Next to the Royal Court Palace in the Old Town stands the best Art Nouveau building in Prague: the Municipal House (in Czech Obecní Dum).
The exterior of this elegant building is adorned with stucco and allegorical statues, while the interior was decorated by important artists and sculptors such as Alphonse Mucha, Jan Preisler and Ladislav Šaloun.
A former seminary and military college, the Municipal House was the scene of two important historical events. It was here, on 28 October 1918, that Bohemia’s independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire was proclaimed and the Czechoslovak state was born. It was also here that Václav Havel, the future president of the democratic Czech Republic, had his first meeting with representatives of the communist regime on the verge of collapse.
Today the Municipal House houses a cultural centre with concert halls, exhibition venues, restaurants and cafés. It is the perfect place to experience Art Nouveau Prague, more modern than the picturesque medieval and baroque buildings, enjoy a show or treat yourself to a gourmet snack or sumptuous dinner.
Besides being an architectural gem in itself, the Municipal House is a venue for interesting cultural events such as concerts, congresses, fashion shows and art exhibitions. In particular, the Smetana Hall is an important auditorium with a capacity of up to 1,200 people.
The Municipal House is also an elegant gourmet paradise. Inside the building is home to the prestigious French Art Nouveau restaurant, considered one of the finest restaurants in the world. Run by a top team headed by Jan Horký, leader of the Czech chefs’ association, the restaurant offers a French and international menu of the highest quality.
If you prefer traditional Czech dishes, you can try the very popular Plzeň tavern, with a much more informal atmosphere and cheaper prices. Inside the Municipal House you will also find a very elegant café that is as good as any in Vienna and a modern American Bar.
Inside the Municipal House you can currently visit the iMucha exhibition, dedicated to the Czech master of Art Nouveau, Alphonse Mucha.
The exhibition will take you through the artist’s entire life, starting in 1893 when Mucha published his illustrations for Adamité, the epic poem by Svatopluk Čech. The installation shows the main periods of Mucha’s life in artwork: Femme fatal, Slav Epic (also as a multimedia exhibition), Perpetual return and Pantheon of Czech music.
In the exhibition you will admire moving poster models, an animated story from the Slav Epic and Alphonse Mucha’s voice from his self-portrait.
City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.