The Municipal House

The Municipal House is located on the border of Old Town, Prague. The class would most likely visit this building May 29th.

Location of The Municipal House

When looking at The Municipal House, you will see a triangular shaped building. The entrance and balcony are supported by 2 pillars: the wrought-iron balcony is supported by Atlases, a Greek God, holding lanterns. In the center of the entrance, there is stained glass and a medallion depicting a three-tower castle. Above the entrance, there is a mosaic made by Karel Špillar called Homage to Prague. This mosaic depicts the goddess Praha/Prague presiding over a land of peace and high culture.

On the balcony, there is a large door leading to the outside. Across the landscape of this building, there are many big windows with a curved top. This design is displayed throughout this building, having many curved tops. This fluid design element is related to the art nouveau style the building was designed in.

This building, made by Osvald Polívka and Antonín Balšánek, was designed for royalty. From 1383 to 1485, the King of Bohemia lived in a palace which sited the Municipal House. The building was completed in 1911, and was used as the location of the Czechoslovak declaration of independence in 1918, acting as a political landmark for Prague. Today, this building acts as a concert hall and ballroom. Despite being in a popular location, this building is closed off to the public. Only guests on guided tours are allowed in.

The architecture and interior design resembles the style Art Nouveau by It’s warm green and yellow colors and curved linear windows, followed by the floral pattern. The interior design uses a lot of stained glass and tile work on the walls and floor. This was very popular during the Art Nouveau movement in Prague. Gilded decorations, ceramic pieces, and murals flourish through the building, and allows a tourist to understand the history of the Czech land.  The building is lit with high lighting bulbs and chandeliers. Similar to the outside, the interior uses many pillars to hold the building up. There is a grand staircase to the Smetana Hall decorated in a red color, indicating wealth and royalty.

Stained Glass, photo from Wikipedia by user Uoaei1

According to the Official Prague Website, some famous painters were Mikolas Ales, Alfons Mucha, Jan Preisler, Vaclav Jansa, Jakub Obrovsky, Josef Wenig and Frantisek Zenisek. Some sculptures were Karel Novak, Frantisek Uprka, Bohumil Kafka, Josef Vaclav Myslbek and Josef Maratka.

Today, the building interior is kept to the visual standards it had during its creation. Despite the main part of the building is a concert hall, there is much to see. There are cafes, restaurants, exhibition halls, meeting rooms, and a basement bar. These places are filled with stained glass mosaics and other symbolic references to the Czech people.

Work Cited:

https://www.prague.eu/en/object/places/417/municipal-house-obecni-dum?back=1

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Municipal_House

https://www.prague-stay.com/lifestyle/review/36-prague-architecture/45-art-nouveau/175-municipal-house

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Municipal_House

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/municipal-house