Obecni dum (The Municipal House) is one of the most attractive city sights, located right next to the Prašna brana (Powder Gate). It was built from 1905 to 1912 on the site where used to stand the Royal Court Palace of Bohemian kings. In 1485 the king's property was abandoned and demolished in the early 20th century.
The building was designed by the architects Osvald Polivka and Antonin Balanšek in Art Nouveau style. Over the main entrance is a mosaic called "Homage to Prague" by Karel Špillar. On the both sides of the entrance we find allegorical sculptures representing "The Degradation of the People" and "The Resurrection of the People", work of Ladislav Šaloun. Over the entrance is beautifully designed glass dome.
Some of the most prominent Czech artists, such as Alfons Mucha, Jan Preisler and Max Švabinsky decorated the interiors of the building, which today is used as concert hall, ballroom, civic building and the location of several bars and restaurants.
After viewing the outside of Municipal House, it was time to join the dozen's of other people to see the inside. The Lobby is as far as I could go, no sneeking any further as the rest is roped off and guarded. It is worth coming into see though, and you CAN TAKE PHOTO'S.
You can go to the Café or Restaurant, I didn't go and have a look.
Inside is a marble staircase leads to the Concert Hall. People were busy booking tickets at what must be some of the most stunning ticket offices you will see! Stained glass windows and marble abounds in this area.
To see more of the inside, I had to check out the website. Of course, you can go to see one of the performances or book a tour.
This page gives the tour times.....http://www.obecnidum.cz/turisticke-prohlidky.html
The tour takes you through....
Smetana Hall - Confectionery - Slovácký Lounge - Lounge Bozena Nemcova - Oriental Lounge - Grégr Hall - Palacky Hall - Mayor's Hall - Hall Rieger - Sladkovského Hall - The American Bar
ADMISSION IN 2013 : Adults 290ck
Family: 500ck (max. 2 adults and 2 children up to 18 years)
Free: children under 10 years
Tickets can not be obtained in advance and can be purchased only on the day of the tour.
I had just been to the Powder Tower which is joined to The Municipal House by an archway. I couldn't miss this building which turned out to be Municipal House, where all sorts of public events take place. Balls & banquets, trade fairs & fashion shows, Opera & classical music performances, gala events, the list goes on and on! Mozart, Beethoven, Gershwin, Strauss, Vivaldi and many more have all performed here!
Probably the most important event to take place here, was on 28th October 1918, when Czechoslovakia was proclaimed an independent state.
This Art Nouveau cultural center and concert hall, was built at the beginning of the 20th century on what was once the site of the Royal Court, a palace and residence of King Wenceslas IV. These buildings were demolished in 1903 and in 1905, it was decided to build the Municipal house. Three million crowns was allowed for the project, a lot of money in those days, and even then they went over budget, just as we do today!
It was a first in many ways not seen before. Ventilating, central heating, public drinking water fonts, ice making machines and even an intercom network were some of the never before seen additions.
I love Art Nouveau, so I was in my element admiring this beautiful building. Over the entrance, there is a mosaic called Homage to Prague, and on each side, allegorical sculpture groups representing The Degradation of the People and The Resurrection of the People. Take a look at the intricate stonework, gold trimmings, frescos and stained glass windows and particularly, the impressive lamp post's!
It really is a beautiful building, one the city of Prague is proud of!
Make sure if you visit the Powder Tower to walk next door and visit the Municipal House.
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 snoreworthy 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 (three of my favourite descriptors in sequence there!). 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)!
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.
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.
This Prague's most prominent Art Nouveau building was constructed in 1911 (A.Balsanek, O.Polivka) on the spot of the former king's court, a seat of the kings of Bohemia from the end of the 14th century till 1438.
The rich interior andexterior decoration is work of A.Mucha, M.Svabinsky etc. The monumental Smetana Concert Hall forms the centre of the building being the place of the international Music Festival Prazske jaro (Prague Spring), other concerts and important social events.
This impressive building is a frequent stop for visitors drawn in by the art nouveau gold trimmings, stained glass, sculpture, and the regular exhibitions and concerts.
Historically, Municipal House had been used as a seminary and a military college, but was finally demolished and replaced by the present cultural centre,
There is also a cafe and the famous French restaurant in the lobby hall.
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 building stands on the site of a former royal court palace, which was the king’s residence between 1383 and 1485. It was abandoned for centuries and was demolished in the early 1900’s. The present building was built between 1905 and 1911 and was designed by Antonin Balsanek. The mosaic above the main entrance is entitled “Homage to Prague” by Karel Spillar. An impressive glass dome tops the building.
This is Prague’s principal concert venue and is used as a ballroom.
On October 28th 1918, it was the scene of the proclamation of the new independent state of Czechoslovakia.