Kinsky Palace at the Old Town Square, also called the Goltz – Kinsky Palace, is regarded as the most beautiful Rococo building in Prague. Franz Kafka used to attend a grammar school there at the turn of the 20 th century and later it became an exhibition space of the National Gallery in Prague. The exhibition of landscape in Czech art from 17 th to the 20 th century is situated there.
Architecture of the Kinsky Palace
The Kinsky Palace was built in 1755 – 1765 by Anselmo Lurago or K. I. Dientzenhofer – there is a dispute over the authorship. It has a Rococo facade, but the architecture itself is still Baroque. The frontage of the palace is decorated with allegoric sculptures of four elements and Antique gods. This decoration was damaged at the end of World War II. in 1945, so there are replicas nowadays. The interior of the Kinsky Palace was modified in Empire style in 1830s.
The palace was originally a residence of Count Goltz. After his death in 1768 it was bought by Count Frantisek Oldrich Kinsky, hence the name of the building.
Franz Kafka in the Kinsky Palace
Berta Suttnerova – Kinska, the first winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905, was born in the Kinsky Palace in 1843. At the end of the 19 th century, there was a German grammar school in the palace, where Franz Kafka used to study from 1893 to 1901. His father Hermann Kafka had a haberdashery shop in the ground floor of the palace.
In the beginning of the Communist coup in Czechoslovakia in February 1948, the Communist leader Klement Gottwald held his speech from the Kinsky Palace balcony, which started the gloomy era of Communism in Czechoslovakia.
The Goltz – Kinsky Palace was restored in 1990s. At the present, there are art exhibitions of the National Gallery in Prague in the front tract, and also the Franz Kafka Bookshop, a museum shop and a cafe.