The workshop was re-discovered in the house where non other than the great Rabbi Löw himself used to live, alias Maharal of Prague. The house was entered into the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Floods to be blamed
In 2002, when Prague was flooded, water demolished one part of the wall in the basement. The owner of the building found out that the basement is much bigger than he expected and therefore the place was cleaned of debris. Based on the discovered written sources, this is where alchemists gathered to explore the alchemic secrets of the Elixir of Life, Philosopher’s Stone and to change ordinary metals into gold. Behind these thick walls met many famous men, such as John Dee, Edward Kelley, Tadeáš Hájek of Hájek, the most famous Czech alchemist Bavor Junior Rodovský of Hustiřany and probably even the a renowned Jewish scholar Rabbi Löw.
House with interesting fate
It is a mystery why the house survived as it was to be demolished at the end of the 19th century, together with the Jewish quarter Josefov. In the plans we can see that the house was to be demolished. Many people take this as proof that the house is protected by powerful supernatural powers, which were in communion with the alchemists.
Scary and smelly team of billy goats
Based on the legend, there was a fiery and smelly team of goats that was occasionally passing through the area. There is written document from the 16th century. Already at this time, herbs and potions were sold in the house. These you can see during the visit as well as the alchemist glass making oven and the kitchen.
Elixir that brings youth
In the workshop you can purchase the Elixir of Youth which is produced according to the historical recipe. “We had to exclude some components such as the opium or the herbs that are poisonous and forbidden by law,” said Marek Motyčka, who is the head of the Ora et Labora Foundation from Rajhrad by Brno. “The production is very difficult because the recipe states the exact amount of individual herbs or their parts as well as the length of time and strength of solution for their maceration. So the whole process takes about two months.”
Secret of the potion
The recipe of the elixir is reminiscent of the historical universal cure called theriac. It contains lots of goodies, such as Milk thistle that protects liver, Ginko biloba that stimulates brain, a great life appetite enhancer Ginseng or Maca which is also a great plant for lovers…
City encourages good ideas
The workshop was ceremonially opened by the City Councilwoman Aleksandra Udženija. “We will encourage similar activities because visitors of such attractive places are a great source of income to small and medium size entrepreneurs who operate in the area, be it restaurants, café or galleries owners etc. In 201, Prague was visited by more than 5 million tourists, each of them spend on average CZK 1,500 a day,” said Aleksandra Udženija.