Open House Praha Invites expats to Explore Prague Architectural Gems

Architecture is part of our everyday life and the organization Open House Praha invites Prague residents to learn more about its architecture.

English friendly walking tours around Bubeneč, Žižkov, or Letná districts are prepared for all architecture lovers.

Additionally, there is also an opportunity to explore brutalist architecture built during the socialism era or usually inaccessible interiors of the Desfours Palace, a hidden gem of Prague Classicism.

The walk through the Bubeneč residential area will present ten houses connected with the lives of former Jewish inhabitants.

On February 13 at 2:30 p. m. participants will see houses designed by elite Czech architects: Jan Kotěra, his student Jan Krejcar and the Jewish duo Ernst Mühlstein & Viktor Fürth.

The guide will disclose a lot of true gossip about people who have influenced Czech history. “We will follow the footsteps of the 1st Czechoslovakian president Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and walk around the houses that served the family of the 1st Communist Czechoslovakian president Klement Gottwald,” says the tour guide Michal Šedivý. 

Vila Marianne Gellertové-Petschkové

The Letná Plain is one of the most popular meeting places in Prague; people come here for family gatherings, big cultural events or mass demonstrations. But what is the story of this part of Prague? When did it become such an important social spot? How was it affected by the Prague Jubilee Exhibition in 1891?

All these questions will be answered during a guided tour held on February 19, at 2:30 p. m. which will focus on the history of the Letná Plain from the end of the 19th century up to now. “We will talk more about the architecture of important local buildings such as the National Technical Museum, the National Museum of Agriculture, or the Ministry of the Interior famous for its façade made of glazed tiles,” says Michal Šedivý. Participants will also learn more about Letná’s past and present in relation to sports.

Impressive marble stairways, precious ceiling paintings and many other rare art and craft elements are hidden behind the modest facade of the corner building next to Masaryk Railway Station.

This house of ghosts – abandoned for years – was built between 1845–1847 as the new town seat of count Franz Desfours-Walderode, designed by Josef Kranner in the late Classicist style. One of the last aristocratic palaces erected in Prague, the Desfours Palace was then owned for almost six decades by the Krasnopolski family, the last members of which were assassinated by the Nazis.

The Desfours Palace

In the 2nd half of the 20th century, the palace was used by Rudé právo, the official newspaper of the Communist party, which caused the building many scars. Thanks to a special tour through the palace interior held on March 6, 10:30 a. m. participants will have a unique opportunity to feel the magic of the late centuries and listen to the story of the masters of this monument.

Žižkov is a very distinctive and special district of Prague. A walk through its lower part held on March 12, at 12:45 p. m. will show how it has developed since the middle of the 19th century, and on what roots its genius loci stands. The guide will talk about the urban planning of this residential area and will show participants some of the oldest local houses as well as the most important ones from a social and historic point of view. 


February 13, 2022, 2:30 PM: Jewish residents of Bubeneč villa district II.

February 19, 2022, 2:30 PM: Monuments of the Letenská Plain

March 6, 2022, 10:30 AM, 12:00 PM (tour in Russian): Desfours Palace – the hidden gem of Prague Classicism

March 12, 2022, 12:45 PM: Lower Žižkov and the cubist Bethlehem Chapel visiting

March 26, 2022, 2:00 PM Great Strahov Stadium / Большой Страговский стадион – tour in Russian

March 27, 2022, 2:00 PM: Brutalist architecture I.

April 10, 2022, 12:45 PM: The Petschek Family Houses – How the Wealthy Lived

April 17, 2022, 2:30 PM: Czech history mirrored by Prague’s Lesser Town

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