House of the Black Madonna

Prague, Czech Republic

The House of the Black Madonna is a cubist building 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, 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.



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Founded: 1911-1912

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4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Dan P (2 years ago)
Loved the cubism exhibit and the delicious breakfast at the cafe upstairs. Short and sweet. Really something special worth taking a look at :)
Danijela Radivojević (3 years ago)
Fantastic building, in the city center. High prices.
randy naquin (3 years ago)
Small cafe at the ground floor. The food and service are the worst I have seen anywhere in the world. This is not representative what Prague has to offer!
Vargas Herrera Daniel (3 years ago)
Historic building where I found three highlights: 1. The building itself, which is a historical centre of culture in Prague, characterized for the statue of the black Madonna on the outside, the art nouveau on the balcony, and the very peculiar stairs. 2. Museum of Cubism. This offers a small but very interesting set of interior decorative arts plus some paintings that belonged to the Cubism movement. The furniture is fun and interesting to appreciate. 3. Café orient. (You get 10% off if you visited the exposition) it has a cubistic decoration, very original, and a trendy menu. One can have a very tasty lunch, although the prices are a little bit higher than Prague's average prices.
覃羿彬 (3 years ago)
Way too pricey for the tiny permanent (and temporary) exhibitions, do not think it makes sense. The curators at each floor are nice and try to show you more, but they speaks very limited English. I think you could get more by googling Cubism.
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Lednice Castle

The first historical record of Lednice locality dates from 1222. At that time there stood a Gothic fort with courtyard, which was lent by Czech King Václav I to Austrian nobleman Sigfried Sirotek in 1249.

At the end of the 13th century the Liechtensteins, originally from Styria, became holders of all of Lednice and of nearby Mikulov. They gradually acquired land on both sides of the Moravian-Austrian border. Members of the family most often found fame in military service, during the Renaissance they expanded their estates through economic activity. From the middle of the 15th century members of the family occupied the highest offices in the land. However, the family’s position in Moravia really changed under the brothers Karel, Maximilian, and Gundakar of Liechtenstein. Through marriage Karel and Maximilian acquired the great wealth of the old Moravian dynasty of the Černohorskýs of Boskovice. At that time the brothers, like their father and grandfather, were Lutheran, but they soon converted to Catholicism, thus preparing the ground for their rise in politics. Particularly Karel, who served at the court of Emperor Rudolf II, became hetman of Moravia in 1608, and was later raised to princely status by King Matyas II and awarded the Duchy of Opava.

During the revolt of the Czech nobility he stood on the side of the Habsburgs, and took part in the Battle of White Mountain. After the uprising was defeated in 1620 he systematically acquired property confiscated from some of the rebels, and the Liechtensteins became the wealthiest family in Moravia, rising in status above the Žerotíns. Their enormous land holdings brought them great profits, and eventually allowed them to carry out their grandious building projects here in Lednice.

In the 16th century it was probably Hartmann II of Liechtenstein who had the old medieval water castle torn down and replaced with a Renaissance chateau. At the end of the 17th century the chateau was torn down and a Baroque palace was built, with an extensive formal garden, and a massive riding hall designed by Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach that still stands in almost unaltered form.

In the mid-18th century the chateau was again renovated, and in 1815 its front tracts that had been part of the Baroque chateau were removed.

The chateau as it looks today dates from 1846-1858, when Prince Alois II decided that Vienna was not suitable for entertaining in the summer, and had Lednice rebuilt into a summer palace in the spirit of English Gothic. The hall on the ground floor would serve to entertain the European aristocracy at sumptuous banquets, and was furnished with carved wood ceilings, wooden panelling, and select furniture, surpassing anything of its kind in Europe.