Tuesday, 9 March 2010

The Healing Door?

I'm going to tell you a secret about me: I have a special place in my heart for all things Belle Epoque/Art Nouveau. So, when I came upon this door I just HAD to stop and admire it. I think this is a really nice door, but as you can imagine, I especially like the door's frame.

As you can see, two cherubs flank the letters HV, but I'm not sure what the H and V stand for. The HV surrounds the universal symbol for the practice of medicine making me want to believe that maybe a hospital was here, but in Czech, hospital is 'nemocnice' so this doesn't explain the H. My next guess would be that maybe a well-known doctor lived here or had his practice in this building. I would guess something like this because when you look at the door, you can see that it is clearly not the kind of door that would withstand the frequent use that an early 20th century hospital door would have to endure.

If you look close, you can see the architect's initials and the date 1903 which is when the building was built. The larger numbers in gold on each side of the door refer to the address of the building. It used to be that a building had a number according to its cadastral registry entry, which might not make any sense when looking for a building as it could be surrounded by number completely different and not in any particular order. It seems that later, more recently, the city decided to give the buildings some kind of comprehensible address numbers so the '12', which has the word 'nove', meaning 'new', below it whereas the old (or 'stare') address was 1986. (NOTE: When I originally posted this door, I thought these numbers had to do with the date of construction and reconstruction of the building, however, since then I have learned that these numbers, in fact, have to do with the physical numbering of the building.)

The only unfortunate thing about this door is that somewhere along the way, some fool allowed for the lower left part of the frame to be cut into so that the electricity box could be installed (the brown panel on the left). What a shame!


Madi and Mom said...

This is truly a stately door. Your descriptions of the door and all the dates etc are so very interesting. I hope some day you will comply a book of the doors of Prague...I'd buy it.
Madi and Mom and the Dad too.

Malyss said...

The electricity box is a real shame! "N" in russian, is written "H"..Maybe a clue?
This door offers a lot of mysteries to resolve, that makes it very interesting! And I agree with M&M: a book , please! think of it!!

James said...

"I have a special place in my heart for all things Belle Epoque/Art Nouveau" You are living in the right city. :) It really is beautiful.