Malostranské Square and Malostranská metro station are connected by Letenská street. If you take the streetcar in the direction of the square, shortly before entering it, the streetcar will enter a narrow tunnel between the house and St. Thomas’ Church. The streetcar passes only a yard or less from the walls of both houses. It’s a thrilling experience. But why is that?
That house opposite the church is called the Oettingen Palace. It was built in the Middle Ages, evidenced by its still preserved Gothic cellars. During the 16th century, they rebuilt the house in the Renaissance and early Baroque style. The current form is from 1723.
In 1927, a pedestrian passage was built in the northern part of the house. It was changed to a car passageway in 1948. A new pedestrian passage was created where the entrance to the house with a baroque portal had originally been.
The streetcars go towards the square through a short tunnel and a narrow space between the palace’s walls and the church. That space is finished with a building element with a lovely name in Czech: PRAMPOUCH.
“Prampouch” is a brick arch between two buildings, typical of narrow medieval streets. It usually ends with a roof. The purpose of “prampouch” is to stabilize connected buildings.
Pedestrians can only pass under the Oettingen Palace via the pedestrian passage. But since Letenská street is now being repaired and neither cars nor streetcars run there, it is also possible to walk along the route that the tram runs on in regular traffic. There are certainly more emotionally powerful experiences in life, but this one is interesting too.