Today Bohemia Apartments Prague is coming with something for fans of architecture. If we were to play a word association game and we said “Prague architecture”, you would probably respond with words like “Baroque”, “Gothic”, “Renaissance” or “historic”. But would you say “Cubism”?
Believe it or not, there is a Cubist style of architecture, which is unique to the Czech Republic. Cubist painting, made famous by artists such as Picasso and Braque, spread to the Czech lands before World War I. In 1911, the Group of Fine Artists, of which the architect Josef Chochol was a leading figure, was established. He and others were interested in façades divided by sharp angles, which created the light and shadow effect seen in Cubist paintings. Soon, during a brief but productive period, these architects were designing Cubist buildings, which appeared in the years just before or after 1918, when Czechoslovakia was founded.
Many examples of Cubist architecture are found in Prague, including in the centre, near your apartment. The famous House at the Black Madonna (Dům u černé Matky boží), at the corner of Celetná and Ovocný trh in the Old Town, is a good early example; the cafe on the first floor retains much of its original Cubist interior. The building also contains a small exhibition on Czech Cubism .As well as buildings and interiors, Cubist architects designed furniture and even crockery, among other things. And behind the flagship Bat’a shoe shop on Wenceslas Square is the only Cubist street lamp in the world.
You’ll also find a handful of Cubist buildings in or close to Neklanova Street, below the Vyšehrad fortress. Perhaps the most impressive is Neklanova Street no. 30, built in 1913 and designed by Josef Chochol. It’s a tall, impressive tenement building and strikingly different from its neighbours. The steep site emphasises its appearance and enhances the play of light on the façades.
So, if you want a different angle (pardon the pun!) on Prague’s architecture, why not go on a Cubist trail to see examples of a unique period in Czech architectural history. Bohemia Apartments Prague wish you a pleasant and enjoyable stay.