1874. Fire of the Old Town Mills. Description by a contemporary (from František Vejdělek: The Memorial to the Fire Brigade of the Royal Capital City of Prague 1853-1903. Prague 1903.) Windows rattled in Malá Strana (Lesser Town) as a consequence of the shelling, writes Toužimský in his work At the Dawn of a New Era, when Prague was under attack by Windischgrätz on 17 June. At one point, a fire ball could be seen descending from the Letná hill over the river onto the Old Town. And a second and third one followed. Right after the first fire ball, a filled-in grenade, a red flame flared up by Charles Bridge. The Old Town mills had been hit. It was hot and everything was scorched. A flaming tongue kept rising towards the blue sky, clouds of black smoke were coming out of the buildings and new flames were shooting up through them. The flames became one and the fire changed quickly into an immense furnace. The red flare was spreading in the sky and was reflected in the river's surface. Mighty currents driven up high by a volcanic force sparked like millions of fiery stars and kept landing far on neighbouring houses. It was the grain stored in the mills. Prague inhabitants kept those semi-burnt lumps of wheat as a souvenir for a long time to come. All efforts to put out the fire failed. The cannons shelled the mills, areas around and the whole of Prague. Grenades hit other parts of the town as well. Some reached even the Horse Market (Wenceslas Square). On the bridge, a cannon ball shot off the head of the statue of Saint Joseph. Riflemen kept firing from the Střelecký Island and from boats so that they could find more victims. Now flames flared up from the top of the water tower, too. The structure blazed up like a torch. It was the third time it had suffered from enemies. The Swedish were the first in 1648, the Prussians did a lot of damage to it in 1756, and now, for the third time, Count Windischgrätz who proved, by far, the most disastrous from them all. The fire got hold of the whole tower, smoke belched out of all the windows of the waterworks and the flaming tongues spoke of disaster. The roof did not survive the destructive heat. It was all in flames, the gilded top part collapsed and the commemorative documents stored in it were destroyed by the fire. One hour after another passed but the doom coming from the mills did not slacken. It was out of the question to try to put it out due to all the shooting from cannons and rifles. However, typographers and printers from Hass's enterprise rushed to help from the Anenské Square. In the heat, they were tearing down the scaffolding and removed boards and logs destined for the construction of a house by Štrobach's mills. The peril was so big that Colloredo Palace was close to catching fire. Flames were attacking from one side and from the other riflemen kept firing. Cannon balls were flying above their heads. Despite all this, the efforts to save the town were successful. Prague was lucky because there was no wind. Not a leaf moved on trees. Had it been windy, the fire would have probably reached a significant part of the town. When the sun rose the following day, the mills and the water tower by Charles Bridge were a burnt place. The fire was finishing its work, flames kept flaring up at places, clouds of sparks kept igniting and scorched walls and water wheels loomed grimly above the turbulent weirs. Together with the mills, also the Royal Baths had burnt down as well as the abode of Doctor Čejka and a great part of Havlíček's newspaper company. Havlíček's flat was fortunately not damaged by the shelling. Hundreds of people came to the mills and took the burnt flour, wheat and wood home as souvenirs. The town was most afflicted by the loss of the water tower since a large area of Prague had no water. The damage was set at 1 million golden coins. Black and white reproduction of an engraving. Nocturnal view of the fire of the Old Town mills in 1848, MMP Depiction, Fire of the Old Town mills 1848 Fire of the Old Town mills 1848, from the memorial of Prague firemen,1903 MMP K. Anděl: Old Town Mills and the Tower on Fire, 1848 Old Town Mills on Fire 1848, lithography Old Town Mills on Fire, 16 June 1848, Printed at Šír's in Prague, MMP Watercolour by Bedřich Havránek: View of the Old Town Mills after the Fire of 1848 Stop 2 – Old Town Mills Fire During the revolutionary fighting in June 1848, Prague was shelled by General Windischgrätz's artillerymen from Letná hill on the right bank of the Vltava river. On 16 June, the Old Town Mills by Charles Bridge were set on fire by the shelling. The fire quickly spread to a whole host of buildings. It was impossible to put it out due to the shelling. The mills burnt down completely. The Old Town Water Tower burnt down as well. Printers and typographers from Haas's business in Anenské Square rushed to help and they managed to take down the scaffolding on nearby houses and thus prevented the fire from spreading further. Fortunately, there was no wind and the fire thus did not spread into the broader neighbourhood.