of the Alchymist
grand hotel and spa
History of "Dum u Jeziska"(House at the Jesus Child), which houses the Alchymist Grand Hotel and Spa
The land on which the Dum u Jeziska and other buildings stand originated from the local garden apportionment that took place towards the end of the sixteenth century under the supervision of the notable builder, Oldrich Avostalis.
Based on the wishes of the Lesser Town settlement representatives, he also drafted the regulation of two streets, known today as the Bretislavova and Vlasska Streets. He also proposed the construction of eighteen new buildings here.
The oldest preserved part of the Dum u Jeziska is the rear portion facing the courtyard, which was built after 1591. The lower part of the original tower structure, with its perimeter masonry supported by steel bars, dates from the fortification of the Lesser Town in 1257, the oldest Premyslid fortification.
This tower, which later underwent a Baroque adaptation, is decorated between the second-floor windows with a very well-preserved, polychrome relief sculpture of Our Lady of Loretto. Some sources hypothesise, and many times even argue, that the sculptor was the carver and painter, Ludvik Kohl.
The first written information about today's Dum u Jeziska dates from 1548, meaning even before the above mentioned property apportionment; the building certainly looked different back then and its ground plan was much more modest. It was owned by Ruprecht Haugvic of Haugvic, who, having debts, was forced to transfer it to Jirik Zejdlic of Senfeld. Zejdlic's three grandsons, Henry, George, and Ladislav, sold it to the Lesser Town community. The community also bought the adjoining building, number 364, named the House of the Golden Scale, which permitted a major urban achievement in the opinions of the area.
Kaspar Bytessky bought the building in 1596 and, just one year later, sold it to the imperial counselor Krystof of Fictum. Another change in the property's ownership took place in 1606 when the builder Horacio Fontain de Brussat bought it; he then gave it as a present to his nephew Rajchart de Bois, a Lesser Town townsman and tailor, in 1636. Rajchart de Bois named it the Town of Paris Building, possibly because he wanted to bring attention to his French origin. In 1685, the building became the property of Petr Fink of Finkenthal. Under his and, after his death, his widowed wife Rozalie's ownerships, it went through a Baroque reconstruction and received its current shape.
The building, located on the upper part of Trziste Street, is also famous because the young Frantisek Palacky lived there from 1823 to 1825 when he arrived in Prague. In the nineteenth century, a picture of the Infant Jesus of Prague was hung on the balcony on the main facade and the Lesser Town neighbors began to call it the Dum u Jeziska . The new name caught on and has been preserved until today; the name has also been reinforced by the fact that the widely worshipped wax statuette of the Infant Jesus of Prague is placed on its own altar in the nearby Carmelite Church of Our Lady of Victory. In 1988, after prior preparation, an extensive regeneration and structural reconstruction commenced in this locality, defined by the Nerudova, Trziste, and Vlasska Streets, and collectively called Jansky vrsek.
The Dum u Jeziska is also linked with several legends. One of them says that a convent once stood there and a local nun seriously violated the rules of her order. Although the legend does not specify her offence, we can assume it was a breach of the order of celibacy, because the punishment that followed was the usual sentence for this kind of behavior - she was bricked alive. Legend claims that her unhappy soul has been wandering the nights here ever since; however, the legend also suggests a solution - the nun will be freed only when the house built on the former convent foundations is demolished and the nun's remains are duly buried.