THE MUNICIPAL HOUSE

The Municipal House, also known as the Representative House (“Repre”), is a unique architectural gem from the early 20th century (1903 -1911) and rightly, it is one of the most visited monuments in Prague. At the end of the 19th century, the city authorities were considering the construction of a palace that would serve as a representative building for social and cultural events. They choose the irregular land with remnants of the Royal Palace ( King's Court ) which were originally from the dynasty Jagellonců from the 15th century in the very centre of Prague. The Powder Gate, which acts as a reminder of those times, still stands beside the Municipal House. The construction of the palace was entrusted by two major Czech architects, despite their different perspectives on architecture. It was a risky choice but it proved to be brilliant because they created a unique and homogeneous architectural treasure. The first of architects, Antonin Balšánek, undertook construction of the palace and its external appearance. He used, what was back then, fashionable historical styles with prevailing neo-baroque elements. Osvald Polívka created the interior of the building in the unique art nouveau style. The palace consists of salons and halls, such as the Mayor's Hall, exhibition spaces, the large concert hall called Smetana’s Hall, restaurants and cafes. The ornamentation was created by the best artists of the time. Painters including, Alfons Mucha, Max Švabinský, Mikoláš Aleš or sculptors such as, Ladislav Šaloun, Karel Václav Myslbek and Špillar decorated the palace. The facade is decorated by mosaic: Tribute to Prague by Špillar and sculptural group Humiliation and Resurrection of the Nation by Ladislav Šaloun. The importance of the Municipal House is evident by the fact that the independence of the Czechoslovakian Republic was declared here on October 28th 1918.

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