Celetná Street has always been a part of the Royal Route – the coronation route of Bohemian kings that ends at Prague Castle. This street was named after the bread rolls that used to be baked here in the Middle Ages. In this street you can still find many houses bearing the original house signs. These signs were used before the establishment of the houses numbering system instigated by the empress Maria Theresa. Celetná Street has become well known for the abundance of its historical and famous buildings.
House Of The Black Madonna
One of them, and perhaps the most beautiful one, is the House of the Black Madonna, designed by the architect Josef Gočár at the beginning of the 20th century. It is considered to be the first example of Cubist architecture in Prague. Nowadays, it serves as home to the National Gallery and the Museum of Czech cubism. The House of the Black Madonna was originally designed as a department store and was built for the tradesman F. J. Herbst in 1912. One of Josef Gočár’s most challenging obstacles during the project was to design a house that would blend in with its ancient surroundings. Although the first design was scrapped, the second, softer, design was approved for the construction. Cubism is reflected in the doorway, facade, windows, and even the staircase and its handrail all bear features of this artistic style. A Baroque symbol of Black Madonna, that gave the name to the house, is placed at the corner of the house, covered by a golden grille.
Another famous building is the Sixt House bearing number two which is associated with the childhood (August 1888- May 1889) of the famous Prague, and later also world-known, writer Franz Kafka. In 1990, the café of Egon Erwin Kisch was opened on the newly renovated ground-floor. The underground spaces were modified for the purposes of the wine restaurant „U Sixtů“. You can admire the remains of the Romanesque and Gothic architecture inside the building. Ongoing restoration continues to this present day.
House At The Golden Angel
The building bearing the number 29 is the House At the Golden Angel, a hotel boasting important historical guests such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the Danish Queen who stayed here in 1862, the Greek Queen, as well as the Russian anarchist Michail Bakunin. The hotel acquired its Classic appearance during modifications carried out in 1860. This tradition of hospitality has continued to the present day.
Celetná Street Today
As you can see Celetná Street today is lined with shops selling crystal and jewellery, as well as tacky souvenirs shops. During day the street is full of life, and during the night, illuminated by romantic gas lamps.
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