THE VANISHED VLTAVA ISLAND AT KLÁROV

Prague 1, Lesser Town

Klárov

archaeological evidence of settlement, extinct churches and burial grounds

tram station Malostranská; eventually metro station A Malostranská. The monument is hidden deep in the Malá Strana under the pavement of the Mánes Bridge ramp.

In the Middle Ages, there was an area adjacent to the fortified Lesser Town settlement below Prague Castle which was referred to as At the Sands because of the sandy silts accumulated during floods. The written records of the second half of the 13th century mention islands that were possessed by the Convent of Saint George. There was a small church on one of the islands which was used by the parishioners until the late 18th century despite damage caused by the flood in 1273. The Písek (Sand) Settlement was called Rybáře (Fishermen) beginning in the early modern period. The island disappeared after the river level rose caused by the construction of the weirs. Beginning in the mid-13th century, the Vltava rose by three or four metres. Previously safe places were no longer suitable for settling. Research of a part of the area of the disappeared island below the bridge of Prague was carried out prior to the building of Malostranská metro station. Two metres below the modern era layers and medieval silts an island was discovered with evidence of an early medieval settlement. It was a place where the archaeologist Ladislav Hrdlička established the tradition of modern research of the settlements below Prague Castle. Owing to the precise research work, nine settlement stages and three drifts caused by floods were differentiated in the development of the artisan settlement that dates from the 10th–13th centuries. The settlement of the researched part of the island disappeared around the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries because of the minor artificial elevation of the Vltava.

In the early times of the island settlement, its inhabitants were also engaged in farming. Traces of scratch ploughing remained at Klárov in the form of grooves dug in the sand bedrock. In the 13th century, the island inhabitants lived in aboveground wooden or wood and earth houses. A cemetery completes the character of the discovered settlement. Research casted doubt upon the previous assumptions that the church damaged by the flood at the end of the third quarter of the 13th century can be identified with the parish church of Saint Peter recorded in 1327. It is likely that the original sacral structure, whose consecration remains unknown and which was damaged by a flood in 1273, must be searched for on the highest spot of the island, i.e. directly under the pavement of the Mánes Bridge ramp.

Datum vložení: 21.1.2019 | Datum aktualizace: 31.8.2020
Autor: Jan Havrda

Použité prameny:
  • Hrdlička, L. 1972: Předběžné výsledky výzkumu v Praze 1 na Klárově. Archeologické rozhledy 24, 644–663.
  • Hrdlička, L. 2000a: Centrum raně středověké Prahy. In: Centrum średniowiecznego miasta. Wrocław a Europa Środkowa. Wratislawia Antiqua 2, Wrocław, 191–214.
  • Křivský, P. 1977: Mapový obraz Malé Strany a Strahova ze 17. století. Praha.
  • Smetánka, M. 1987: Hledání zmizelého věku. Praha.