16th century 1548 1502 1501 1507 1509 1522 1503 1561 1541 1506 1559 1576 Prague's Reference Plan of the 1840s, MMP 1501. New Town Fire. On the day of Easter festivities at high noon, a fire started at the bakery in the New Town of Prague, at the House called Na Blatě (On Mud) close to St. Peter's Church in the area of the Poříčí neighbourhood. The wind was blowing from the east and the fire grew so strong that the roof on the tower of St. Benedict Church as well as stables at the Royal Palace caught fire. Despite the fact that many people joined in the efforts to extinguish the fire, a large number of houses burnt down. 1502. Old Town – Poříčí Fire. On Easter Sunday at night a fire started at Poříčí and nine houses – at Makodera, at Kocanda, at the Monkey etc. – burnt down. The fire spread to some places in the Old Town, such as to the towers of St. Benedict Church, which were saved in the end. The roof structure at the Royal Palace, one house before St. Jakub (James) Church and several shops, were also saved. 1503. Lesser Town Fire. On Thursday after the Assumption of Mary, God let it happen that a fire suddenly flared up in Malá Strana and nobody knew the cause. 60 houses burnt down: from the old jail (by the gate that leads towards Zbraslav) all the way up to the bridge tower. Also the roof structures on several towers burnt down, the whole of the Saxon House, the baths, the roofing and the organ as well at the monastery of the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star, and the side opposite to the Saxon House all the way to St. Thomas Monastery, other houses in the direction of the Town Hall. In the vicinity of St. Thomas Monastery, only one house (owned by a tailor) was left. 22 choked and burnt people, elderly as well as children, were found. And the fire raged from 4 pm to 6 pm. It was deemed to have happened because the inhabitants of Malá Strana had been tolerating all kinds of sins and sinners – ruffians, prostitutes, dances, wreathes, cards and especially enemies of Christ's chalice – God never leaves evil unpunished. The wind changed direction at one point and carried burning shingles onto the Old Town which caught fire in several places but the locals managed to put them all out. 1506. Flašnérská Street Fire. On Wednesday after the Feast of Corpus Christi, more than 20 houses burnt down on both sides of Flašnérská Street all the way to Vladislavova Street. Local Jews were among the most diligent inhabitants trying to put out the fire. Also a hangman took part – he tried to make use of his rather unusual skill-set, but to no avail. 1507. Lesser Town Fire. Four years ago, God let it happen that a fire started and no one knew who had started it and then it was said that a Mr. Petržilka, goldsmith, was to blame. He was a tenant of a Mr. Ráj, and his wife was frying lard and it somehow jumped to Ráj's part of the house and caught fire. And there was an argument between Mr. Petržilka and Mr. Ráj as to who had caused the fire. And Mr. Petržilka was beheaded for murder. And Mr. Ráj was in trouble, too. When he was on his way from the baths in the Old Town, several burghers of Malá Strana were waiting for him and seized him and brought him to the Town Hall and had him beheaded at one o'clock past midnight. And this happened despite the fact that he had been their fellow councillor at the Council of Malá Strana. 1509. Jircháře Fire. On Easter Monday at 6 pm, 16 houses at Jircháře burnt down under St. Vojtěch Church in the direction of the mills. The rood structure at the schoolroom burnt down, the room was saved. It was freezing weather a lot on that day, too. 1522. Upper New Town Market Fire. On the fifth Sunday after Easter at 2 o'clock in the morning, three houses belonging to Ježek, Záležák and Rezek burnt down at the marketplace in the upper New Town. The fire started at one household because Větrovská, the proprietor, had been sheltering prostitutes and some rascal had set fire to the place. 1541. Lesser Town Fire. Malá Strana as well as the Royal Castle were struck by a large fire. It started in Malostranské Square, close to where U Montágů house stands today, and spread to the houses left of it, and to the St. Thomas Monastery that burnt down almost completely. From there it kept spreading very quickly all the way to Písecká Gate. Then, suddenly, a fire flared up in Strahovská Street (Nerudova today) right next to Strahovská Gate and spread towards Malostranské Square so that the whole street and the western side of the square burnt down. The fire got beyond Strahovská Gate, though, and almost all the houses, belonging partly to Malá Strana (Lesser Town) and partly to Hradčany, burnt down. Houses in Hradčanské Square caught fire from them and the whole town of Hradčany, with the exception of the Town Hall, was destroyed. St. Benedict Church, as well as several houses in the area of Pohořelec burnt down, too. At the same time, dry grass caught fire behind Písecká Gate on the castle hill. From there the fire spread further onto the wooden bridges that connected the bastions, and from there it got to the castle and started spreading there very fast. The fire caused great damage at the castle. All Saints Chapel had completely burnt down and St. Vitus Church had not been spared either. The shingle roof caught fire from the burning house of the Bishop. From the roof, the fire was flaring up high and at the same time kept falling inside and wooden supports keeping the bells in place caught fire. The bells started to melt gradually and fall down. The timber trusses also collapsed in the flames and damaged the tomb of St. Vojtěch. The bell bought by King Ludvík was destroyed, too. From there, the fire reached the northern side and burnt down every house all the way to Bílá (White) Tower which was destroyed together with the tower called Mihulka. In the meantime, the fire had spread to the eastern half of the castle and burnt down all the private houses there. Moreover, the church and monastery of St. George (Jiří) burnt down with the whole of the roof structure as well as two towers and bells. Prague Burgrave's abode was lost, as well as all the buildings from All Saints Chapel to the rear gate. Only Černá (Black) Tower and the tower called Daliborka were spared. The situation was worse in the chambers of other offices and courts of law that were located next to Vladislavský Hall. The great court room burnt down and also Zemské desky (“The Territorial Tables”, old Czech legal code) that had been stored in a basement next to it. In the meantime, the fire had reached the new part of St. Vitus Cathedral and completely destroyed the organ, pews, seats, altars. The cover above the royal graves caught fire and St. Wenceslas Chapel was damaged too. Expensive robes, gilded and embroidered, were destroyed, too. The fire stopped spreading at 3 o'clock but it kept smouldering till the morning of the following day, i.e. 3 June. Beside Prague Castle, 133 burnt houses were counted in Malá Strana before Strahovská Gate and 22 beyond, then 42 houses in Hradčany – 197 houses in total. Only a minor part of the houses in Malá Strana, some 78 in all, were saved, mainly by tearing down the burning roofs on fire of the houses standing next to them. Among those were the Town Hall, the eastern and southern side of the square with the street leading to the bridge and Church of St. Thomas, as well the houses standing next to St. Nicholas Church. The outskirts of Malá Strana stayed intact. In addition to the extensive damage, no fewer than 50 human lives fell victim to the destructive element. One person imprisoned at the time in the White Tower lost his life as well. 1548. Lower New Town Fire. On 21 July, a fire occurred in the New Town of Prague during which Soukenická Street and other houses in the neighbourhood burnt down. All together, 50 houses were lost. The following day at the time of the sermon, the parish school as well as15 other houses, together with buildings belonging to the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star, burnt down all the way to Poříčská (also known as Špitálská) Gate. 1559. New Town Hall Fire. A bolt of lightning struck the tower of the New Town Hall and the astronomical clock was damaged, the great bell melted, and the council chamber burnt down. When people came to the site after the fire, they found a dove feeding its young ones in a nest. A year later, a thunderbolt struck the same tower again and the subsequent fire destroyed much that had survived from the previous year. 1561. Sova's Mills Fire. Sova's Mills in Prague burnt down. The fire started in the grinding room. 1576. Šítkovské Mills Fire. On Thursday, 5 April, after four o'clock in the morning, the Old Town municipal mills above the bridge burnt down to the ground together with the water tower supplying the town with water. The Royal Baths caught fire too, as did the miller's house and part of the building where salt was stored.