The wine cellars at Strahov were originally held by the Premonstratensian Order. Though the first mention of the cellars dates back to the 12th century, the spaces became famous later in the 14th century when King Charles IV brought grapevines back from France. Despite the unfavourable local weather conditions, the Premonstratensians skilfully cultivated grapes with a flavour on a par with those grown in France. For its fine work the order was presented with a coat of arms by the king himself; a casting of this coat of arms hangs today behind the bar in the restaurant. As it was no secret that wine was one of the king's weaknesses, Charles IV naturally remained a faithful and frequent visitor to the enterprise.
Over the years the business has attracted scores of celebrities, including Alois Jirásek, Karel Václav Rais, President Václav Klaus, ageless crooner Karel Gott, former James Bond star Timothy Dalton and Hollywood's golden couple – Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
The appearance of the former cellars has been mostly preserved, though numerous corridors that once served as secret escape routes have been walled in. The restaurant has two parts: the upper part looks like a typical wine cellar. Spring water flowing through the wall collects in a pond filled with trout that can be ordered by diners. With its high, vaulted ceilings, the lower part of the wine cellars has more of a restaurant feel, including a more divided floor plan offering direct views of the bar and a stage for live music.
And why was the restaurant given the name Peklo (Inferno)? As the original vineyards located above the restaurant were called "Paradise," it seemed only logical that everything below must be a hellish inferno. With a name like this the restaurant naturally requires a symbolic passageway to the underworld.
In fact, paradise continues to exist above Peklo to this day. Open in the summer months, the outdoor dining area above Peklo in the Strahov courtyard is named "Ráj" (Paradise). While Peklo is a luxury restaurant, Ráj offers a more casual environment with lower prices and a different menu. This paradise is an ideal place to relax after a long walk around the nearby monuments.