Lucerna Passage

Prague Lucerna Passage – Cultural Gem

The first time I came through the covered Lucerna Passage (it sounds like “lootserna”) was the summer of 1996 about a week after arriving in the country. I think we were trying to find an American pub but we had no map, no smartphones, we didn’t speak Czech and the people that spoke English did not know where the bar was. So that was our arrival in the Lucerna Passage, completely lost, not meaning to be here at all but what a pleasant surprise. I’ve been back many times since.

the 1920's prague lucerna passage viewed from one end with chequered tile floor, glass fronted shops on both sides. at the end are 5 tall roman arched windows with marble surround. in front is a sculpture of a king sitting on a horse which is upside down with it's feet tied and hanging from the ceiling
Prague Lucerna Passage

You could be coming here for several reasons:

  • It’s a popular place for independent shops and businesses including a wine bar, musical instrument shop, gallery, three restaurants and two cafes last time I looked.
  • A wonderful cinema (version original with Czech subtitles).
  • A classic ballroom.
  • An upside-down horse.

Yes, you read that last one correctly. Most tourists will be coming here to see the sculpture by David Cerny. It’s quite a narrow passage and if you look closely you will notice that it’s only a passage because of the glass roof and you are surrounded by buildings on all sides. Unbelievably this is just 100 metres from Wenceslas Square.

Lucerna Passage Architecture

For such a small area it took a long time to build, 14 years from breaking ground. The original plan was for an ice-hockey stadium but restrictions on the site forced a change in the plans so both the Lucerna Music Bar and the ballroom are underground. The design changes meant that it has a late Art Nouveau appearance plus a combined reinforced concrete and a steel skeleton roof. Cutting edge for it’s time.

a lucerna passage sculpture of a king sitting on the belly of an upside-down horse which has it's feet tied and is hanging from the ceiling.
David Cerny’s Upside Down Horse in the Lucerna Passage
david cerny upside down horse and the entry to the cinema and cafe of the prague lucerna passage
Another view of the upside down horse in Prague Lucerna Passage
lucerna passage stained glass with greek folklore characters
Stained Glass feature on the mezzanine staircase of the Lucerna Passage

LOCAL TIP: In the summer months they often open the rooftop bar. There’s a charge of @CZK100 but it’s worth it as 1) it’s not usually open to the public, 2) you get great views of the New Town and 3) you get to ride in the weird lift (paternoster).

Something Related or a Few Minutes Away

Art and Culture – Modern Art of David Cerny

Districts – Wenceslas Square

Museums – National Museum

Activities – Prague City Walking Tour

Activities – Prague Architecture Walking Tour

Jewish Prague – The Jewish Garden

Parks and Gardens – Franciscan Garden

Food and Drink – Jidelna Svetozor

Some Random Things to Do and See in Prague