Municipal House was built as a representative building of Prague, as a centre of Czech cultural and social life at the turn of the 20 th century. It is an impressive Art Nouveau house that catches attention of everyone, who visits the Republic Square in Prague New Town. It is situated next to the Powder Tower, in the area of the former Royal Court.
King Wenceslas IV. founded his residence “Royal Court” at the place in 1383. It was used as a seat of kings till the end of the 15 th century. An archiepiscopal seminary was situated there later. The building had various functions through the centuries – there used to be a barracks till 1869, then a military academy. The Royal Court was demolished in 1903.
Municipal House as a centre of Czech cultural life
It was planned to build a new, modern building for Czech cultural events as a counterbalance to the near German House. The project was made by A. Balsanek and O. Polivka. It took 6 years to build the Municipal House – from 1905 to 1911.
The Municipal House was a place for concerts, exhibitions, conferences, festivities, balls and similar events. It played an important role in the beginnings of the republic Czechoslovakia, established in 1918: the National Board was founded there as a base of the future Parliament and the independent republic was declared from the balcony of the Municipal House on 28 th October 1918.
The prime of the Municipal House was in 1920s and 1930s. Many cultural events took place there then.
Splendid decoration of the Municipal House
The Municipal House is a mixture of several architectural styles of the 19 th century. You can see neo-Renaissance, neo-Baroque and especially Art Nouveau features there. It was a very modern and technologically advanced building at the time.
There is a mosaic above the decorative entrance, called Prague Apotheosis. The inscription above reads “Resist the time wrath, Prague, as you resisted all the thunders!” There are allegorical sculptures representing the nation at the sides, and a balcony is situated under the mosaic.
You can visit a cafe inside, a French restaurant, a winehouse, an American bar or a Pilsener restaurant. Billiard and card games can be played in the mezzanine.
Prague Spring festival in the Municipal House
Smetana Hall in the first floor is the most important hall of the Municipal House. It is the main place of work of the Prague Symphony Orchestra. The most important concerts of the classical music festival Prague Spring take place there.
There are many other halls with splendid decorations, mostly called after important politicians, such as the Rieger Hall or the Palacky Hall. The Mayor Hall is decorated with paintings on Slavonic themes by Alfons Mucha. The Conductor Apartment intended for the most important visitors of Prague has a unique view on the Prague Castle panorama. You can visit these halls and salons only with a guide.