Prague 1, Old Town

náměstí Franze Kafky 16

Public transport - metro station Staroměstká (green line A). Now is site under reconstruction.

The three-storeyed house is one of the first recognised Romanesque houses which, in the time of its discovery, was exceptionally well preserved. The history of the house may be tracked to 1383 when it was in the possession of the All Saints university college, also referred to as Angel’s College, which opened in 1366.

The house consists of two stone Romanesque buildings. The core is formed by a two-room structure of which the bottom storey and part of the middle storey have remained. An oblong room with four bays of a groin vault supported by a central pillar forms the main space. The vault bays are separated by arches, resting on bevelled cornice-like bases. The masonry is produced from worked ashlars placed in regular rows. A window opening has survived in the eastern wall, and four niches are found in the remaining walls. The entrance portal is placed in the southern wall; it is a rectangular entrance opening set in a higher semi-circular vaulted portal niche. The room was accessed from an entrance adjacent to the southern wall. On the northern wall, a rectangular room adjoins the core; the room was built additionally, yet still in the Romanesque period, and equipped with a barrel vault. Only a one-metre tall part has survived from the second floor; its ground plan is divided the same way as the bottom floor. The main space was again vaulted with four bays of the groin vault on a central pillar, and the oblong chamber on the northern wall was equipped with a wooden ceiling. The bottom part of the staircase in the width of the western wall was also uncovered; the staircase led to the third floor which has not remained. The absence of any traces of heating indicates the uncomfortable equipment – from today’s point of view.

The conscientious and impeccable working of the building elements indicate that the house was built in two stages during the 12th century. The existence of the second stone Romanesque house on the plot is rather peculiar. Fragments of its ashlar construction have survived; rather untypically, it was built on the level of the then terrain. The roughly worked tall ashlars give evidence of the end of Romanesque epoch origin, probably in the first half of the 13th century. The outside face of the eastern wall of the house, an oblong sunken and partly vaulted reservoir which was also made of ashlars was discovered (1.5 × 2 m, over 2 m deep). Apparently, it is a cesspit, the bottom part of the avant-corps, which was rather unique in Romanesque houses in Prague. This facility evidences the residential function of the structure.

Datum vložení: 24.1.2019 | Datum aktualizace: 3.7.2020
Autor: Zdeněk Dragoun

Použité prameny:
  • Dragoun, Zd. – Škabrada, J. – Tryml, M. 2002: Románské domy v Praze. Praha – Litomyšl.
  • Hilbert, K. – Chytil, K, 1912: Dům Andělské koleje na Starém Městě (Č. p. 16-I. „U staré koleje“). Zprávy Komise pro soupis stavebních, uměleckých a historických památek král. hlav. města Prahy 4, 39–48.
  • Hilbert, K. – Chytil, K, 1913: Dům Andělské koleje na Starém Městě (Č. p. 16-I. „U staré koleje“). Otisk ze Zpráv Komise pro soupis stavebních, uměleckých a historických památek král. hlav. města Prahy 5, 65–125.
  • Rykl, M. 2002: Dům čp. 16/I U Radnice. In: Zd. Dragoun – J. Škabrada – M.Tryml, Románské domy v Praze, Praha, 42–65.