During this walk, you’ll learn to recognize the features of Art Nouveau, from the gingko bilabo leaves on facades which reveal the style’s oriental influences to the elaborate light fixtures that mark Art Nouveau interiors to the curvy, campy typography on building signs that echo contemporary magazine and poster graphics. You’ll visit the beautiful Lucerna bar (once owned by Vaclav Havel’s family) and the elegant Grand Hotel Europa examples of a moment of Czech optimism at the turn-of-century, signaling the region’s transcendence of older ethnic grievances and its readiness to join Europe by participating in European-wide avant-gardes.
As an important parallel, throughout the walk, we visit examples of Prague’s Cubist and Rondocubist architecture, including The House of the Black Madonna (created by Josef Gočár in 1910 as an urbane department store) and the Legion’s Bank. In many respects, Prague’s Cubist architecture (a building style unknown outside of the Czech Republic) surpassed even Art Nouveau as a statement of the city’s newfound sense of modern sophistication and resurgent national identity.
- The guides at Insight Cities are professors, doctoral students, historians, journalists, art critics and published authors
- We cater to visitors who want to enjoy spirited and informed presentations of the cultural and political histories of great cities
- Explore the commonly recognized features of Art Nouveau aesthetics
- Learn about the pre-war social elite who drank absinthe and the first mixed-cocktails in Prague's Art Nouveau cafes and restaurants
- Visit the beautiful Lucerna bar (once owned by Vaclav Havel’s family) and the elegant Grand Hotel Europe
- At the greatest of Prague's Art Nouveau masterpieces, Municipal House, discover the 20th century’s most optimistic moment for Czech independence
Czech Republic, Prague