Follow a meal in one of Municipal House’s gorgeous dining rooms with a concert in Smetana Hall, and be transported to the golden age of Art Nouveau.
Municipal House is a key part of Czech national heritage. It was built on the site of the Royal Court, located on an important trade route and home to Bohemian kings from Wenceslas IV to Vladislaus Jagiellon; the court’s Gothic Powder Tower remains, adjoining the present building. Abandoned after 1485, the old structure was demolished, and the magnificent Art Nouveau hall we see in its place was built between 1905 and 1912. It was here that the 1918 Declaration of Independence, which established the Czech state, was signed.
The building’s exterior is lavishly decorated: among many other sculptures, there is a colourful mosaic called Homage to Prague above the entrance, flanked by allegorical sculpture groups representing The Degradation of the People and The Resurrection of the People.
Inside is a stunning array of opulent halls, restaurants, bars, dining rooms and even a pool hall - most recently restored to their original light fittings and paintwork. Czech Art Nouveau is elegantly combined with oriental, Western and Neo-Renaissance influences; magnificent stained-glass windows further enhance its appearance.
Many of the restaurants are open for scenic dining opportunities, including the beer hall Plzenska Restaurace, which serves traditional Czech dishes and Pilsner Urquell, and the French Restaurant, where you can enjoy contemporary cuisine while listening to live jazz.
The centrepiece of Municipal House is Smetana Hall, topped by a glass dome and several storeys in height. The home of the Prague Symphony Orchestra, it is a truly magnificent venue with an enormous organ featuring a gilded bronze relief of its namesake, the Czech composer Bedřich Smetana; his compositional style was closely associated with the desire for an independent Czech state. World-class classical concerts continue here to this day.
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