Sunday, October 30, 2011

Friday's House Insignia of the Day Revealed - U zlatého anděla (House at The Golden Angel)

The Golden Angel (U zlatého anděla)

Of ethereal purity and divine power, the angel in Judeo-Christian theology appears as a messenger or intermediary between the heavenly and earthly realms.  In the Koran, it is stated that people were created from earth but angels from fire, as its flames always leap upwards to the heavens.  As a symbol of protection, the image of an angel was greatly popular in medieval times as a house insignia, to protect the inhabitants from evils both earthly and diabolical.  An angel also adorned the personal coat-of-arms of Johann Kepler, the great German astronomer who resided for many years at the Prague court of Emperor Rudolf II - perhaps in the hopes that angelic forces could help an earth-bound mortal to uncover the secrets of the celestial bodies.

Where the present U zlatého anděla stands in Celetná Street was originally the location of four medieval houses.  These were demolished in the mid 18th century for the present building, originally of Baroque style, which contained a popular coaching inn with its own brewery.  During his first visit to Prague in 1787, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is known to have stayed here.  Towards the beginning of the 19th century, the inn became a hotel, retaining its original name but growing far more exclusive.  The "Golden Angel" Hotel was visited by many persons of fame, including the queen of Denmark, the kings of Saxony and Hanover with their families, the queen of Greece and even the Russian anarchist Mikkhail Bakunin.  The present Neoclassical façade of the building dates from 1860.  After the Communist seizure of power, the hotel was closed and the building, converted to a variety of uses, grew increasingly decrepit.  Recently, however, a thorough restoration of the "Golden Angel" returned it to its original use as a modern hotel fully aware of its earlier glorious tradition:  Visit  4-Star Superior Barceló Old Town Praha

Location:   Celetná ulice 29/588, Staré Město (Old Town)