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House at the Minute with Renaissance sgraffitoes

The house “At the Minute” at the Prague Old Town Square is a typical Prague Renaissance house, adorned with numerous sgraffitoes. The famous writer Franz Kafka lived there with his parents at the end of the 19 th century. The house belongs to the complex of the Old Town City Hall.

Reanissance house

Originally a late-Gothic house from the 15 th century, it was rebuilt in Renaissance style in the 16 th century. The house used to be called “At the White Lion” and it used to be a pharmacy. A sculpture of a white lion is still there, at the corner of the building. The present name “At the Minute” means “at the diminutive”, because of the tobacco in little pieces, that used to be sold there.

Demolishing the house “At the Minute” and some houses around was considered in the 20 th century, but fortunately they were saved and later the Renaissance sgraffitoes from 17 th century were discovered there in 1919.

Sgraffito decoration

The sgraffitoes depict Habsburg rulers Philip II. of Spain, Rudolph II., Maxmilian II. and some others. 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.

Franz Kafka in the House at the Minute

The writer Franz Kafka lived in the house with his family from 1889 to 1896. His three sisters Elli, Valli and Ottla were born there.

The house “At the Minute” was connected with the neighbouring Pecoldovsky house and house “At the Cockerel” and it was added to the Prague Old Town City Hall complex.

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