History recognizes Prague’s Palác Platýz at Národní 416/37 for a lot of different reasons, for good and for bad! Totally drunken solider’s that took quarter in beer cellar, executions, even Don Giovanni has some roots here, according to the legend!
The Palác Platýz itself goes back to about 1350, to the time when Charles IV started the foundation of what would later be New Town. The building itself is officially in Old Town, on the other side of Národní třída starts New Town.
Today of course the locals and the tourist mostly link the palace for it’s big courtyard with the small shops and cafeterias.
Head up or down?
On the top left at the entrance on a rod, is a small metallic owl. If the head is up everything is ok and you are welcome to take your horse in to the palace stable. If the owl is head down, it means that the stables are full and you are forced to leave the horse outside, and everything that comes with that! There you have the first traffic light/sign in Prague. Mind you, the owl goes back some 200 years and considering the age of the building one must consider the owl to be more or less modern history. 🙂
If you want to know more about the palace and it’s history there is a very good article published by Raymond Johnstone, that’s where I also stole some of my information, just follow this link: Raymond Johnston about the owl.