Modern Sauna Pops-Up in Ancient Prague Courtyard

A new exhibit of sauna photos at Old Town’s Jaroslav Fragner gallery invites visitors to take a steam

A hot new exhibit for these frosty times is opening tomorrow at Jaroslav Fragner Gallery in Old Town, near the 14th-century Bethlehem Chapel.

Sauna/Architecture of Pleasure will showcase, in photographic form, high-design saunas from around the globe while giving visitors the opportunity to take a steam in a custom-made sauna that has been installed in the museum’s courtyard.

Spa in Gothenburg, Sweden/ Photo: © raumlaborberlin
Spa in Gothenburg, Sweden/ Photo: © raumlaborberlin

The exhibit examines the role of architecture as part of the sauna experience, presenting a variety of contemporary sauna constructions and styles from the Scandinavian, Russian, and even Czech tradition, where the golden-era of Czech medieval spas began during the reign of Wenceslas IV.

“Sauna has a strong tradition in the Czech Republic. Spas in our area from he Middle Ages have always been associated with quality architecture and many leading artists participated in the creation of interesting realizations for sports, health, cleansing and relaxation activities,” says gallery curator Dan Merta.

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Spa in the Czech Republic / Photo © archiv H3T Architekts
Spa in the Czech Republic / Photo © archiv H3T Architekts

Czech Studio H3T, the architects behind other successful Prague sauna projects including the popular spa on the Vltava, have installed the saunas as an immersive aspect of the exhibit and a reminder of the days when public baths were an important social phenomenon.

The exhibit runs through March 10; reservations are required to take a steam; capacity is 6 people. Slippers and towels are included in the price of admission (180 CZ). To make a reservation e-mail:

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