Municipal House (Czech: Obecní dům) is a civic building that houses Smetana Hall, a celebrated concert venue, in Prague. It is located on Náměstí Republiky next to the Powder Gate in the center of the city.
The Royal Court palace used to be located on the site of the Municipal House. From 1383 until 1485 the King of Bohemia lived in the property. After 1485, it was abandoned. It was demolished in the early 20th century. Construction of the current building started in 1905. It opened in 1912. The building was designed by Osvald Polívka and Antonín Balšánek.
Architecture and art
The building is of the Art Nouveau architecture style. The building exterior has allegorical art and stucco. There is a mosaic called Homage to Prague by Karel Špillar over the entrance. On either side are allegorical sculpture groups representing The Degradation of the People and The Resurrection of the People by Ladislav Šaloun. Smetana Hall serves as a concert hall and ballroom. It has a glass dome. It houses artwork by Alfons Mucha, Jan Preisler and Max Švabinský.
Today, the building is used as concert hall, ballroom, civic building, and includes cafes and restaurants. Many of the rooms in the building are closed to the public and open only for guided tours.
- Peter Cannon-Brookes Czech Sculpture, 1800–1938
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