Rašínovo nábřeží 412/30: Podskalí Customs House

Prior to the construction of the half-mile-long Rašín Embankment in 1904, visitors would have passed among the streets and low wooden buildings of ‘Podskalí’, a hamlet named for its position ‘under the rock’ of Vysehrad, the ancient fortified settlement to the south of the city.

Podskalí was defined by its association with the river. For many hundreds of years it was at the centre of the logging trade, with raftsmen floating timber downstream to the city and thence to Hamburg. From mediaeval times until the early 1800s, bargees would be required literally to cut off (‘vytinat’) a proportion of wood from the raft, paying it as duty here at the sixteenth-century customs house (‘výtoň’).

In the mid-19th century, this fortunately-preserved late gothic structure housed a watermen’s inn, called ‘U Koppů’. There is still a pub here today, along with a museum of life in old Podskalí.