Apartment Numbers in Prague
March 18, 2017 4:12 PM   Subscribe

I'm wondering about the conventions of apartment numbering in Prague: whether the individual apartments in a building are typically assigned numbers (or letters? or a different designation?), whether they normally appear on doors or on mailboxes, and anything else that might be of note about them. Anecdotal information from people who have been in a Prague apartment building once or twice but can't speak to overall trends would also be helpful.
posted by Lady Gotohell to Grab Bag (4 answers total)
I've visited a couple of apartment buildings in Prague and found that the convention was the same as many parts of central Europe, with the name of the street followed by the building number, then a slash and the apartment number, e.g. Ul Praga 7/5 would be Praga Street number 7, apartment 5.. Sometimes the apartment numbers will have a letter in them, e.g. 5A.
posted by rpfields at 5:56 PM on March 18, 2017

My experience is a bit different than rpfields. It seems to me that it's much less common to have individual numbers for each flat displayed. Officially, there must be some numbering to identify each flat in a building, but it seems to me that most of the buildings rely on people's last names - so the bell you would ring to get in would be under 'Novak', the postbox would say 'Novak', the door would say 'Novak' - instead of 'Apartment 26' or similar. My experience though is mostly confined to apartment tower blocks ('panelaky').

On a slightly related note, all houses and buildings in Prague have two numbers - one on a blue sign and one on a red one. The blue one is related to location, the red one is related to when the building was entered in to the official records. So, for instance, the American Embassy is at Tržiště 365/15. Buildings number 366 and 367 might be in a completely different street since they're 'red' numbers, but 13 and 17 should be located on either side of the embassy since '15' is the one that shows location. I wrote a bit more about this issue on my blog.
posted by brambory at 5:39 AM on March 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

Unfortunately, rpfields is incorrect. As brambory states, all the buildings have 2 numbers that are always used in the address, so if you used the convention rpfields gives, the chances are that mail would end up either at the wrong building or undelivered. For example, right now I'm sitting in a Costa, and I'm looking at the building opposite whose official address is:

Pod Baštami 299/7
160 00 Prague
Czech Republic

As far as numbering goes, each apartment within the building has a number, but I've never seen it used for mail -- even for official stuff like utility bills. The number is just used for stuff that is supposed to outlast the resident, such as gas and electricity meters which are usually clustered together behind a panel in a common area/corridor on each floor of the building. The door of my apartment doesn't have the number on it, but it does have the number on a tiny sticker at the top of the door frame. I'd lived there a couple of years before I even noticed it.

Generally, each apartment building has a bank of mailboxes just inside the entrance. Each mailbox has the resident's name on it. I've never seen a mailbox with the apartment number on it. Almost all apartments buildings are locked, so the mail-person has a key for each building. They go to the bank of mailboxes and stuff the mail into each box based on the name. Beside each bank of mailboxes there's usually a small shelf where mail for that building but with an unknown name is left for a few days before being taken away.

Some buildings have a number panel intercom for visitors to call up. In that case it might be the number of the apartment that's used to call, but it's just as likely to have a small board with names & numbers. In that case, there's no particular likelihood of the number for the intercom being the same as the official apartment number.

(Been living in Prague for a few years.)
posted by veedubya at 7:19 AM on March 19, 2017

Sounds like I was lucky to have made it to my friends' dinner parties!
posted by rpfields at 8:21 AM on March 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

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