Old-Town Square, Prague

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    PAULINE MONASTERY

    by balhannah Written Aug 1, 2013

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    Pauline monastery building

    Pauline Monastery by the Church of St. Saviour, is an early baroque building of a former convent of Paulines. The monastery was connected by a roofed corridor to the Church of St. Saviour in Salvatorska street which was also owned by this Order. In 1784 the monastery was abolished and it was then used as a mint. From 1897, the former monastery was owned by the city of Prague which had it demolished except for the main building. It has many nice sculptures and decorations on the building.
    In 1934, the building was bought by Prague municipal insurance company who own the building next door.

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    PRAGUE MUNICIPAL INSURANCE COMPANY

    by balhannah Written Aug 1, 2013

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    Prague Municipal Insurance Company Building was my favorite building in the Old Town Square.

    It's a Neo-Baroque/Art Nouveau administrative building that was built between 1899-1901 on the site of three demolished Baroque houses. The left side of the building is a replica of the original Baroque house "At the Golden Star." There are lots of ornamental decorations on the façade, like the little cupids and the faces peering down upon the Tourist's! I don't know what the animal's are above the door, they look a little like a Dragon with a Lion's tail.

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    SCHIER'S HOUSE

    by balhannah Written Aug 1, 2013

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    Sculptures @ Schier's House

    Schier‘s House is neo-baroque apartment house from 1895-97, built in place of two demolished Baroque houses. In the 17th century, Dutch tanner Engel here. He was the first person to make soles from hard leather in Prague. He became very rich thanks to this invention, that he could buy an aristocratic title and mansion.

    The building has a beautiful baroque façade with lots of statues and sculptures, quite unique for here!.

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    AT THE GOLDEN [BLACK] ANGEL

    by balhannah Written Jul 31, 2013

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    At the Golden [Black] Angel
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    Next to Vilimek's House, is the house "At the Golden (Black) Angel" - Don't you just love these names!
    After a defeat in the Battle of the White Mountain, King Friedrich of Pfalz slept over in this house.

    This is another house with many architecture changes. Originally it was a Gothic house, then it was rebuilt in an early Baroque style and also in peak Baroque style around 1720. The former Chapel has a Gothic net vault from the 15th century and gothic cellars. On the corner of the house is a statue of St. Florian from around 1760.

    The building is now the 5 star Hotel "U Prince." At street level, the Hotel has a Restaurant, and on the roof top is the U Prince Roof Terrace Bar which is open all year round, with heaters and covers provided during the winter months.

    Opening Times Daily 11- 11pm

    In the middle of the photo

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    VILIMEK'S HOUSE [At Christopher's]

    by balhannah Written Jul 31, 2013

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    A couple of steps away is Vilimek's house, once a gothic house, then changed to Renaissance before finally reconstructed in Baroque style.
    In 1627 the house was acquired by the Servites who connected it to their monastery by the church of St. Michael. After the monastery was abolished in 1786, the interiors of the house were converted into apartments, further adaptations followed in the 1930’s.

    Now, it is home to the Erpet Bohemia Crystal . If you like crystal, then have a browse in this shop.
    It's open daily from 10 - 11pm

    Building to the right in the photo

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    HOUSE AT THE GOLDEN HORSE & AT THE STORKS

    by balhannah Written Jul 31, 2013

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    House at the Golden Horse

    I am working my way around the old town square, and are now looking at houses near the Old Town Hall.

    This is another known by many names, from Golden Horse, to Golden Crown. Two Gothic townhouse's were joined together, then rebuilt in Renaissance style later on, then in the 18th century, they were changed yet again, this time to Baroque style!

    "The house At the Storks" OR "House At the White Angel" is the other half of the Gothic townhouse which is now a Baroque building.
    At the present time, both houses are essentially functioning as one.

    The house is the lemon one in the middle of the photo.

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    AT THE GOLDEN UNICORN

    by balhannah Updated Jul 31, 2013

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    At the Golden Unicorn

    Another medevial building with more than one name! This building has also been known as "At the White Horse" and "At the Red Door"

    This house was built in Romanesque style, then in 1496, was converted to be like and early Gothic palace. The main portal is decorated with lillies and it has rib vaulting. In 1781, the owner of a bookstore opened the first public reading room of magazines and book library in this house, and in 1838, it was used as a music school.

    It is the grey building in my photo.

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    AT THE STONE TABLE

    by balhannah Updated Jul 31, 2013

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    The “At the Stone Table” House is located in the old Town Square and is one of the oldest homes in Prague as it dates back to the 1100's. It has also been known as "At the currency house" because as currency exchange office was established here. Since first being built, it has been renovated in gothic style, then in 1724, was rebuilt in high barouqe style, raised two floors and given a very nice façade which includes a stucco frame painting of St. John Almuzník .
    A famous guest that came here was Albert Einstein.
    Since the 1800's it has been and still is a Restaurant.

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    STORCH HOUSE

    by balhannah Updated Jul 31, 2013

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    Storch house
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    Another beautiful medieval building in the Old Town Square is at no 16 - The Storch House.
    The house has had many names including “At the Stone Virgin Mary,” "the Black Door" and "At the Stone Picture of Virgin Mary." The stone picture was a house sign – a statue of Virgin Mary.

    You won't miss this house because if has a beautiful facade adorned with figurative paintings, depicting St. Wenceslas (the patron of Bohemia), sitting astride his white Horse, under whose hooves are emblems of St. Wenceslas's Eagle and Bohemian Lion, both in a floral ornament. You will see a Bird, a symbol of the nation’s liberty and a Dragon, which is trying to climb the tree, he symbolizes national independence. On the mezzanine floor there is an emblem of the City of Prague, and painted at the top of the house, is a Stork Family, just beneath this are three Kings - Kaspar, Melchior and Balthazar.
    The murals were damaged in 1945 but were restored in 1990. One of the nicest medieval building's in the old town square.

    Not open to the public

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    TRCEK HOUSE

    by balhannah Updated Jul 31, 2013

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    Trcek House

    Infront of the Tyn Church and located on the Old Town Square, is Trcek House which joins with Tyn School. The two are quite different houses. The one I prefer is on the right, which is painted yellow and has a lovely baroque façade. This is Trcek House or Pelech House or At the White Unicorn!

    The arcade of this building has Gothic rib vaults built sometime after 1330. The Gothic house was rebuilt in Renaissance style by the wealthy Trcek family in the 16th century, then in 1770, the lovely baroque façade was added.

    It is now the home of the one and only MUCHA MUSEUM, dedicated to a Czech Art Nouveau artist, Alphonse Muncha. Over 100 exhibits are on display.

    OPEN 10-6PM DAILY

    ADMISSION ...Adults 180ck Children & Senior's over 65years 120 ck

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    TYN SCHOOL

    by balhannah Updated Jul 31, 2013

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    Gothic archways
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    On the opposite side of Tyn lane are two Gothic Burgher houses which in the 15th century were joined together - one was Trcek House and the other, Týn School, the plainer of the two building's. Some remains of Renaissance graffito have been discovered on the front façade.
    In the centre of the main façade, there is a fresco from the 18th century of the Assumption Virgin Mary.
    At the top of the facade are rounded peaks of Venetian Renaissance style from the middle of the 16th century. From the late 14th century to the mid-19th century it operated as a parish school for the Týn Church.
    It is now residential flats and at ground level, a Café/Restaurant.

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    HOUSE OF THE STONE BELL

    by balhannah Updated Jul 31, 2013

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    House of the Stone Bell

    Upon entering the Old Town Square from Tyn, the first historical building I came across was "The House of the Stone Bell." This tower like gothic house looked to be made of sand- stone.

    Once upon a time, a stone Palace stood here, much larger than the current house. This house was re-constructed into a luxurious urban residence, probably for King John of Luxemburg and his wife. It's thought, the Emperor-to-be, Charles IV, was probably born there too. He also lived there again after his return to Bohemia.

    This building had two chapels inside the house. During renovation in the 1960's, the Gothic appearance of the building was revealed, so when the building was restored between 1973-87, it was tried to make it as accurate as possible with original and replica pieces. Statues of two throned figures and a standing knight were put together from fragments that were discovered, other parts of the decoration were found and used. Inside the house, fresco paintings from the beginning of the 14th century were preserved too.

    The house sign (stone bell) is original from 1413. The stone bell on the corner of the house supposedly commemorates a rebellion and a victorious battle with the pagans. Some suggest a historical event from 1310 instead, when the parson of Elisabeth of Bohemia used the bell to indicate to John of Bohemia, that he came in peace!
    Which-ever is correct, nothing takes away from it being the oldest preserved house representing Gothic palace architecture of a tower type. Its front used to be one of the most beautiful in Europe, I felt even though it has been restored, it still looks rather drab!
    I found it interesting, that it may have been built for a royal family, especially for Elisabeth of Bohemia, sculptures found inside indicate that.
    It is through this bell, which is a copy of the original, that this house came about.

    It now is the Gallery of the Capital City of Prague, and is a venue for exhibitions and concerts. In the underground parts, there is a small lapidary.

    OPEN Tuesday - Sunday 10 - 8pm CLOSED ON MONDAY'S
    ADMISSION
    Adults 120ck Reduced 60ck

    Nearest public transport station: Staromìstská or Mùstek

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    AT THE MINUTE HOUSE

    by balhannah Updated Jul 31, 2013

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    At the minute house
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    "At the Minute" OR "At the White Lion" is another interesting house in the old town square.
    This house was built in the 1400's in Gothic style. Since then, it has been rebuilt several times, especially in the Renaissance period.

    When the home was changed into a Tobacco shop in the early 1600's, the sgrafitto was added to the façade. The images were covered up during future renovations but were unveiled after WW1 in 1920. The facade shows heaps of sgrafittos of Ancient Greek and biblical themes and also contemporary Renaissance legends. On the corner is a Classicist stone sculpture of a lion.

    The inside has a wooden Renaissance ceiling and Renaissance and Baroque vaults with frescos. In 1712-1850, there was a pharmacy inside the house, in 1889-1896 it was the childhood home of a famous local author [F. Kafka] who used to live there with his parents.

    Since 1896, the house has formed part of the Old Town Hall complex.

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    ROTT'S HOUSE

    by balhannah Written Jul 30, 2013

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    Rott's House

    One of the historic painted house's in the old town square is Rott‘s House, a house with a lot of history and many name changes.
    In 1401, the first house was built, and from then on there were many name changes as new owner's came in posession of the house.

    The house was once known as "The three white roses," these were above the entrance door. The Rose's are thought to represent the three girls who lived there, who had trouble finding themselves a husband. In the end they did, one who was deceitful, not a good choice! Through him, they lost the house and all their property.
    In the 17th century, reconstruction took place, and the building became renowned for its Renaissance gables and rich sgraffitoes, representing great battle scenes, figures from the Antique mythology, and pictures of the four elements.
    In this state, the Rott's purchased the house and hence it became known as "Rott's House." Rott had a hardware store.

    The frescoes on the front of the Rott’s House are of thorns and roses. Between the windows, there are painted figures of craft and agriculture allegories (blacksmith, carpenter, cutter, reaper, housewife, gardener).
    I could see an inscription written in Czech, translated means: "St. Václav, do not let us die, or those yet to come."
    In 1996, the house was repaired and the paintings were restored.
    Now you can go there and spend time at Hard Rock Café that is open from noon - midnight every day.

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    GOLTZ-KINSKY PALACE

    by balhannah Written Jul 29, 2013

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    Goltz-Kinsky Palace
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    Next to the "House with the stone bell," is the beautiful pink and white Rococo Goltz-Kinsky Palace.
    This building isn't quite as old as some others as it was only built between 1755-65 on the place where two hotels once stood. Goltz had the buildings rebuilt into a Rococo palace with two entrances framed with two pillars.
    After the death of Count Goltz, the palace was bought by the Kinsky family who stayed in the palace until 1945.

    An important piece of history happened on the balcony of the Palace twice.

    On 25th February 1948, Klement Gottwald, the leader of the Communist party of Czechoslovakia, informed the crowds of people that the communist era was beginning.
    On the same day, but 42 years later, the President Vaclav Havel declared that the era was over for ever!

    In 1949 the Golz-Kinsky Palace became a place for the National Gallery.

    Open daily except Mondays from 10 a.m to 6 p.m.
    There is an admission fee

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