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History of the builing

First written references about the stone area at the current location of the museum dates back to year 900 AD which means that this house is probably the second oldest building in Prague.

The house in Haštalská street No. 1 is located near the most important European trade route Grand Via, which was thousands of kilometres long and it ran from the north of Spain, across whole Europe to the Far East. Merchants probably used to come to this house and they always brought exotic goods and information with them.

According to written reference there was a herbal pharmacy in the 15th century, in which alchemists sell their potions and elixirs. In the 16th century, the house became a place where the Emperor Rudolf II. established his alchemical laboratory and he invited many famous alchemists to work here.

There were discovered alchemical workshops under the building and also underground tunnels that connected the three most important places in the city - Prague Castle, the Old Town Hall and Barracks.

Over the centuries the house has undergone several changes and reconstructions. It belongs to one of the few preserved during the redevelopment of the Jewish Quarter, which took place in Prague at the end of the 19th century. This incident is covered with mystery because no one ever reliably explained why this building was removed from the reconstruction plan.

A lot of legends are tied to this house. The most famous one tells of a goat’s flaming chariot that used to emerge in front of this house.

Historic milestones of the house

900 AD
The first documented written record of the buildings on the site.

1412 AD
The surviving records of the price of the house where was listed market price of this strategically important real estate on the left side of the river Vltava as 30 groschen.

1579 AD
A written description of the mysterious phenomena in the surrounding of the house which was stinking fire goats-drawn carriage.

1591 AD
A written record of sales miraculous medicinal ointments and potions in this house.

1689 AD
Damage of a house by fire so called French, which burned the whole Prague's Jewish ghetto. During the repairs were made significant changes to the building by baroque style rebuilding.

1702 AD
A written description of the extent of repairs and new state of building by the Royal taxing.

1729 AD
In the plans of builder Mr. Vesely it has been described as a four-wing building with an inner courtyard (persisted until the present).

1769 AD
In Hubert's Panorama (draft), the house number 795 has a four-axis façade with the middle passage and a pair of hipped roofs.

1790 AD
They are drawn plans of this building by builder Mr. Hubera.

1812 AD
There is an estimated price of the property as 12,000 gold coins.

1829 AD
There has been made plans how to remove the harmful parts of the building construction by builder Mr. Heger.

1831 AD
There was completed removal of the harmful parts of the building construction. Langweil model of Prague from 1826-1827 which was gradually completed up to the year 1831 already shows the building after the reconstruction.

1896 AD
House was included to the demolition plan of the Prague Jewish ghetto.

1900 AD
The house was because of unknown reasons omitted from demolition of the Jewish town. Demolition ended left from the house (elevated street) and continued on right from the house (elevated street).

Rudolf II of Austria

(18.7.1552 – 20.1.1612)

Prague court of Emperor Rudolf II. and its support of scientific and artistic disciplines still excites our imagination and attracts the interest of the general public, historians, writers and investigators of mysterious phenomena.

How about him in his time, wrote Daniel Eeremita, a member of the Tuscan delegation: "The Emperor was known for his amazing knowledge of all things, mature judgments and experience. His friendliness, firmness in faith and moral integrity achieved him popularity. On these pillars is based his great and wondrous rule, which get him admiration around the world."

This well-known patron of science and art in a short time managed to make from Prague an important center of scientific and artistic events and gather here not only famous scientists and artists, but also an alchemist. However the results of their experiments, we can only speculate. According to the rules of Albert Magnus and due to fear of the Holy Inquisition, most of the masters of hermetic science did not talked too much about the results of their research.

Their laboratories were hidden and their notes were encrypted so well that many of them, as for example the manuscripts of John Dee, is not possible to decipher until now. Unverified reports from the chronicles state that after the death of Rudolf II. was discovered in his collection ash-gray color tincture, eighty-four hundredweight of gold fused in the form of bricks and sixty hundredweight of silver fused in the form of bricks, placed in the inventory as a reset of the alchemical experiments of production of gold and silver by transmutation.

Location of alchemist's workshop in this part of Rudolf's Prague is quite pragmatic. The Jewish religion was more friendly to magic and the occult sciences than Christianity.

As can be seen from the papers of his estate, even the Emperor Rudolf II. risked hostility of the catholic clergy because of his support for the hermetic science and acquisition of Kabbalistic writings.

Reveal with us the time of late medieval and early modern times, when science and mysticism are closely linked, and researchers are looking for a higher purpose and harmony of the spheres, which would help them discover the secrets of nature.