Prague Minos Guide

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National Theatre

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"The Nation to the People"
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The Neo-Renaissance building of the National Theatre has an exceptional symbolic significance in the modern history of the Czech Republic. Its construction was supposed to demonstrate the renewed strength of theCzech ethnic group within the Habsburg Monarchy. The foundation stone was ceremonially laid in 1868, but administrative and financial delays caused the theatre to be opened thirteen years later in 1881. Part of the expenses was covered by peoples' donation organised under the slogan " The Nation for the People". A rather unknown fact is that the emperor as well contributed to the construction by donating

a substantial sum. The architectural design was entrusted to Josef Zítek, and the complex decoration program was delegated to a young generation of Czech artists, among whom the celebrated painter Mikoláš Aleš.
The National Theatre was ceremonially inaugurated on June 11th 1881 and premiered the opera Libuše composed by Bedřich Smetana specifically for this event. But shortly after on August 12th 1881, the theatre was destroyed by a fire caused by the building company finishing the copper roof. Despite the fire damaging a large part of the building, the National Theatre was reopened as early as in 1883.

GPS: 50° 4′ 52.66″ N, 14° 24′ 48.44″ E

Kontaktní informace

Ulice Národní třída Město Praha 1

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