Thin Prague street has people traffic lights

22nd Oct 2015
Written by: Dave Owen

The street is so narrow that two people can not pass each other

Remember that bit in Star Wars where Han Solo and friends are trapped in the trash compactor, the walls irrepressibly closing, mere inches from bursting our heroes’ eyeballs out of their heads like ripe cherry tomatoes and crushing their bones to powder? Go to Prague and you can experience that terror for yourself!

In Prague’s oldest neighbourhood lies Vinarna Certovka, a pedestrian passageway that’s just 19.6 inches wide. Traffic lights have been installed at either end to prevent anyone entering the passage when somebody is already on their way through.

Thin Prague street has people traffic lights

Imagine the awkwardness as one of you shuffles backwards, unable to turn around, forced to maintain eye contact with the alpha stranger who forced you into ignominious retreat.

The passage is 32 feet long and squeezed between a pair of houses. It even has a series of steps, just to make things really difficult.

The installation of traffic lights was intended specifically to aid with smooth movement through the passage, but their presence has turned it into an unlikely tourist attraction, visitors arriving specifically to walk through and snap pictures in its cramped confines – something which probably doesn’t help with getting people through as quickly as possible.

Vinarna Certovka is not, however, the narrowest street in the world. That honour belongs to Reutlingen, Germany, home to Guinness Book of Records champion Spreuerhofstrasse, which squeezes to a claustrophobic 12 inches at its narrowest point.

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