House signs – symbols of old Prague

Beautiful and amazing Prague is in some way a completely unique city. Historical events have made it rich spiritually and culturally, with its own characteristics and distinctive features. House signs are one of the most interesting things about old Prague.

For a modern person, they seem to a greater extent only an architectural delight, a whim of the owner of the house. However, this is not quite true. In fact, house signs are a special thing that can tell a lot about the previous owner, character traits, and occupation.

Czechs, like no one else, highly value and honor all kinds of details, and in such subtleties they have no equal. So their houses are unlike each other and seem to be a separate living organism.

The emergence of house signs became widespread around the second half of the 14th century. The right to a family name, which was passed down from generation to generation, was then only possessed by the nobles. And it was the signs on the houses, as a prototype of modern numbering, that served as a kind of identification. What could not be found on the facades of noble houses! Golden lilies, graceful jugs, roaring lions, fearsome bears are just a few examples.

House signs enveloped the house with a kind of mystery, which was beyond the control of anyone. Creating a light shade of mysticism and whole traditions around families, they attracted the attention of the curious. But at the same time, they were a kind of amulets from bad thoughts and views.

Currently, the number of house signs in Prague has significantly decreased. However, those that still flaunt in the most prominent places have the status of some kind of cult of a bygone era. Although her trace has faded, it has somehow survived to our times. And that’s great.

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