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Ungelt – center of mercantile life

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Ungelt alias Týnský dvůr (Týnský Yard) is one of the most precious monuments of Prague. It is located close to the Old Town Square. And what actually was the purpose of a mercantile yard in the past? Why thousands of merchants from all over the world streamed into its gates?

All about Ungelt more read here

Ungelt - the Granovských Palace According to the archeological discoveries the yard was founded in the 12th century.  The whole fortress used to be separated from the surrounding town by a trench and a wall at that time. The mercantile goods was protected because there was a storehouse in the premises where the goods were stored. There were also the stables, houses for the merchants, a hospital and finally also the Church of the Virgin Mary in the premises. The church is no more there because it used to stand in the place of the current Týn Cathedral.

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What was the function of Ungelt?
According to the register of the mercantile yard thousands of German, Polish, Russian, Hungarian, Venetian, Netherlandish, French, Greek, Armenian, Turkish and Arabic mercantile coaches were streaming into the premises of a yard close to the Old Town Square. They were full of inexhaustible amount of goods – metals or raw materials such as gold, silver, copper, amber or salt, tools, all kinds of fabrics, furs, carpets. There were even living animals and other goods necessary for life. Huge amounts of fish but also exotic fruits passed through the toll house gate. The merchants were under the royal protection which was not free of charge. From this charge developed the familiar duty later. The goods brought by the merchants had to be declared - um Geld, tha´s the origin of the name.

Ungelt Daily life in the Týn Yard
People who entered the yard had to give all their weapons away. Then they continued further where the goods were weighed, measured and where the duty was calculated later. There was a great atmosphere because the merchants were full of impressions and adventures from journeys which they shared over a glass of some spirits. The greatest boom of the toll house was under the reign of Charles IV. and also Wenceslas IV. The merchants had very good times so they started to settle down in Prague, unfortunatelly the trade expansion of this kind has never come back again. These privileges were weakened mainly in the Hussite period and Prague lost its duty privilege in the 16th century for good.

The toll house was moved to other town quarters later and the Týn Yard started to deteriorate and became the asylum of the town rabble. There were several modifications afterwards and after extensive reconstructions the place was opened to the public in 1996.

And what can be actually found here? Ungelt - the Granovských Palace
The premises are formed by the eighteen houses. Despite the fact that each house is different because of the completely different architectonic styles the final impression is absolutely unique and exceptional. If you walk through Týnská viagra street do not forget to notice the Granovských Palace which is the oldest and most beautiful Renaissance house in Prague. The house was given to Granovský family by the king in 1558. Currently you have the opportunity to see the gorgeous Renaissance sgraffito here.

Another gem is the Petráčkovský house Nr. 640 which originally used to be a part of the Granovských Palace. It has become famous especially because there used to be one of the oldest Prague´s coaching inns known as Starý Ungelt („Old Ungelt“). Please notice the place in the paving in front of the inn marking where the already mentioned previous Church of the Virgin Mary used to be.

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The House at The Black Bear Nr. 642 from 1428 is another beuaty-spot and it got its name because of the statue of the bear in the corner. Beside the gate of the Granovských Palace we can enter the premises through the East Gate of the Vrbovských House

Nr. 636. We need to mention this building also because there used to be a café U Komárků around 1835 where the important charachters of the Czech history such as Josef Kajetán Tyl, František Palacký, Pavel Josef Šafařík, František Ladislav Rieger and many others used to gather.

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In the Golden Ring House Nr. 630 you can visit the City Gallery Prague presenting to its visitors the exposition The 20th century modern style. There is an opportunity of accomodation at the hotel Ungelt house Nr. 646. In the premises of the yard you can find the original well and a group of statues called The Day and the Night. The merchants do not gather here anymore these days but the place is used for cultural and also commercial purposes.

Among streets:  Týnska, Štupartská,  Malá Štupartská
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Subway(Underground)  line B – Náměstí Republiky
Tram – 5, 8, 24, 26, 51, 54, 56 – Náměstí republiky
Bus – 207, 505, 511 Náměstí Republiky
From here just follow the streets U Obecního domu, further Králodvorská, Rybná and finally walk along the Jakubská street where you will find the destination

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Read also:
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Prague 1 Monuments
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All about: Prague Castle
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Royal route and the coronation of King
All about: Old Town Square
All about: Jewish Prague
All about: Petřín Hill
All about: Prague Gardens and Parks

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