Tips for Buildings to Visit

1. 8. 2020

In this special selection we have chosen buildings and premises that offer a wide range of architecture styles and types. We would like to present to you a showcase of architecture from the period of the Gothic up to the present, including architecture of the Renaissance, Baroque, Classicism, Art Nouveau, neo and modern styles, Cubism, as well as buildings from the Communist era holding quality and well-preserved interiors. You can visit not only historic but also modern and lately designed buildings and spaces in the very centre of Prague. Therefore, you will surely appreciate that our list includes buildings within walking distance. 

Some of the buildings offer English tours (a special icon in the guide as well as on the website will inform you about them) while there are others which you can visit freely without a guide. Most of our volunteers speak English, so feel free to ask them for some basic information or for a fact sheet in English if available.

Rooftop views

Metro Palace

Built in the 1870 in the Neo-Renaissance style, redesigned later in the 1920s, the palace was used mainly for the purpose of social activities (winery, bowling, cinema). Today it holds a dance studio, restaurants, shops and a black-light theatre. Its rooftop offers amazing views on the historical centre. Entry without a guide.

Quadrio

A multifunctional complex, a green building certified project offers fantastic views from the modernly designed rooftop.

Representative state owned buildings

Liechtenstein Palace

Located on Kampa island, an opulent building, originally a Baroque water palace, is now used by the Czech government for purposes of representation and for accommodating distinguished visitors from abroad.

The Straka Academy

A cultural heritage building erected in the Neo-Baroque style, currently used by the office of the Government of the Czech Republic. You can look inside the conference rooms, representative salons and the garden.

Petschek Palace 

The luxurious bank palace was built by the prominent Bohemian Petschek family in the First Republic era. During the World War II the palace was seized from the family and served as a Gestapo seat and a place where Nazi opponents were interrogated and imprisoned. Today the palace serves representative purposes of the Ministry of Industry and Trade and boasts well-preserved interiors.

Historic palaces

Forum

Built in the style of the Neo-Baroque. The building holds a beautiful entrance hall and a unique imperial staircase with a rich stucco decoration. The most influential writer of the 20th century, the legendary Franz Kafka, worked here as an insurance clerk. Entry without a guide.

House on Sněmovní 7

Another cultural heritage building with the Baroque appearance. It used to be owned by the noble Czernin family. Today it houses a coworking centre, multifunctional spaces, and apartments. English tours are available.

Architecture of the First Republic in Prague

City Mayor’s Residency

Exceptionally rich interiors influenced by late Art Nouveau and Art Deco. English tours are available. 

General Pension Institute – Radost House 

The monumental Functionalist building of the former General Pension Institute is one of the most significant buildings from the period of the First Czechoslovak Republic that have gained global appreciation. It was also the first Czech skyscraper. The festival infopoint is available here. 

Architecture of the communist era 

Palace of Culture – Congress Center Prague

A Neo-Functionalist building from the 1980s. It contains 70 halls of different sizes, the greatest of which can hold 2,764 people and is one of the best in the world when it comes to acoustics. There are wonderful views available here, too. 

CAMP (Prague Institute of Planning and Development)

This office building by the famous Czech architect Karel Prager is a fine example of so-called Brutalism – the architectural style of the 1960s and 1970s. Today core municipal strategic development documents are created here. 

Sacral spaces

Church of St. Anna – Prague Crossroads

Originally a Gothic church houses an international spiritual centre created by the former Czech president Václav Havel. It is a venue used for lectures, discussions, concerts, exhibitions, etc. You can visit the nave and the organ loft and see  a unique piece of the only Gothic roof truss that survived in Prague. English tours are available.

Design interiors 

ARA Palace – main office of the HubHub coworking

A monumental Functionalist palace built with the use of a steel frame like New York skyscrapers. It used to be a department store selling textiles, clothing and other goods. Nowadays it is partly occupied by the HubHub coworking.

Cubist architecture

Kovařovic Villa

Prague Cubism was a very short lived era starting in 1911 and finishing in 1924 but it left traces not only in the arts but also in the architecture. An example of a Cubist house can be found near the Vltava river bank and the villa is admired mainly because of its original geometrical exterior. 

Arts and culture 

Disk Theatre

The home stage of the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Here you can visit the workrooms, the backstage, and the medieval underground. English tours are available.

Buildings in revival 

The Karlín Barracks

At the time of their foundation in 1851, the Karlín Barracks were the largest and most modern military building in Prague. At present, the vast and empty premises of the barracks are rented by the state. The courtyard, for instance, houses a café and you can even attend a movie night here. Entry without a guide.  

Medieval architecture 

Ericsson Palace

Its history dates back to the Middle Ages and part of the tour is also a visit to the vast Gothic cellars with preserved stone vaults featuring traces of almost all historical periods. 

Industrial architecture 

Machine House – main office of Qarta architecture

Originally built in the 1st half of the 19th century. In 2004 this former motor factory was converted into an open space office. Despite the major reconstruction, the original industrial spirit has been preserved. 

Railway  

Masaryk Railway Station

The oldest railway station in Prague built in the style of fading Empire and Classicism with elements of the Neo-Renaissance. It holds a lounge with a beamed ceiling and majestic fireplace created in the 1870s for Emperor Franz Joseph I and later adopted for the needs of the first Czechoslovak President T. G. Masaryk. Entry without a guide.

Prague Main Railway Station

Contains the most sumptuous station lounge in the Czech Republic created during the Art-Nouveau reconstruction of the station at the beginning of the 20th century. Entry without a guide.  

Specialties 

Vyšehrad Historic Steamship

The oldest and largest paddle wheel steamship on the Vltava river was first launched in 1938. It underwent two major restorations in the past. Today you can explore the ship´s lounges, the steering room as well as the engine room with the original steam engine. 

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