This rather stunning Art Nouveau palace was built in the early 1900s to replace the old 14th century royal palace that had been abandoned when the court moved to the Prague Castle area. Several of the country's leading artists at the time were involved in the design and construction of the building, which was built with the ultimate goal of becoming Prague's main cultural venue. Several small halls were included in the design of the Municipal House with the idea of providing space to showcase local artists, along with Smetana Hall, a large auditorium that can fit over 1,200 people and that is still used to host concerts and banquets almost daily. Guided tours of the building are offered at fixed hours (tickets cost CZK 290 and the schedule varies so make sure to check the Website), but visitors are also welcome to take a look around the palace's public areas on their own. These include a few restaurants, bars and cafes.
Anyone who's read my euphoric writeup on the Mucha Museum will not be surprised to see that the Municipal House gets my vote for the most beautiful building in Prague!
Despite its dull-sounding name, the Municipal House is an exquisite confection of Art Nouveau design. The building was designed to provide public facilities for banquets and exhibitions, and is still used for pretty well the same purpose. The website below should provide up-to-date information on forthcoming concerts and exhibitions. Oh yes, and it features artwork by Mucha (surprise!)
The restaurant on the ground floor is seriously up market and way beyond my pocket so I can't pass comment on it, other than to say that the setting is gorgeously elegant: definitely the place to go for a VERY special occasion or if you have an exceedingly lavish expense account! This restaurant used to be part of the Gordon Ramsay group, but I believe that he no longer has any involvement since his fall from favour over the past couple of years.
However, the highlight for me is the beerhall-style Pilsener restaurant in the basement. Whereas the ground floor restaurant is all about crystal chandeliers and glittery elegance, the auspiciously named Pilsener restaurant basement is a veritable monument to folksy Art Nouveau kitsch and is so wonderful that it merits its own travel tip (see below)!
It is possible to take tours around the Municipal House - many of the rooms can only be visited on a tour. If you're too late (or too poor) for a tour, you can still hang around in the publically accessible spaces such as the restaurants, foyer and staircase areas and soak up the ambience - hell, even the decor in the toilets is gorgeous!
Whereas the ground floor restaurant of the Municipal House is all about crystal chandeliers and glittery elegance, the Pilsener restaurant in the basement is a veritable monument to folksy Art Nouveau kitsch. I gather that it fell into disrepair a few years ago and was used as a nightclub for a time, but, like the rest of the building, has been restored to its former technicolour splendour.
The walls are adorned with amazing Art Nouveau ceramic mosaics by J. Obrovský depicting highly idealised scenes of rural life: it's all about celebrating strapping young men and winsome, buxom wenches that you just know had exemplary work ethics and genetically superior breeding potential!
The Pilsener restaurant serves traditional Czech fare - I haven't eaten here myself, but the food gets mixed reviews: some good, some bad, so it's difficult to know what to expect. In general the prices for food and drink are a bit higher than in other restaurants serving similar fare. However, the setting is incomparable, and to my mind, it's absolutely worth paying a premium to relax in this splendid setting - na zdraví (cheers)!
Next to the Powder Tower stands the Community House. It was built from 1905 to 1911 for the people of Prague. The purpose of the Community House was for recreation and socialization.
It stands near Namesti Republiky.
Reserved a space for the tour of the Municipal House. Be sure to reserve in advance - spaces are limited. If you love art nouveau architecture - take this tour.. The only way you’ll be able to see the galleries upstairs is by taking the tour. The tour also includes the concert hall - which you can also see during a performance. Each gallery is unique. It cost about $40 million to restore the Municipal House. Beautiful interiors. The tour lasted for about an hour. Don't forget to check out the basement.
The Municipal House, a national cultural landmark, is among the most significant Art Nouveau buildings in Prague. It is located in the very centre of Prague, directly neighbouring the Powder Gate.
Since the very beginning, the Municipal House has been a multifunctional building. The halls and lounges are used to arrange conventions, conferences, concerts, balls and fashion shows. They are accessible to the general public only in the form of commented tours.
In the years 1994 - 1997 the Municipal House underwent a technically and financially demanding restoration. When it was re-opened, it once-again became a significant social and cultural centre.
Municipal house was built in 1906 – 1912 (A. Balnasek, O. Povilka) and is described as the most beautiful Art Noveau building in Prague. The most famous Czech artists were gathered to make an interior. The most known in interior is Smetana Hall, that’s concert hall with huge glass dome. Here music festival Prague Spring takes places.
Art Noveau building is also used for conference rooms, offices, restaurants, and night clubs. The site was constructed on former King’s court that lost action in 1483.
Some serious historical moments took place at municipality. Firstly, proclamation of the Czechoslovak Republic was read here in October 28, 1918 and meetings between Civil Forum and communists were taken here (November, 1989).
This magnificent Art Nouveau building was built between 1905 - 1911. It stands on the place where the Royal Court stood. Both the buildings interior & exterior are covered in works of art by the most important artists of the time.
The halls & lounges are used for conventions, concerts & balls. They can only be visited as part of an organised tour.
Obecni dum (Municipal house) belongs to Prague's top secession architecture. A lot of czech famous sculptors, architects and painters assisted in building, like Alfons Mucha, Josef Vaclav Myslbek. It is made for concerts, performances, ball parties, social life.
If not going to a concert, there is beautiful restaurant in Municipal house.
Just next to Minicipal house stands Prasna brana and throught Celetna street you come to Old town Square or throught Na prikopech you get to Wenceslas square.
located across the square from the powder gate is the municipal house. this impressive art nouveau building stands on the site of a former royal court palace. the main attraction of this early 20th century building is it's huge mosaic "homage to prague" by antonin balsanek. today the municipal house is a concert hall.
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