House signs

In the Middle Ages houses generally did not bear numbers – the homes in Písek received numbers after 1770. Houses back then were named according to their owners, or according to a specific symbol. It was a matter of honour for a home owner to decorate his facade with a painted, frescoed, sculpted, or even actual object which either reminded one of the name of the owner, his profession, some event, or perhaps the object was simply decorative. Písek was unusually fortunate in that most of them have still remained on the facades.

Behind you at the end of Karlova ulice is a house with the sculpted symbol of a Golden boat. Other signs can be found on Velké náměstí Square on the houses of St. Anne, Three Crowns, Gold Bell or Red Crayfish. A particular home symbol is The Elephant on the house at the end of Karlova ulice opposite the Stone Bridge. If you keep your eyes open, you may see many more during your walk through the town – for example on Drlíčov Street the houses At the White Lamb and At the Silver Denarii, or the houses At the Balls and At the Golden Ball.