Wallenstein`s houses (Valdštejnské domky)

The Wallenstein`s houses in Větrná ulička are the oldest preserved residential buildings in the centre of Liberec.
Address:Větrná uliceLiberec, 460 01GPS:50°46'15.3''N; 15°03'15.8''E[Map]
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Wallenstein’s New Town

You’ll find three remarkable little buildings tucked away in Větrná ulice, one of the city’s shortest and narrowest streets. They’re called the Wallenstein houses after Albrecht von Wallenstein, even though they were built in 1678, 1680 and 1681, long after the death of this famous military commander and duke. The houses got their name due to the fact that it was Wallenstein who founded Nové Město (New Town) with the vast Novoměstské náměstí (now Sokolovské náměstí), around which similar-looking residential houses were built. They were home to the drapers who made the fabric for the uniforms of the duke's troops. While the rest of the original buildings disappeared over the years, these three houses were preserved.

The oldest houses in the city centre

These houses are multi-storey, timbered and semi-timbered, with high triangular gables facing the street. They originally had a porch on the ground floor, which was later bricked up. The steep gable roofs are covered with shingles. The U města Petrohradu tavern was later opened in building no. 265-I (by the school); Christmas markets were traditionally held every year in the arcade.

A valuable heritage site saved by the neighbouring School of Construction

The fate of these houses was very uncertain for a long time. After World War II, they fell into disuse; an attempt to reconstruct them in 1950 was unsuccessful and the rear part actually collapsed. The decision was taken to declassify them as listed buildings, and it was expected that they would then be demolished. Fortunately, in 1953, the Secondary Industrial School of Construction moved into the adjacent Appelt house, and its professors decided to save at least the front part of the houses. They preserved the exterior of the Wallenstein houses, reconstructed the buildings themselves using original techniques, and placed offices inside them. The houses are still used for this and maintained by the school.

A record broken

The houses were long considered the oldest preserved residential houses in the whole of Liberec. In 2020, however, conservationists confirmed that there is a log cabin in the Františkov district of Liberec that, according to analysis of the age rings of its beams, dates from 1656 to 1658, meaning it is twenty years older. The Wallenstein houses are still the oldest in the city centre, however, so while Prague has its Golden Lane and Paris its Rue du Chat-qui-Pêche (Street of the Fishing Cat), here in Liberec it is in Větrná ulice that we dream of the old days.
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