Nerudova street and Jan Neruda
The historical Nerudova street connects Prague Castle and Charles Bridge. At the end of the 19th century it was named Nerudova in honor of the Czech writer and journalist Jan Neruda who lived in the house At Two Suns, (no. 47) in the upper part of the street between 1849 and 1857. He wrote many short stories about this district in Prague and its local inhabitants.
In this street you will find many restaurants, souvenir shops and embassies. The most remarkable aspects of this street are the house signs. In the house At the Golden Lion, (no. 32) you will find the exhibition of historical pharmacies which belongs to the national museum. You will find out about the Culture of Pharmaceutical Work and Pharmacies in Bohemia and Moravia from the Renaissance period up to the 19th century. The houses in Prague did not bear street numbers until the late 18th century. The street numbering was established by Maria Theresa in 1770. Until that time houses were recognized by a charming, yet confusing, system of allegorical symbols. Nerudova street in Malá Strana district has the highest concentration of house signs in the historic city.
To mention some of the most famous:
No. 47 in Nerudova street is the House at the Two Sun. This house was the birthplace of the important and admired poet and author Jan Neruda, after whom the Nerudova street is named.
No. 49 The White Swan – Originally many of the house signs had a alchemical significance, although today much of their meaning has been lost. The White Swan is one of these, and it probably originated as a golden goose .
No. 27 The Golden Key – Castle goldsmiths, such as the ones who worked at this house in the 17th century, paid fees to the city, unlike their colleagues who lived in the castle’s Golden Lane. As such, they were entitled to advertise their wares, as preserved today in this building’s façade.
The house At the Three Fiddles, (no. 12) reminds us of the history of this house – it used to host three families who made their living by making violins. They were so successful that they exported their products abroad. It’s said that during the full moon you can still hear mysterious violin music.
The house At the Red Lion, (no. 41) can be recognized by a red lion holding a golden cup in his fore paw. The house used to be the home of Petr Brandl, the famous Czech Baroque painter, whose works can be seen in the Church of St Margaret in Prague-Brevnov as well as in the Church of St James.