Kampa Island near Charles Bridge is one of the most beautiful places in Prague, with picturesque houses and a nice park. It is definitely the right place to spend an evening walking by the river Vltava and enjoying the special atmosphere of the place.
The Venice of Prague
Kampa Island is separated from Prague Lesser Town by the river arm Devil´s Stream. It is probably named after the house “At the Seven Devils” nearby. There is a particularly attractive part of Kampa with houses standing right by the river – it is called The Venice of Prague.
Till the 16 th century, there were only mills and gardens at the Kampa Island. It was often threatened by floods. Four mills are still preserved there, the biggest mill-wheel is 8 metres large in diameter.
Museum Kampa with valuable art collections
The neo-Gothic building Sova´s Mills (Sovovy mlyny) by the river Vltava is an exhibition space of Museum Kampa. You can see a large collection of Central European Modern Art there.
First residential houses were built on the Kampa Island in the 16 th century, but mostly poor people lived in this area of floods. For example raftsmen and washerwomen had their houses there. Pottery markets took place on the island regularly, already in the 16 th century.
Lichtenstein Palace – where British Queen stayed
Several noble families built their residences around later and the present park on the Kampa Island consists of the former palace gardens. The Lichtenstein Palace (also called Kaiserstein Palace) by the river Vltava was built in the 17 th century and some prominent personalities stayed there during their visit in Prague, for example the British Queen Elisabeth II. and Prince Phillip in 1996.
While walking on the Kampa Island, you will go past several interesting buildings, where important personalities of Czech culture used to live. For example, the house No. 7 was a home of popular actor Jan Werich after the World War II. The famous composer Bohuslav Martinu also lived on the Kampa Island, in the house “At the Golden Rose”.
Legend of the house “At the Picture of Virgin Mary”
You can see the house At the Picture of Virgin Mary near the Charles Bridge. There is a story about it, which says, that the picture was brought to the island by a flood. The former owner of the building was very religious and he reportedly took the picture out of the water risking his own life. The flood stopped immediately and the picture was hung on the gable. It reportedly brought good fortune to the owner of the house as well as to everyone who prayed to it.