Under the last arch of the Charles Bridge, on Mala Strana side, flows the Certovka (Devil's Brook), an arm of the Vltava that creates the lovely island of Kampa with its park where you cantake nice walk, with its baroque buildings and the water mills.
Just few metres away the big crowd that walks on the Charles Bridge, enjoy this little corner of peace
“When the snow comes down, Prague at once becomes a little old-world town … old-fashioned, all quaintly Baroque.”
— Karel Capek, (1890–1938), Czech novelist and dramatist
The simple, low-storied buildings, the Christmas tree, and the pedestrians strolling about in snowy Kampa Square made for a Prague version of a Currier and Ives print. I ache with longing to return to this very scene, time and again, for its peaceful white beauty.
This square is on Kampa Island, which is in the River Vltava on the Lesser Town side. The word kampa is based on the Latin word for field, campus. Before the 1600s the island had been an open field where washerwomen dried the laundry and bleached the linens.
In the early 17th century three families of the nobility built their palaces on the island. During a rush of egalitarianism in the late 19th century the gardens of their estates were combined to form the present-day park, which occupies most of the island.
These stone steps on the side of the Charles Bridge are very easy to miss. They are a few statues away from the Little Quarter Bridge Tower, and take you down to Kampa Island.
Kampa Island is quite pleasant and has a little less hustle and bustle than the main cirt of Prague. It’s well worth strolling down, and it can be a good place to eat a sandwich as you can often find a free bench to sit on down there. Being a bit quieter there may also account for why they have appeared in a few films over the years, the most notable of which was the Tom Cruise “Mission Impossible” – the first in the trilogy. For anyone really interested, there is a clear shot of Tom Cruise running up the steps and onto Charles Bridge at around 21 mins 30 secs into the film.
Kampa Island is also pleasant at night and the steps are well illuminated. My pictures show both the day and night view of these steps.
Walking accross Charles Bridge towards the Lesser Town on the right of bridge you will see the start of a canal with beautiful homes and restaurants on the waters edge. This is a most exclusive part of Prague and well worth visiting on your way to the Lesser town and Prague Castle. If you stand by the canal you will see boats travel through and further along you will see the old water wheel. It is a popular spot for tourists and you will see men in sailors uniform selling tickets for boat rides.
Kampa Island is a peaceful and picturesque retreat in the heart of the city on the western bank of the river. The perfect place to stop for a drink or something to eat whilst you look out at deserted street.
A nice distraction view from the Charles Bridge, the water mill in action in Devil's creek
You can also get a better , closer view from Mala Strana
The mill has been restored and moves slowly due to the muddy Vltava water
If you stay long enough in Prague, so that you can take a “day off” from the sightseeing, I would suggest you to spend it at Kampa island. It is known as the Venice of Prague due to its chanals and the houses on the water.In the past used mostly for washing clothes this island is today full of the fine restaurants and small hotels. There is a nice Kampa park with the well known Lenon wall in it.
The Kampa Museum can be found on the castle / Mala Strana side of the Vlatva, just south of The charles Bridge. It is housed in what was, a long time ago, a flour mill - although the interiors and exterior have been extensively redesigned to form the perfect setting for exhibitions..
The Kampa Museum is the culmination of Meda and Jan Mladek's lifelong love affair with art - as well as exhibitions the museum has an unmissable permanent collection, with works dating from the 50s to the present day. Some of the artists include; Jiri Kolar,Otto Gutfreund, and Frantisek Kupka
The gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Museum Kampa is small but very interesting museum which displays Central European modern art, both paintings and sculptures. They have both a permanent colection as wel as changing exhibitions.
It can be seen in southern direction from the Charles bridge. Definately worth a visit. Certainly something I will return to in the future.
Student price spring 2005: 60 crownes (2 euro).
Not far from the museum you can find the John Lennon Wall, a spontaniously formed monument to commemorate this great artist. A nice place to get away from the crowd and have a moment of piece and reflexion: All you need is love.
Na Kampe is an oval square that -- like much of Mala Strana -- becomes wonderfully atmospheric at night. This area was under water high in the 2002 floods, and fittings for water barriers have been dug into the ground. Na Kampe also is the name of a well known Pub on this Square.
Kampa Island is called too "the small Venice". Under the Charles Bridge there is found a branch of the Vltava River -Certovka Canal ( the Devil`s Stream). This is a very romantical and unique corner wich the Prague`s painters like immortalize often on their pictures. In XVII century there was a garden on the island. Now there are nice cafes and restaurants.
This is a picuresque view, often captured by artists and photographers.
Certovka is the canal which separates Kampa island from the mainland, and this was one of my favourite areas of the city. This photo was taken from the end of Charles Bridge by Mala Strana.
If you are interested in design and art this is a must see for you. The museum is situated in the old Sova's Mill (sovovny mlyny) which dates back to the tenth century they say.... I knew this building from my visits in 1990s and was surprised when I saw it in 2004 again. In the 90's it was a ruin with many graffitis on it, in 2004 it's one of the most modern buildings along the Vltava, but still has it's old charme....
I really liked the architecture and had a look inside the yard, didn't visit the exibition though.... Near the museum you will find this huge chair. It's an eyecatcher I think. I really like it!
Kampa is one of the tiny islands in the Moldova and one of my favourite places in Prague. I have been lucky in April 2004 when the Leningrad Cowboys played here at the United Islands Festival. We didn't managed to get inside the concert ground, as there were loads of people who wanted to watch them for 1€. For the weekend many bands were playing on the many Prague islands and as it was really summer weather that day we had a nice picnic on the green listening to the Cowboys. Sure we also bought a cold beer from the supermarket before :)
This square is a very picturesque and filled with pleasant hotels, shops and restaurants/pubs with great views across the Vlata into Old Town. It is worth a stroll and there is a large park at the southern end of the island. You can also take "Devils Stream" cruises on the western side of the island.