Golden Lane was built by soldiers who were working in the defense wall on the northern side of the Prague Castle. They were allowed to build their humble dwellings in the arches of the wall, which was convenient for their occupation. Later the small houses were rented to independent goldsmiths. That's where the original name, Goldsmith's Lane, comes from.
According to the popular legend, however, Golden Lane received its name from the Alchemists who used to inhabit it. Alchemy was a predecessor of modern Chemistry. Among the alchemist's tasks was trying to make gold from lead. That is why Golden Lane was wrongly assumed to be home for Medieval Alchemists.
Golden Lane is located inside the Prague Castle complex. The closest gate to Golden Lane is the eastern one, located at the Black Tower. There are two ways of how to get there from the city.
It is for free only after 5 pm in summer and 4 pm in winter. However, you can only get a preview of Golden Lane for free, because most of the houses close, as well as the exhibitions. Any other time you need a ticket.
Nowadays, Golden Lane is open for visits with a Prague Castle ticket and has multiple exhibitions and stores in its houses. We recommend purchasing the B circuit that also includes St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, and St. George's Basilica. Golden Lane is opened daily from 9 AM till 4 PM in winter and from 9 AM till 5 PM in summer. The opening hours might be affected by public holidays and special occasions, so please check out Prague Castle's official website to make sure your visit goes smoothly.
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Author: Valeriia Zahradnikova and Vaclav Zahradnik, Prague guides certified by Prague City Tourism agency. Valeriia and Vaclav have worked in tourism for over 6 years and have guided thousands of Prague visitors.