History of the "House at the Golden snake"
The corner house U Zlatého Hada (At the Golden Snake) originated when two medieval plots of land were joined together in 1419. According to documented historical records it used to be a notorious taproom. The building received the house sign of a golden snake in the 18th century, when it housed a pharmacy. In a decorative cartouche there is a relief of a coiled golden snake with a royal crown on its head. The snake symbolised the devil, who deceived Adam’s wife Eve, but according to legend it also acted as a guide to Saint George and was a Gothic symbol of pharmacy. The current Baroque faćade from the 18th century conceals the Renaissance core of the building.
The only remains of the previous two separate houses are the cellars with Gothic barrel vaults. The house was originally owned by goldsmiths. It is said that in 1714 the Armenian trader Deodatus Dajamanus sold coffee outside the building to passers-by; it was the first time that this exotic novelty was served in Prague. The coffeehouse tradition was maintained in the house for a long time; it served as a meeting point for members of the Prague bohemian artist group Hollar, bibliophile and writer Arthur Novák, painter Otakar Nejedlý and his students from the Academy of Fine Arts, the occasional painter Jan Slavíček, graphic artist Viktor Stretti and more. The tradition of a quality restaurant with a café is still maintained to this day.