Monday, June 27, 2011

"A beautiful, warm June night..." at the House at The Two Suns

I believe that this is a well-known house insignia, or perhaps I just think that because it's one of my favorites.  Why?  Because it reminds me of hot, lazy days of summer!  But there's deeper meaning to this building...

House At the Two Suns (U Dvou slunců)
In this Baroque house below the rays of a doubled sun the renowned Czech journalist, poet, writer and critic Jan Neruda (1834-1891) spent his youth.  

This was where his father had a tobacconists' shop, later a grocers', which for the author formed the first setting for his studies of the characters , fates and life-stories of the people who came to make their purchases.  Later, these events, personalities and picturesque caricatures came to life in his newspaper articles, and won literary immortality in his Tales from the Lesser Quarter.  

House At the Two Suns...No. 47 Nerudova 

Though Neruda moved later in life to different locations in Prague, he never forgot "The Two Suns" in the street then known as Ostruhová, which for him remained forever a recollection of happiness, a safe haven, a place of refuge.  The house of Neruda's youth became the setting for his story Evening Gossip, where he writes: "A beautiful, warm June night.  The stars twinkled only faintly, and the moon shone with such joy that the very air had become a silver light.  Yet the moon's greatest joy, it would seem, was cast upon the roofs of the lane of Ostruhová, and I would say most fully upon the quiet roofs of two of its adjoining houses, 'The Two Suns' and 'The Deep Cellar'.  Strange roofs indeed; a capricious soul could easily leap from one to another, and they are little more than corners, angles, gutters, each continuations of the next.  Strangest of all is the variegated form of the roof of the Two Suns, of the form that they call 'hipped', with two paired gables towards the street and two towards the courtyard..."  At the end of the 19th century, the street originally known as Ostruhová was, in the writer's honor, renamed Nerudova.