“Look closely because, the clues are there, as we go through… the keyhole.”
An interesting feature of Prague streets are that in the Middle Ages, the houses didn’t have numbers instead small colourful statues and pictures were positioned above the doorway and houses usually got their name from the house symbol on the outside. Some served to specify the original owners’ trade or craft. There are still lots of these to be seen in Nerudova Street, which runs from the top of Malostranské Square uphill to just below the steps to Prague Castle. This is how we noticed them as we were staying at the Castle Steps Hotel.
These are the house numbers and their signs on this famous street. I took some photos but missed many as I didn´t know the story until halfway through our visit.
No. 11 The Red Lamb has significance with alchemy so maybe this was formerly Boots the Chemist!
No. 12 The Three Fiddles They say a demonic trio screeches on their fiddles on moonlit nights. The house was aptly named as the home to a family of violinmakers.
No. 13 The Green Frog is above a wine shop
No. 14 I know this is number 14 as it is captured in the photograph but I have no idea what it is meant to represent. A male Medusa?
No. 15 The Golden Crown, another confusing one, I have two crowns I think perhaps the second is the Golden Crown At the White Horse – Karlova Street
No. 16 The Golden Cup a goldsmith lived in the 17th century.
No. 26 The Golden Eagle –he is certainly wearing his Sunday best.
No. 27 The Golden Key goldsmiths, such as the ones who worked at this house in the 17th century, were entitled to advertise their wares, as preserved today in this building’s façade.
No. 28 The Golden Wheel Another alchemy symbol, for the process that turned lead into gold. That could be useful today.
No. 32 The Golden Lion is an apothecary museum.
No. 34 The house of the Golden Horseshoe Wouldn’t you think it would refer to the guy on the horse, St Wenceslas, but it is actually the horseshoe. Although it is a real horseshoe on the horses hoof and is gold.
No. 43 The Green Lobster The house was owned by mother of the painter P. J. Brandl
No. 47 The Two Suns This was the birthplace of the Czech poet and author Jan Neruda (1834–91), after whom the street is named.
No. 48 The Golden Star today it is a luxury hotel. The house sign represents God’s eye.
No. 49 The White Swan not to be confused with the pub down the road.
No. 51 The Green Stag
The Devil pops up on houses all over town
The Golden Pear Karlova Street
Then a selection from around the town do you have any ideas who may live there?
And finally nothing to do with house numbers but I liked the idea of these up to the minute quirky parking meter.