House of the Black Madonna, Prague

3.7
#45 of 166 in Museums in Prague
The House of the Black Madonna is a cubist building in the "Old Town" area of Prague, Czech Republic. It was designed by Josef Gočár. It is currently in use as the Czech Museum of Cubism and includes the Grand Café Orient restaurant on the first floor.The House of the Black Mother (U Černé Matky Boží), sometimes referred to as Black Mother of the Lord, was designed and built between 1911 and 1912 on the corner of Celetná Street and Ovocný trh. Josef Gočár built the house as the first example of cubist architecture in Prague, and it remains probably the most celebrated. Even without historical details of the baroque building surrounding it, the House at the Black Madonna maintains the atmosphere of the neighborhood. The house was given its name by the stone sculpture that originally adorned one of the two Baroque buildings on the same lot. After many years altered use in the interwar period and under communist rule, the house was closed in January 2002 and re-opened after extensive restoration in November 2003.HistoryGočár designed the house in mid-1911 at the age of 31 for the wholesale merchant František Josef Herbst. Herbst chose Gočár to build his department store in the Old Town along the old coronation route because of the architect’s earlier success with a similar shop in Jaroměř, built in 1909-1911. Because of its prominent location in the heart of the city, Gočár’s building was subject to strict harmonization rules requiring that the department store not conflict with its historical setting. The building thus uses the language of baroque architecture in a Cubist form, thus exemplifying the ‘contextualization’ of Cubist architecture.
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  • This museum is definitely worth tracking down while in Prague. It details the history of cubism in the Czech Republic and has some amazing cubist furniture and artworks on display.  more »
  • House of the Black Madonna has a fabulous permanent collection of Cubist artifacts. Not many tourist so you are able to take your time an look at every item. After viewing stop at the café.  more »
  • The Palace is really quite nice ... used for exhibitions and ideal for a break on the terrace of the bar-restaurant ... a must!
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