Best Art Nouveau in Prague
Are Nouveau is everywhere in Prague. Simply look up at the façades of the houses lining the streets and avenues. Many of them sparkle with Art Nouveau details; graceful female figures, flowing forms and flowery details. Art Nouveau is the French term for this decorative style and popular in the first decade of the twentieth century. Prague is peppered with houses in Art Nouveau style, many are within easy walking distance of each other.
Art Nouveau Buildings in Prague
Prague has a unique cultural heritage because most of the Art Nouveau and Baroque buildings in the city centre are still intact. The city was never bombed in the Second World War and suffered hardly any war damage. True to say, during the Communist period the buildings were neglected but, today, most of them have been carefully restored with financial help of the European Union and Unesco. However, most renovated buildings were restored by private house owners who received a generous subsidy of 70% of the expenses when they renovate their property.
Best Art Nouveau Architecture
1. Obecní dum, or Municipal House, is very likely the best example of Art Nouveau architecture in Prague. Marvel at the lavish exterior and go on a guided tour to see the interior with mosaics, paintings and filigree metalwork, the work of contemporary Art Nouveau artists of whom Alphons Mucha is the most famous.
Republiky Square 5
2. Prague City Insurance Company is a mixture of New Baroque and Art Nouveau. The sculptures decorating the façade are allegorical symbols of fire and water. The coat of arms shows three golden brick towers. The amount of bricks is equal to the number of districts in Prague. On the shield are three helmets, each holding a flag of the villages that make up greater Prague.
Old Town Square 6
3. Hotel Central whose colour scheme is a combination of green and pinkish tones accentuated by gilding. The façade is decorated by sculpted elements; a bush growing around the central oriel.
4. Novak former department store is ablaze of colours and fairy tale motifs in stucco. Metal parts, grilles and the coloured glass decorated entrance door are true eye catchers.
5. Praha Assurance Building and next door publishing house Topic. The main feature of the Praha building is the protruding corniche and the name PRAHA made up of small oval windows. The façade of Topic is enhanced by floral wreaths and garlands.
Narodni 7 and 9
6. Grand Hotel Europa and adjacent Hotel Meran form a visual unit and a vivid asymmetry. The façades are decorated with mosaics, floral wreaths and a gilded group of female nudes holding a crystal shaped lantern. Hotel Evropa is permantly closed and waiting for developers to restore the building to its old glory.
Wenceslas Square 25