Deliberate from the details right through to the functioning whole, beautiful natural ornaments and precisely elaborated everyday items. One could describe Art Nouveau in this way – a style which engulfed the whole world at the turn of the century, the world not only of art but also fashion and everyday life. Turn back the clock a little to the magical century of steam in the spectacular Municipal House, one of the largest and best preserved in the world. Listen to Dvořák or Mozart in the Smetana Hall under the roof of this Art Nouveau gem and enjoy its beauty not only with your eyes, but with your other senses too.
The Municipal House is a dominant feature of extensive Náměstí republiky, through which one of the most important trade routes used to run, leading to the silver mines in Kutná Hora. Due to its strategic importance, the Czech rulers originally had their seat here and the coronation procession also traditionally started here. Nowadays only the Gothic tower stands testament to the glory days, firmly clinging to the beautiful building of the Municipal House designed by the architects Bolšánek and Polívka, on whose interiors Alfonse Mucha, Max Švabinský, Mikoláš Aleš and other eminent Czech and foreign artists participated.
Gastronomic paradise in the Municipal House
Sumptuous mahogany furniture, the original wallpaper and light fittings, steel clocks worked to the finest detail, an abundance of statues and pictures creating a pleasant atmosphere: How better could one enjoy the charm of the relaxed end of the century than over a glass of something nice to drink, over a plate of delicious food or whilst listening to some classical music? Visit top concerts in the Smetana Hall of the Municipal House, which holds an audience of 1,200, or enjoy Czech and international cuisine in the French restaurant, in the authentic cafe, the wine bar or the Plzeň restaurant. Invite your taste buds on a trip to Art Nouveau Prague.
The Municipal House – witness to turning points in history
Although the age of the Municipal House does not bear comparison with the Romanesque rotundas or ancient Gothic monuments, it was present at two of the most important events in modern Czech history. It was precisely here that the independence of Bohemia from the Austro-Hungarian Empire was declared, thus leading to the creation of the first independent Czechoslovak Republic in 1918. And it was right here a few years later in 1989 that the future president of the democratic Czech Republic, Václav Havel, first met with representatives of the communist regime, which would soon fall. Think back for a moment to medieval knights and kings and set out on a wander around Prague also taking in places where the modern Czech state was born.
The Gothic Powder Tower guards the Municipal House
If you miss following in the footsteps of history long past when visiting the Municipal House, climb the Gothic Powder Tower. Apart from a view over Prague you can also familiarise yourself here with a time when the Municipal House was a thing of the distant future and the Royal Court – seat of the Czech rulers – spread out over this site.