Friday, October 7, 2011

House Insignia of the Day Revealed - House at the Stone Bell

To hear the voices of Prague's bells when they toll forth the noon hour is an experience never to be forgotten. Only one bell can never add its tones to the rich chorus - the one walled into the corner of the Gothic palace on Prague's Old Town Square.  

The House at the Stone Bell (Dům U kamenného zvonu) is one of Prague's most historically valuable buildings; the first written mention of it dates from 1363, yet the building itself is still older.  It is, in fact, a palace of medieval High Gothic style, whose façade at the time of construction must have ranked among the most beautiful in all of Europe.  The process of uncovering the original Gothic core was preceded by a  full 30 years of restoration work, during the course of which the exterior façade was gradually stripped away of many layers acquired over years of modifications.  
Architects and historians believe that this Gothic palace was likely constructed as the Old Town residence of the Czech king Jan of Luxembourg and his consort, Queen Eliška Přemyslovna.  It is also possible that the building was the birthplace of Czech king and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, however, we certainly know that he resided in the building during his adulthood, specifically in the year 1333 after his return from France to Bohemia.  

Charles IV

The name for the House at the Stone Bell appeared for the first time in 1413.  As the name suggests, it was called after a stone bell, whose replica is placed at the corner of the house.  According to a legend, because as you know by now everything in Prague is tied to a legend, the bell was placed there after it had fallen from the Church of Our Lady Before Týn.  

Today, the House at the Stone Bell is administered by the Gallery of the City of Prague, which uses it for art exhibits and concerts.

House at the Stone Bell
Staromestske namesti 13, Praha 1