The Prague Architecture Guide

Because of the beautiful architecture I’ve been surrounded by for the past 4 weeks, I decided to dedicate this post to the some of the best sites I’ve seen in Praha (and definitely recommend seeing). I’ve been lucky enough this term to have an architecture class in which most of it is spent roaming the streets, or sitting and drawing these sites..

  • Gothic- St Vitus Cathedral at the Prague Castle. I mentioned St. Vitus before, but I had to mention it again. Like many Gothic cathedrals, St. Vitus shows an emphasis on verticality, towering 96 meters over the city. It has the pointed arches, ribbed vaults and flying buttresses that characterize the Gothic style. St. Vitus took many years to build so it is not purely Gothic in style, but shows influence from other styles such as the Art Noveau stained glass by Mucha. 
  • Baroque- St. Nicholas Cathedral in Malastranka. Out of all of the Baroque architecture I’ve seen before, this structure blew me away. Like other Baroque architecture, the Cathedral uses undulating facades, spiral columns, and is overly ornate. It took awhile to absorb all of the decor within, as it was covered with statues, fake marble, and ceiling frescos. As a part of my architecture class I had to draw inside of the cathedral and I’ll admit, it was difficult. 
  • Art Noveau- Municipal House. Located next to the Powder Tower, the Municipal House is one of the best examples of Art Noveau architecture. Throughout you’ll see the common circular and organic motifs, along with ceiling frescoes full of allegories. I would highly recommend a tour of this building as it allows you to see every room, many of which have individual themes and matching decor from the curtains to the chairs. 
  • Cubism- Chochol’s Villa. Just up the street from Vysehrad is one of the unique Cubist homes you’ll find in Prague. Cubist architecture is defined by the geometric shapes and ability to overcome time by showing each plane at once. This structure like many other Cubist structures uses crystal formation for inspiration and contrasts greatly from the Art Noveau homes you’ll find nearby. 
If you’re interested in more architecture, I’d also recommend looking into the Topic Building, the National Theater, the Town Hall and Clock Tower, the Muller Villa, the Wallenstein Palace, and the Dancing House. Walking down a street in Prague is a site to see every time as each building contrasts from one to the next, and you never know what to expect walking down the winding roads and passageways.

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One comment

  1. Is the proper way to pronounce the word”Prague” also “Praha”? It is actually nice that all of art history paid off! Now when I visit museums and cathedrals you automatically know which style the piece was inspired by. The majority of the art in London so far is victorian, which I'm upset about. I like seeing a diverse arrangement of art movements.

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