"House Names" Prague Travelogue by GentleSpirit

Prague Travel Guide: 11,870 reviews and 25,053 photos

House Names in Prague

It wasn't until 1770 that Prague started using street numbers. Before that a house had an image over the doorway or the house itself. This image might show what the house was used for, who it was owned by.

You can still see these in Prague today. Here are a few that I saw. Some are most likely not original, but they caught my eye just the same

By Function

Many of the houses you will see with house names on them were at one time owned by guilds or were the home (or workshop) of a craftsman/artist.

For example, a shoemaker might have displayed the one above, a wine merchant, tavern owner, wine maker...might have displayed the one below.

The house at the golden snake. Some of these houses were once the homes of famous or important people. Many of the original meanings were connected to the world of alchemy, though much of that has been lost. One place in Prague where there is an especially high concentration of house signs in Nerudova Street.

  • Page Updated May 9, 2016
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Comments (1)

  • yooperprof's Profile Photo
    Aug 26, 2012 at 8:23 AM

    I wonder if the Czechs today prefer to think the communist years as yet another interval - fortunately relatively brief - in which their local affairs were controlled by yet another foreign power. Milan Kundera is very good the importance of "laughter and forgetting" in regards to the Czech mentality.


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