Congress Centre Prague Communist Showpiece

Congress Centre Prague was named in Communist days the Palace of Culture. A palace indeed and a large one! It had a capacity for 5,060 attendees, had 2,300 rooms divided over six floors. This neo-functionalist building was a landmark of Prague and still stands on the Pankrac bridgehead of Nusle Bridge. The Gottwaldova metro station, now Vysehrad station, was only a few minutes away on foot, a direct connection with Prague’s main railway station. Today, the Congress Centre is a meeting place for congresses, cultural and social events. There was and still is large public terrace in front of the building, with impressive views of Prague.

Congress Centre

Congress Centre Prague: why is a visit justified?

Prague has so much to offer Charles Bridge, Prague Castle and the Astronomical Clock. And there is more shopping in na Prikope and Wenceslas Square, drinking beer on Letna Hill, attending a concert in the Municipal House. So why should you go to the Congress Centre which you cannot even visit inside unless there is a fair or conference to attend?

Four good reasons to visit the Congress Centre

1. View: The perfect view across Prague and Prague Castle in the background.
2. Nusle Bridge: A bridge that spans the Nusle valley, not a river.
3. Vysehrad: sometimes named Prague’s second castle. Highlights are the basilica Saints peter and Paul and the cemetery with the Slavin Monument
4. Vysehrad metro station: the station hangs under the bridge and is situated on the supporting system of Nusle Bridge so that the station’s ceiling is the bridge floor

Congress Centre

Congress Centre Prague originally named The Palace of Culture

The Palace of Culture was a symbol of prestige for the Communist Party and, in 1975, party officials decided to build it. The Palace opened in 1981. The Czech Communist Party officials intended the Palace to provide a location for large exhibitions, concerts, party gatherings etc. The design was multi-functional and the rooms could be adapted so as to fit a larger number or a smaller number of people. The building was equipped with cutting edge novelties; a state-the–art engineering system, computers and CCTV security.

The Palace of Culture Communist Showpiece

The Palace of Culture was a huge complex: 2,300 rooms on six floors. The representative part of the palace consisted of a multipurpose Congress Hall with a capacity for 2,800 persons. The armchairs were provided with air-conditioning and simultaneous interpretation equipment, advanced technology in 1981. The Social Hall used for concerts, variety shows and theatre performances seated 800 to 1,200 persons. There was a Conference Hall with cabins for interpreters, a Chamber Hall for concerts and small musical performances, a restaurant, a snack bar, a night club and the Vysehrad observation café with sweeping views of the surroundings. The interior of the Palace of Culture was decorated with almost a hundred works of art by leading Czechoslovak artists. They included sculptures, ceramics, paintings, works of graphic art and special chandeliers.

Present-day Congress Centre Prague

The Congress Centre was renovated and refurbished from 1998 to 2000. The number of halls and rooms was reduced to seventy; twenty conference halls and fifty meeting rooms. It is still very large but smaller than the Communist showpiece which had 2,300 halls and rooms and a capacity of 5,060 persons. Linked to the Congress Centre via an underground corridor is the four-star Holiday Inn Prague with 245 rooms. In 2017, the technical background of the Congress Centre, the audio visual technology, Wi-Fi infrastructure and the digital navigation were modernized.

Address: Congress Centre Prague, 5. Kvetna 65, Nusle, Prague 4

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