Faust House

You can visit the Faust House as well as the Mladotovský Palace in the New Town in Charles Square. The core of the house dates back to the Gothic period.

The house changed owners many times until it fell into the hands of Emperor Ferdinand I, who gave it to his personal physician. The house was modified in the second half of the 16th century in the Renaissance style and was then purchased in 1590 by renowned English alchemist and charlatan Edward Kelly. Kelly was invited to Prague to the court of Rudolf II, who granted him permanent residence in the city. It is in this house that Kelly performed various alchemical experiments, which also gave it its dark reputation.

Other alterations to the house were made around 1620 under the new owner. The Mladotovský Palace was named after its 18th century owners, the Counts of Mladotům of Solopysk, who also had the house rebuilt in the Baroque style. The construction was carried out by František Maxmilián Kaňka.

Interestingly, the Mladota family also contributed to the house's dark reputation. Ferdinand Antonín Mladota was an eccentric and conducted chemical and physical experiments in the house. The house had several devices that used the principles of electricity, magnetism and optics, moving figurines driven by springs and many other – for that time – mysterious and unexplainable things that evoked distrust and spread superstition that the count associated with the devil.

It was not until the Romanticism of the 19th century that the mysterious house became affiliated with the old legend of Dr Faustus, who for his mastery of the dark arts sold his soul to the devil, who then took him to hell. The road to hell was said to lead through a hole in the ceiling in the Mladotovský Palace, which was impossible to brick shut.

Adjacent to the Mladotovský Palace is a church and garden. A beautiful Baroque gate, the work of Dienzenhofer, leads to the garden. The Mladota family lost the house due to a lack of funds and it became the seat of the Institute for the Deaf and Mute and since the 20th century belongs to the University Hospital. Although the house was hit and destroyed during an Allied bombing raid in 1945, fortunately it did not burn down. A complete reconstruction of the house began in 1969.

The wall and ceiling paintings represent alchemical equipment, symbols and signs, and probably originate from the period of mannerism in the 16th century.

Interesting fact:

The dark rumours about the house were also thanks to Dr Karl Jaenig, the former chaplain of the neighbouring church, who lived in the house and managed it in the 19th and 20th centuries.

He was obsessed with collecting everything connected with death, and so his house was full of funeral objects. It was said that he kept a skull and a piece of the gallows at home and slept in a coffin.

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