Visitors will find many interesting places in Prague. The Hunger Wall represents one such place. It ranks amongst on of the best preserved structures in Prague. Its origins dating back to the 14th century when it was part of a long white defensive wall stretching from Strahov, Petrin Park to Ujezd. The wall is visible from many locations in Prague. The main function of this fortified wall was the protection of the southern part of the Lesser Town and Prague Castle from the west or south for more than 500 years (1362-1848). As you can see it played an important defensive role for many centuries. The Hunger Wall underwent several phases of reconstruction in the past, for example during the reign of Ferdinand II and Maria Theresa.
Hunger Wall Today
Nowadays approximately 1200 metres of the original length of the wall remain, measuring about 6 metres high and almost 2 metres wide. Its inside walkway is well protected by battlements and a platform for marksmen. Protection is provided by eight bastions. We should mention that the bastion behind the Stefanik Observation on Petrin Hill offers an excellent panoramic view of Prague.
The Hunger Wall was built upon the order of the Holy Roman Emperor and the Czech King Charles IV between 1360 – 62. The story goes that Charles IV ordered the construction of this fortified wall with the aim to help the poor people in Prague during a terrible famine that lasted years. Poor people worked on this wall and earned food for themselves and their families. Old records prove that Czech lands really suffered from this famine in the 1360s, but the wall was probably only built for a strategic reasons. Even though there were fortification walls built by Charles IV’s ancestors, they were too close to the area where people lived. The Hunger Wall offered a greater protection for Prague due to strong defensive walls which were later enlarged to protect a larger area of the city.
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