I was very fortunate to be in Prague over the weekend and even more fortunate to find myself with some time to myself. It’s a beautiful city and a wonderful place to wander around, to reflect and find little details that make you think.
Only a few minutes from the high-end stores on Pařížská Street, down a little side road you’d only walk down if you were visiting someone who lived there, was a house that really did make me think.
- The house in Old Town Prague
I only noticed it out of the corner of my eye, but its elaborate and decaying front door grabbed my attention. I had to take a closer look.
- The door up close
The door, flaking, warped and studded with iron is beautiful. Although run down, it’s still imposing. It feels strong. How old could it be?
- The plaque
Slightly to the right of the door, sitting worn away in the crumbling façade is an iron plaque. I don’t know what the words say, but the number 1890 is clear. Could this building with its beautiful door have lived through world wars, Communism and revolutions? What must it have witnessed?
- Crumbling plaster and roughly cut stone
The crumbling plaster on the exterior of the building has exposed the brickwork underneath. The bricks appear to be roughly cut stone. They’re uneven, crumbling. There’s a warmth to their colour. Like many of the buildings in Prague, the plaster is made to look like stone. So an old house, built of cheaper stone, plastered to look like fine stone and with a grand front door. What is it like on the inside?
Well, this is where it gets really interesting. Walking down the side of the house, past more crumbling plaster, I looked through a window with rusting iron bars and smashed-through glass and a decaying frame. What did I see? I saw a room with a lovely, arching ceiling and I saw another window directly opposite. An open window, that appears to have glass in it. And through that window, a luscious, green courtyard of some sort. Is this a building decaying only on the outside? Is it the garden of a neighbouring property? How did this fine building come to be in this state?
- Through the window
This house inspires so many stories in my head. It really makes me think. I know nothing more about this building, but I do know this: there is a house in Old Town Prague, it has many stories to tell and I wish I knew them.