This picturesque street connects the Lesser Town with the Prague Castle. It is a part of the Royal Way – the way of the coronation parades in the past. You can see many of the original Prague house symbols in the Nerudova Street: for example, “the Golden Lion”, “the Golden Horseshoe” or “the Black Eagle”.
Colourful house symbols in Prague
The origin of Prague house symbols goes back to the middle ages. It is mentioned for the first time in documents from the 14 th century. Its purpose was not just to embellish a house, but also to improve the orientation: there were no house numbers at the time. The house symbols are mostly colorful sculptures on the frontage of the building, representing animals, figures or various objects. The most house symbols were made in Prague during the Baroque era.
The house symbols often indicate the profession of the original owner. In the Nerudova Street there is a house “At the Three Violins“ (No.12), where families of violinists used to live, or “At the Golden Cup“ (No.16), where a goldsmith lived in the 17 th century.
Palaces in Nerudova Street
There are also some beautiful Baroque palaces in the Nerudova Street. The Morzin Palace (No. 5) is decorated with moors´ statues and other allegoric works by F. M. Brokoff. The Thun-Hohenstein Palace (No. 20) has a portal with two eagles spreading their wings – a symbol of the noble family of Kolovrat. The Bretfeld Palace (No. 33) is where splendid balls used to take place in the 18 th century and there were personalities such as W. A. Mozart or Giacomo Casanova among guests there.
Each house has its own story
The street is called Nerudova because of the Czech writer Jan Neruda, who used to live in the house “At the Two Suns“ (No. 47) in the 19 th century and whose book Tales from the Lesser Town was inspired by the inhabitants of the street.
The house “At the Golden Lion“ (No. 32) is a place, where you can see an apothecary museum.
There is a legend connected with the house “At the Three Black Eagles“ (No. 44). An old miserly woman used to live there, and she didn´t want anybody to inherit her possessions. She tried to set the house on fire before she died, but failed to really damage it. Nowadays, people living in the house can hear her in the night, walking around with keys jingling in her hand and checking her possessions.