06
07
P
rague
A
rchitecture
S
ymmetrical
C
lassicist
and
E
mpire
styles
Classicism was inspired by the ancient world, eliminating the
ostentatious ornamentation of the Baroque period and embracing
austerity and simplicity. A prime example is the
Estates Theatre
on the street Ovocný trh (Fruit Market). W. A. Mozart liked it so
much that he had precisely this theatre in mind when writing his
opera Don Giovanni, which had its world première here in 1787.
The Czech-born film director Miloš Forman shot scenes for his
Oscar-winning film Amadeus here. Other examples of Classicism
and the Empire style in Prague are the
Church of the Holy Cross
on Na Příkopě street, the
U Hybernů building
on the Square of
the Republic (Náměstí Republiky) and the
Kinský Villa
at the foot
of Petřín Hill.
H
istoricist
architecture
of
the
19
th
century
The Neo-Renaissance building of the monumental
National
Museum
, which occupies the entire top of Wenceslas Square, is
of crucial importance to the Czech nation, as is the
Rudolfinum
building on Jan Palach Square (Náměstí Jana Palacha), which hosts
major concerts. The beautiful building of the
National Theatre
is the representative stage of the Czech Republic and one of the
T I P
Visit the villa of the sculptor and graphic artist
František Bílek
near Prague Castle. The Art Nouveau
building with its rough brick facade was intended
by the artist to express fields of grain (the columns)
and a scythe, which is represented by the unusual
semicircular layout of the house. A permanent
exhibition presents Bílek’s sculptural works from his peak
creative period.
T I P
Visit the famous Neo-Renaissance
Pellé Villa
(Pelléova 10), which today houses a permanent
exhibition of the works of Czech artist Jiří Anderle
and his collection of African art.
Go to see Mozart’s opera
The Marriage of Figaro
at the Estates Theatre, presented in the original
Italian with English subtitles.
the prominent personalities of the time, such as
the world-famous painter Alfons Mucha. You can
visit its perfectly preserved Art Nouveau café, and
you can do likewise at the
Grand Hotel Evropa
(Wenceslas Square, 25-27).
Also significant is the
Pojišťovna Praha
building
(Národní 7), whose facade is decorated with
a large and colourful Czech lion; the
Industrial
Palace
at the Exhibition Grounds in Holešovice,
where exhibitions and fairs have been held since
the 19th century; and the lavish
Vinohrady
Theatre
on Peace Square (Náměstí Míru), which
in its day became the symbol of the wealth of the
Vinohrady quarter.
G
ems
of
P
rague
A
rt
N
ouveau
Art Nouveau architecture is characterized by its rich
ornamentation with a wealth of floral motifs, all distinctively
decorated in ceramic, gold, enamel and coloured cut
glass. It was in full bloom in the early 20th century when
the grand representational building of the Royal City of
Prague – the
Municipal House
(Náměstí Republiky 5)
was constructed. The regal appearance of this building is
crowned with outstanding artistic decoration by many of
symbols of Czech identity. Because of its rich
gold decoration, this theatre on the banks
of the Vltava River is often called the “golden
chapel”.
Among church buildings, noteworthy ones
are the Neo-Gothic
Church of St. Ludmila
on
Peace Square (Náměstí Míru) in the Vinohrady
quarter and the
Basilica of Sts. Peter and
Paul
at
Vyšehrad
, which is one of the
dominant landmarks of Prague.
Municipal House
Villa of František Bílek – interiors
Church of St. Ludmila
Estates Theatre
National Museum
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