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UNGELT

Old town - Prague 1

GPS: 50°5'16.08"N, 14°25'23.88"E

  Ungelt represents an urban outstanding area in the Old Town. It is also called Týnský Courtyard, because it was fortified (in Czech otýnění) once. In the past it was an independent juridical unit, which was governed by a count and later on by the king. They also received the earnings of toll duty fees, which were collected there. These earnings, with payments for use of storages, for lodging, for security guards and many others, were considerable. For several centuries there was a wholesale business in the heart of the Old Prague Town. Each merchant had to go there to pay duty for the goods. If he did not do so, unloaded the goods anywhere else and was caught, the goods were seized mercilessly.
   Nowadays, there is not a wholesale business in Ungelt, which spreads roughly between the Church of the Virgin Mary before Týn and the Church of St Jacob. There is retail business in the form of restaurants, cafes and small shops, mostly with artistic objects and souvenirs. These are located in the local reconstructed houses. Besides, quite recently Ungelt has been reconstructed and rehabilitated as a whole. All the large area has been newly paved. And we must not forget that the Ungelt Theatre, which became a fixed part of Prague cultural scene, has found its seat there.
   When coming from the Old Town Square you will be probably attracted the most by the Granovský House no. 639, which is the most significant building there. Once, a Romanesque house used to stand there. Only a small cellar has been preserved from the gothic era. Reconstruction into the present renaissance appearance with the arcade balcony occurred during 1558-1560. Some part of big financial means must have been absorbed by artistic decoration of the facade, which even makes the Granovský House more interesting. It was an excellent work by Franzesco Terzio and Domenico Pozzi, who had taken the motives mainly of the bible and mythology.