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DEVIL’S STREAM BELOW THE CHARLES BRIDGE

Lesser town - Prague 1

GPS: 50°5'12.84"N, 14°24'29.16"E

   Behind the Legion Bridge there is s narrow branch separated from the course of Vltava along Říční Street in the Lesser Town; before it was called just a „ditch“, later on it was Devil’s Stream. It forms the island of Kampa, which has been called Prague Venice, as well. Origin of the name of previous Devil’s mill-creak has not been explained unambiguously. Mostly, its water peacefully drove wheels of the local mills. However, when a flood came, it was bad. Water started to rise and endangered houses on the river bank. Then the local people said: „the ditch got annoyed again (became a devil)“. It is one of the possible reasons for its name. Another popular explanation says that once a quarrelsome and shrewish elder woman lived there and thus her neighbours called her „devil bag“, or „the devil“. And the mill-creak is said to be named after her.
   Till now there are two mill wheels rotating on the Devil’s Stream. They are by the previous mills, Huť and Grand Priory one. But they are only mementos of the previous time serving for pleasure of visitors of that romantic place. The Devil’s Stream is spanned over with several bridges. The biggest of them, which may be even passed through by motor traffic, runs below the Charles Bridge from Kampa to the Lesser Town. There is situated U Lužického semináře Street, which continues slightly up along the Charles Bridge to the Square of Dražický. The area is surrounded with historical houses and from the small embankment it is possible to observe the Devil’s Stream which changes the direction of its course there. There can be also seen an unusual view of mill wheel of the previous Great Priory mill. Particularly in the evening, atmosphere is completed with silhouettes of sculptures and sculptural groups up on the Charles Bridge.
   One will not believe how dangerous the calm course of the Devil’s Stream can be in a flood. But it can be witnessed by plates on the surrounding houses from September 1890 or August 2002, where the water reached then.