The House At The Minute, Prague, Czech Republic
Dum u Minuty (House at the Minute) in Praha, Česká Republika, near Staroměstské náměstí (Old Town Square) and the Astronomical Clock in the Staré Město section.
The House at the Minute was originally a late-Gothic house from the 15th century that was rebuilt in the high Renaissance style in 1564, and is famous for the numerous black and white sgraffitoes that were added to the facade in 1610.
The house has served many purposes and has had varied names. At one time it was a pharmacy and called “The House at the White Lion” for the sculpture of the white lion at the corner. The house also once served as a tobaccanist shop, and the current name, House at the Minute which means House at the Diminutive, refers to the diminutive pieces of tobacco sold there.
The house is now part of the complex of buildings incorporated into Old Town City Hall, and is connected to the Pecoldovsky house and house “At the Cockerel.”
The house was almost demolished along with some of the neighboring houses in the early 1900s. By that time the Renaissance sgraffitoes had been obscured and it wasn't until 1919 that they were rediscovered.
The sgraffitoes depict Habsburg rulers like Philip II of Spain, Rudolph II, and Maxmilian II, among others along with scenes from Greek mythology and references to biblical and Renaissance legends. Several typical Renaissance themes can be seen in the sgraffitoes: for example, three sons fighting for the heritage of their father.
Inside the house “At the Minute”, there are some fragments of the original wall paintings and stucco decorations on the walls. Also painted Renaissance ceilings were discovered there.
The writer Franz Kafka, then still in his childhood, lived in the house with his family from 1889 to 1896 and his three sisters Elli, Valli and Ottla were born here.
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