Obecní dům – The Municipal House of Prague

Right next to the Powder Tower and right in the city center you find the Municipal House of Prague. At the site of the former residence of kings, it now serves as a venue for various exhibitions, concerts and events. The Municipal House is also the seat of the Prague Symphony Orchestra and venue of the annual Prague Spring Festival.

History of the Prague Municipal House

The royal court once stood at the site of today’s Municipal House, which was built by Wenceslas IV in 1830. However, the royal court was demolished in 1904 and the Municipal House built in his place. The architects Antonín Balšánek and Osvald Polívka built it in the style of historicism and Art Nouveau. However, it contains many different influences – including Neo-Baroque, Neo-Renaissance and Oriental influences. The mosaic above the entrance is made by Karel Špillar.

After the end of the First World War, the founding of the Czech Republic was proclaimed here on October 28, 1918, and after the Velvet Revolution, representatives of the Citizens’ Forum and the Communist government met here in 1989.

The Municipal House and Guided Tours

The two parts of the buildings create an angle and its corner forms the main entrance. However, you can only go in for concerts or with a guide. On a guided tour one learns a lot about the rooms and the artworks that adorn the entire building.

The Smetana Hall is normally used for festivities and concerts. It is also the most famous hall of the building. In addition to paintings with portraits of various Czech composers, there are also works by artists such as Jan Preisler and Alfons Mucha.

Although the town hall was very modern at the time of its founding, since it was equipped with both central ventilation and heating, it was completely refurbished between 1995 and 1997.

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