House At The Stone Bell
The Old Town Square is full of monuments, famous buildings and sculptures. One of the oldest and most important monuments, situated in the very heart of Prague in the Old Town Square, is the House At The Stone Bell. Its front facade is considered to be one of the most beautiful examples of Gothic architecture in Europe. This beautiful house illustrates the magnificence during the reign of Charles IV.
The house was built in the second half of the 13th century. The story goes that this Gothic palace used to be the property of Elizabeth I of Bohemia, the mother of Charles IV, who was reputed to have been born here. The house had many owners. One of them was Augustin Forster who was executed for conspiracy and betrayal at the very door-step of this house. As you can see the house was not used just for dwelling purposes. The original Gothic house was significantly rebuilt in the Baroque style and later in the Neo-Baroque style. Much of the gothic building material was reused in construction. It did not regain its original Gothic appearance until the extensive and challenging reconstruction in the 1980s.
Name Of The House
The name for the House At The Stone Bell was recorded as early as in 1413. As the name suggests, it was named after a stone bell whose replica is situated at the corner of the house. One legend tells that the bell was placed there after it had fallen from the Church Of Our Lady Before The Tyn on the Old Town Square. But another legend describes the origin of the name „At The Stone Bell“. The bell was placed there as a reminder of the historical event in 1310 when the Queen Elisabeth´s parson used a bell to give a sign to the future King John of Luxembourg indicating that he could come with his army to occupy the Prague Old Town without violence or bloodshed.
House At The Stone Bell Today
Since 1988 the House at the Stone Bell has been used by the Museum and the Gallery of the City of Prague. The house now serves as a beautiful venue for classical concerts and exhibitions.
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