Architecture - House at the Stone Bell
Dům u kamenného zvonu (House at the Stone Bell)
The remarkable Early
The remarkable Early Gothic
house “At the Stone Bell” at the Old Town Square is one of
the most interesting medieval buildings in Prague. It was
probably originally built for the Royal family and its
frontage was one of the most beautiful in Europe at the time.
You can see how imposing Prague was in the middle ages there.
Building of the house started in the second half of the 13
With most probability, the house “At the Stone Bell” was
built for Queen Elisabeth I. of Bohemia, mother of Holy
Roman Emperor Charles IV. There are no written documents
about it, but there are some pieces of medieval decoration
found in the house and some of them probably represent the
Royal family. Other interesting pieces of sculptures, such
as a head of a lion with eyes made of glass or a head of a
“savage man”, were found there.
The origin of the name “At the Stone Bell”
There is a replica of the original stone bell on the corner
of the building, which gave it the name “At the Stone Bell”.
It is placed there probably to remind the historical event
from 1310, when the Queen Elisabeth´s parson used a bell to
give a sign to the future king John of Luxembourg. It meant
that he can come with his army and nonviolently occupy the
Prague Old Town.
Emperor Charles IV. in the Stone Bell House
The first written mention of the house “At the Stone Bell”
is from 1363, when it already belonged to the Prague
goldsmith Pecolda of Cheb. But there are many legends and
stories about possible inhabitants. Young future Emperor
Charles IV. probably lived here with his mother when he
returned from his studies in France in 1333. An old Prague
legend says, that St. Ludmila, mother of St. Wenceslas, used
to live there. Allegedly there was a chapel in the basement,
where secret divine services were held when Christians were
persecuted in Bohemia.
Reconstruction of the house
The house “At the Stone Bell” was rebuilt in Baroque style
in 1685, but it was decided to restore it in its original
Gothic look in 1961. The great results of the restoring
works and the many decorations found there were a surprise
even for experts. Discovered fragments of wall paintings
were renewed and there are two chapels, one in the first
floor and the other in the ground floor. The restored
building was opened in 1988.
City Gallery Prague exhibitions
Nowadays, the house “At the Stone Bell” belongs to the City
Gallery Prague and various exhibitions and concerts are held
there. The exhibitions focus on modern and contemporary art.