Nový Svět – a place with a mysterious atmosphere right in the center of Prague
The New World was founded around the 16th century during the reign of the first Habsburgs. People who provided service to Prague Castle lived here. They were later replaced by the poor. During the First Republic, six families were crammed into one small house, says guide Petr Ryska, the author of the Prague Unknown project.
“The family had only a tiny cell for themselves, six to eight square feet, like the house at the Golden Sun we stand in front of. And in those little cells, many times without windows, there were ten or twelve people huddled. On the bed, if The children were lying right on the ground in the cockroaches, under the torn lines, so if we came here then, we would see a burlap on the ground, which slowly began to move, and curious children’s heads began to peek out of it. in addition, the eldest daughter slept there with her lover, and some other lodger who contributed twenty crowns a week to the family budget.
They were damp, dark, moldy flats, very musty. The police, if they checked these houses, put a handkerchief over their mouths to keep up. If we were here in the time of the First Republic, we would see how there are various tables and chairs on the sidewalk, gossiping neighbors on them. At the time of the great laundry, clotheslines were stretched between the houses, where the sheets were dried. So, rather than Prague, it resembled the streets of Naples. However, even during the First Republic, the New World was called the Naples of Prague. “
Who was the inhabitant of the mysterious house without a door?
After the Second World War, artists, mostly of an alternative type, moved into the empty flats after the poor. The ruins were improved and at the same time they were hidden from the regime. The rapid turning point came after 1989. The neighborhood is turning into very expensive and very popular apartments. Everyone who comes to the neighborhood will see the mysterious house number 6, which stands on the corner but has no door.
“At first I thought it was an extension of the next house, but then I looked in the literature (Monuments of Prague) and there I found out that the little house is connected to the next slightly lower yellow house, which again has no door, neither the number and it is connected with yet another, slightly taller house, which already has a door and a number, but unfortunately the number 27. In the three-house lived the painter Jiří Anderle, who has meanwhile moved to Hanspaulka, where he painted paintings for the local church of St. . Matthew. But the house did not remain abandoned. He handed it over to his friend Vladimír Suchánek, also a graphic designer.
I stopped Mr. Suchánek once and said to him: Master Suchánka, I was looking at a First Republic postcard and there the little house had a door. Was there a newsagent? Master Suchánek told me: No, there lived a poor lady. When I realize how thick the walls of the little house are, all that’s left is a very little space, actually a meter and a quarter, so the lady had to sleep there like a snail. In any case, Jiří Anderle has already demolished both houses so that there would be some space at all. “
The writer Jakub Arbes also went to see the poor Švadlenka
Today, there is a romantic hotel in one of the houses. You can find it in the U raka log cabin. The Brusnice stream used to flow here, where there was a huge number of crayfish. There were poor flats here too. A seamstress lived in one of them. And this is where the love affair begins, Petr Ryska pointed out.
“At the end of the 19th century, Josefína Rabochová, who was visited by the writer Jakub Arbes, lived in one of those poor flats. And we must admit that Jakub Arbes did not mean it too seriously with the poor girl. The situation suddenly takes her children when Josefina is pregnant, and Arbes behaves like a man, and a week after the birth of little Mary, she marries her.
It is all the more strange that Jakub Arbes places in this log cabin the plot of a rather tragic novelist, who is called the Miracle Madonna. In this novel, a woman wants to please her husband, who has eyes only for the Madonna in Murillo’s pictures. He buys a brandy and starts consuming it in small doses. She will soon become a Madonna, until her husband finally notices her, but unfortunately it is too late, the poor woman soon dies of poisoning. “
The cottage also had other interesting inhabitants. The writers Arnošt Lustig and Ota Pavel lived here in the 1960s. In 1987, the cottage was bought by the current owner, artist and photographer Alexandr Paul. However, as she found out, the log cabin was infested with woodworm. In the 1990s, he had to tear it down and replace it with a replica.
For the astronomer, the house U zlatého noha was small
Many of the local houses are called “Golden”. Just by chance, there is the house At the Golden Sun, At the Golden Star, At the Golden Lamb, At the Golden Pear, At the Golden Foot – and Tycho Brahe lived there in his time.
“Tycho Brahe was a Danish astronomer, astrologer and alchemist. When Emperor Rudolf II found out about him, he did not hesitate at all, he immediately invited him to Prague. He settled in the house U zlatého noha, where the inn was located at the time. lion and eagle, a feathered lion or griffin, but the house is very small, so Tycho Brahe did not fit in with his instruments. The house is “Golden” here, so we have to go back to the history of the slum. bushes, At the golden tree and so on. “
Kurovsky’s paintings lit up gray Prague
perhaps Praguers remember that in the eighties, the painter Miloš Kurovský had a studio here, who painted right on the street. As Petr Ryska added, he was very sincere, did not get along well with the previous regime and was not allowed to exhibit. However, he matured on the ban, moved to the New World and exhibited for passers-by since 1978.
“If we moved here in the years 1978 – 1990, we would see on the bells the inscription Kurovský – apartment, Kurovský – studio. The apartment was on the first floor of the house U zlatého beránka. The first window was still wide open and the master worked there. In fine weather, he worked right here in the middle of the street, where you could write what kind of picture you might want. It is a pity that he died about two years ago, but he lived to be over 90 years old.
The atmosphere in the eighties was wonderful there, because by 1985 the last gas lamps in Prague, which hissed a lot, were located in this street. And when the lamps hissed, snowflakes fell, and colored flashes of Kurov’s paintings flickered into all of those windows, so it seemed very romantic. His paintings were very colorful. They show various monsters, monsters, ethereal female beings, or landscapes from other planets. But whatever you think of his paintings, know that he enormously enriched the then gray socialist Prague. “
Nový Svět still has known inhabitants. Milan Hein, the director of the Ungelt Theater, lives here, for example. Until recently, there was director Ivo Novák, who made such films as Fešák Hubert or Léto s kovbojem. And also director Karel Kachyňa. Today, a widow, the actress Alena Mihulová, lives here, who says that she is even haunted in the house, but it is a positive spirit, the guide Petr Ryska added at the end.