History Of The Deer Moat
When the Royal garden was founded, the Deer Moat was divided into two parts by the Powder bridge or Prasny most, a wooden two-storey structure on five stone pillers. It comnected the royal chambers inside the Castle with the newly established Renaissace garden. During the reign of Maria Theresa, the bridge was replaced with a heaped embankment, strengthened with the planting of trees. During the reign of Rudolf II the moat was fenced and used for hunting deer. This is how the Deer Moat acquired its name. Unfortunately, all the animals were killed by French soldiers during the Prague occupation in 1743. The Deer Moat was also used as a rubbish dump. During the reign of Joseph II it even contained items from the renowned Rudolf’s collections that were not sold at auction. 100 years ago even bears could have been seen in Deer Moat.
Deer Moat Today
These days you can visit both upper and lower parts of the Deer Moat. Meadows with a network of paths and benches can be found in the upper part. Its lower part has retained its historic character. The Deer Moat is open to the public during the summer season.
Deer Moat Is just 5 minutes walk from our hostel, stay with us!