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House At The Minute (UÂ Minuty)
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House At The Minute (UÂ Minuty)

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As you start to hit the entrance to Old Town Square, make sure to look left and inspect our favorite home on this free Prague walking tour called At The Minute (my-nute, not minute). It’s funny how many people walk right by what may be Prague’s most beautiful historic home which dates back to the early 1400s. Starting in 1564, a third floor was added to the house and it was given a complete Renaissance makeover including the amazing etched Sgraffitoes. The beautiful white etchings on the black facade depict scenes from the Bible (Adam & Eve), Roman Mythology (Hercules & Bacchus), Habsburg rulers of the day (Philip II of Spain, Maxmilian II and his son Rudolf II), and Ottoman Sultan Selim (who the Habsburgs signed a peace treaty with). Back then the building was known as the White Lion House and later served as a pharmacy until 1712.
By the late 1700s the wonderful Lion statue holding a shield was added to the corner of the home which still survives today. It is said that shield once displayed the Habsburg coats of arts, however, any painting on it has long since faded. Later the White Lion House was turned into a tobacco shop which is how it got its current name, At The Minute. Out first reaction was to think the name Minute came from the home’s location next to Old Town Prague’s main clock tower, but it is actually from the small packs of tobacco that were sold in the shop. Minuty means very small as in My-Nute not the measure of time Minute. At some point after the name change the Sgraffitoe etchings were covered up with plaster and were not re-discovered until renovations in 1919.
While the facade is the main attraction today, the House At The Minute is most famous for being the childhood home to local author Franz Kafka and his family from ages of 6 to 13 (1889 to 1896). Many of the characters in Kafka’s short stories lived life under overpowering bureaucracies with feelings of helplessness just like he had early in his life in Prague. These types of characters were easy for people to identify with changing the landscape of early 20th Century writing and leading to the term Kafkaesque for characters like this. Today the bottom floor of the former mansion holds the Ristorante Italiano Al Minuto (website). On the opposite side of the road from the House At the Minute are a number of other interesting homes with Medieval names we will touch on at the end of this free Prague walking tour.

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Address

Address:

Staroměstské náměstí 2, Praha 1 - Staré Město, 110 00

GPS:

50.0868639, 14.420344

Opening Hours

Monday

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Tuesday

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Wednesday

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Thursday

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Friday

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Saturday

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Sunday

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