Letohrádek Hvězda. via EHD

European Heritage Days opens closed doors in Prague and the Czech Republic

Some buildings will be open across Prague and the Czech Republic

Some buildings will be open across Prague and the rest of the Czech Republic as part of European Heritage Days, held September 7–15. This year’s theme is Sights and Entertainment (Památky a zábava). Most will be open for free, but some will have a nominal entrance fee.

Prague will have 33 locations participating, and 20 special events. Nationwide, there are 804 locations and 295 events, with the opening ceremony being held in Litomysl in the Pardubice region.

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The venues in Prague will be spread out, including museums, religious venues, and architectural curiosities.

New Town Hall in Prague 2 will host several events, ranging from live concerts to children’s theater. Access to the top of the tower and other exhibitions including the former apartment of the tower keeper is at a discount for the entire week. Some parts of the complex, such as an escape room, will be open but with no discount.

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Žofín Palace
Stairway detail in Žofín Palace. Via Raymond Johnston

Žofín Palace in Prague 1 will be open September 8 for free so people can see the elaborately decorated interiors, with stucco, wall paintings and decorative staircases. The building dates to 1884. Also in Prague 1, Thurn-Taxis Palace is open September 7–8. It has baroque features mixed in with details from later renovations.

Prague 8 has a large number of places on this year’s list. Grab Villa is open on September 14. It was built in 1921 by Dr Hugo Grab. It’s turbulent history includes a large fire, Nazi occupation, and damage in the May 1945 Prague Uprising. Now it is owned by the Health Ministry.

Libeňský zámek, which has parts dating to the 16th century, is open September 14. It was extensively remodeled in 1770 and now houses administrative offices for the district.

Several places in Troja area are participating. A manor farmhouse, brewery, and fishing settlement are all open September 7. The Slabka winery, with parts dating to the 16th century, is open September 8. All week long, the garden of the Brabec Villa and a winery column will be accessible.

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Participating museums across the city include the Lapidarium on September 7–8, Letohrádek Hvězda on September 7, the Czech Police Museum on September 14–15, and Kobylisy Shooting Range (a World War II execution site) on September 14.

The National Technical Museum on September 7 and Josef Sudek Studio on September 7–8 both will have reduced admission.

The Old Sewer System (Stará čistírna) in Prague 7–Bubeneč will be open September 14 at regular price but with special special events including access to the chimney if weather cooperates.

Chapel of St Elijah
Chapel of St Elijah. via EHD

A dozen churches, chapels, and other places of worship are open, showcasing Baroque to modern architecture. Perhaps the most unusual of these is the cave-like Chapel of St Elijah in Prague 1’s Vojanovy sady on September 7–8, with rarely seen ceiling paintings on the inside. Other unusual sights include the wooden Art Nouveau–style Church of St Vojtěch in Prague 8, open September 14, and the modern (from 1971) Church of Jacob’s Ladder in Prague 8 on September 14.

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A few off spots are hard to categorize. Part of the city’s historical town walls near Strahov, a viewpoint in a former guardhouse in Petřín, and a newly remodeled building entryway on Skořepka Street will all also be open.

For a list of all venues and times, visit the EHD 2019 website, which has maps and interactive categories.

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