Municipal House Open Day Marks 99 Years of Czechoslovak Statehood

The Czechoslovak Declaration of Independence was signed here in 1918; tomorrow’s festivities include concerts and a virtual reality documentary

On Saturday, October 28, the Municipal House in Prague (Obecní dům) will commemorate the 99th anniversary of the Czechoslovak Republic by opening its doors to the public for a tour and series of performances.

The Municipal House was the location of the Czechoslovak Declaration of Independence which was signed in its Gregr Hall in 1918.

Other important events connected with the building include the Three-King Declaration of January 6, 1918 and the national oath of Czech writers, read by Alois Jirásek in Smetana Hall.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons / Jorge Royan

While construction of the current Art Nouveau landmark began in 1905—designed by Osvald Polívka and Antonín Balšánek—the Royal Court Palace was once located on the site of the Municipal House.

From 1383 until 1485 the King of Bohemia resided there; it was abandoned in 1485 and demolished in the early 20th century.

The building exterior features allegorical art and stucco; a mosaic by Karel Špillar, Homage to Prague, presides over the entrance while other noteworthy artworks include murals by Alfons Mucha in the Lord Mayor’s Hall.

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Photo: Wikipedia Commons / Jorge Royan

The Municipal House makes the first-floor representative premises available for free to the public on the anniversary of the independence every year.

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Visitors will be able to see the Smetana Hall, the Patisserie, the Salon of Božena Němcová, the Oriental Salon, the Gregr Hall, and the Lord Mayor’s Hall.

The tour ends with a visit to Rieger and Sladkovský Halls.

Throughout the day, the famed Smetana Hall organ will perform three half-hour concerts while in the adjacent Náměstí Republiky visitors will be able to view a virtual-reality documentary about the founding of the Czechoslovak State.

For a detailed program see here.

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