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History of the building At the Golden Scissors and of Kampa Island

View form the Charles Bridge, 50 meters from Hotel At the Golden ScissorsAt the Golden Scissors building is one of the oldest on Kampa Island, which was recently ranked the second most beautiful urban island in the world, according to VirtualTourist.

The original building “At the Golden Scissors”, Na Kampe 6, was built in 1586 and ranks among the oldest buildings on Kampa Island. The Renaissance building, with its corner in Hroznova Street, was rebuilt in 1804 according to the plans of Ignac Palliardi. Its Classicist style has been preserved until the present day. Great names such as actor and writer Jan Werich lived here, on the picturesque island in the very heart of historical Prague. Also prominent composer Bohuslav Martinů or poet Vladimír Holan drew inspiration from this unforgettable place. And the house itself was inhabited by painter and illustrator Adolf Kašpar. The unique view to Prague Castle which he painted in his illustrations, is available also for you from our hotel´s Golden View room!

Known as the Venice of Prague, Kampa Island has been formed by a branch of the Vltava called the Devil's Stream (Čertovka). The water from this canal was originally used by water mills, some of which have been partially preserved. The wooden wheels of a former mill called Huť and the late Renaissance Velkopřevorský (sometimes called Štěpánovský) mill have been preserved to this day as an unusual sight.  Originally there were only gardens on the island but it was also used for washing clothes and bleaching linen. The building started in the second half of 15th century.  In the 17th century the island became well known for its pottery markets. Today it is an elegant part of Prague with a village-like character.

The Kampa as an unique island offers beautiful views of the Vltava river, the Charles Bridge, the towers of the Lesser Quarter and the Old Town and is a popular place for walks and relaxation. In one of the low houses behind the arch of the Charles Bridge remnants of the Romanesque Judith Bridge from the 12th century can be found to this day.

Today, Kampa Island is considered by many to be the most beautiful and romantic part of Prague.

 

RAF Navigator Jan Wiener lived in the Golden Scissors building

During the 1960s, the Golden Scissors building was a home of Jan Wiener, RAF pilot, historian, writer and political prisoner during the communist era.

During the 1960s, the Golden Scissors building was a home of Jan WienerJan Wiener was born into a Czech-German Jewish family in 1920. During the World War II, his father commits suicide and his mother dies in Terezin concentration camp. After a dramatic escape from Czechoslovakia, Wiener finally reaches England and becomes a shooter and navigator in the No 311 Czechoslovak Bomber Squadron of the Royal Air Force. When he returns after the war back to Prague, his family´s appartment with all its furnishings has been already taken by a neighbor. The communists prohibit him from studying at the Charles University and inprison him for five years for the fake reason of espionage.

In 1963, the very attractive 42-year-old Jan married Zuzana who was 19 years old at the time. Mrs. Zuzana later recalls: „For the adolescent girl, it was a school of life. Wiener was surrounded by women. While one was visiting in his room, another one was ringing the doorbell, another one was on the phone and yet one more calling below the windows.“ Together, the Wieners lived in their one-room-appartment in the Golden Scissors building until their emigration to the USA.

Mr. Wiener became a professor of history at the American University in Washington, wrote a book about Reinhard Heydrich assassination, his life has been documented in several films (i.e. Fighter, 2000). In 2001, Mr. Wiener was awarded Medal of Merit, 1st Grade. Mr. Wiener died on November 24, 2010 in Prague.

Read More about Mr. Jan Wiener at Los Angeles Times>> 

 

History of Prague, the city of one hundred spires

Throughout its rich history, Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, has received hundreds of attributes: Prague, the heart of Europe, Golden Prague, Prague, the city of one hundred spires, Mystical Prague, Prague, the cradle of knowledge and arts… Prague is rightly considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

 

The first documented mentions of Prague appear towards the end of the 10th century in the reports of the Jewish merchant Ibrahim ibn Ya’kub, an envoy of the caliph of Cordoba Abd al-Rahman III. In his writings he refers to Prague as the city located on the threshold (“práh” in Czech) of the north-south and the east-west commercial routes. In the Middle Ages (around 1381) Prague became famous for its unique astronomical clock at the Town Hall of the Old Town, created by the master clockmaker Mikuláš z Kadaně, which has been measuring time ever since. The emperor Charles IV founded one of the first European universities in Prague, Universitas Carolina – the Charles University. Prague also has one of the oldest continuously used synagogues in Europe, the so called Old-New Synagogue, immersed in the glorious and tragic history of the Jewish diaspora.

Prague astronomical clockUniversitas Carolina - Charles UniversityOld-New SynagoguePrague CastleChurch of Our Lady of TýnLesser Town Bridge Tower

The Roman emperor Rudolph II of the House of Habsburg chose Prague as the main residence of the rulers of the powerful Austrian Empire between 1583 and 1597. During that time he invited the most famous artists, scientists and philosophers to his court at the Prague Castle. Even modern historians agree that Rudolph’s era was the city’s “golden age”. In those times, the legendary alchemist Doctor Faust worked in Rudolph’s laboratories and created the famous philosopher’s stone and the elixir of life and turned mercury into gold. The Prague Castle was also the place where Tyge Ottesen Brahe, also known as Tycho Brahe, the renowned astronomer, alchemist and a Danish prince, carried out his investigations. Brahe is regarded as the most accurate observer of the celestial sphere in his time; he was only surpassed after the invention of the telescope. He is buried in the Church of Our Lady of Týn in the Old Town Square. His contemporary Jewish counterpart on the other side of the Vltava River, Rabbi Jehuda Löw – MaHaRaL created the famous Golem, which, as legend has it, is still stored in the attic of the Old-New Synagogue. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart premiered his famous operas Don Giovanni and Le Nozze di Figaro in Prague and the “atmosphere of Prague” inspired him to compose more brilliant music. Prague was also where the great Czech composers such as Dvořák, Smetana, Mahler and Janáček worked. In Prague the Czech writer Karel Čapek coined the term “robot” for the world in his book RUR and Albert Einstein presented his famous theory of relativity at the Charles University.

Prague is a place that appeals to visitors in any season. During the whole year you can enjoy its splendid panorama and beautiful walks. Prague is a treasure trove of architecture, showcasing every major style. From the fascinating Gothic architecture of St. Vitus Cathedral, the monumental Baroque of St. Nicolas Church, the Art-Nouveau of the Pařížská Street, to the oriental style of the Jerusalem Synagogue. Prague is equally attractive in winter or during the rainy months when visitors can enjoy its great variety of galleries, impressive museum collections and renowned concert halls. Prague will satisfy even the most demanding gourmand with its broad selection of cuisines, ranging from restaurants serving the traditional Czech meal of roast pork, dumplings and sauerkraut to ethnic, kosher or halal restaurants. All that accompanied with a refreshing glass of the famous Czech beer or a glass of wine from all over the world.

Panorama of Prague, the Charles Bridge 

Prague is beautiful and generous. Thanks to our hotel services you can discover the city and get to know it well. Our Prague hotels are designed for the most demanding clients who prefer a homely environment and privacy combined with top notch hotel service.