Goltz-Kinskych palace, with its beautiful pink and white stucco fasade, promotes the unique look of Old Town Square. The original palace was built for Jan Arnost Goltz in 1755-65 on the site of several former Renaissance palaces with early medieval foundations. Jan Arnost Goltz had the whole complex rebuilt into Rococo palace with two entrances framed with two pillars each. On the first floor the massive pillars are connected with a balcony and balustrade. After Count Goltz’s death, the palace was bought by Kinsky family who use to reside in there until 1945. In the palace is possible to find a valuable family library which today hosts collections for the National Gallery.
One thing makes the palace very special in the Old Town Square. Notice that the palace doesn’t stand in-ine with the neighbouring buildings but protrudes a little into the square. One legend tells that the town council didn’t want to allow this special positioning of the palace. But the count successfully bribed three avaricious councilmen, in order to obtain permission. By the time the other councilmen saw the positioning of the palace it was almost finished and therefore too late to do anything about as no-one wanted to demolish the building. Even though the count was prosecuted, he was found not guilty due to testimony from the three councilmen he had bribed. And what happend to them? They were hanged in front of the palace. Well, the legend was proved wrong as evidence sugests that the architect only followed the original position of previous buildings.
The Goltz – Kinsky palace is connected with the names of some very famous and important people. For example the Austrian writer, baroness Bertha von Suttner, the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905, was born in Goltz – Kinsky Palace in 1843. The palace also housed a German speaking grammar school attended by the famous writer Franz Kafka. Kafka’s father used to have a small shop on the ground floor of the palace.
On 25th February 1948 Klement Gottwald, the leader of the Communist party of Czechoslovakia and later President of Czechoslovakia, announced the Communist party’s successful coup here and therefore officially started the communist era in our country. On the same day, but 42 years later ,also the first President of free Czechoslovakia, Vaclav Havel, declared that the communist era was at an end in Czechoslovakia.
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