We will visit the area of the Old Town in this article, this time the place between Celetná street and the Fruit Market where one of the most significant Czech Cubist architectural works is to be found.
The House of the Black Madonna, also familiar as „At the Golden Grate„, was built between 1911 – 1912. The project and the whole construction was the work mainly of the architect Josef Gočár. There used to be the Baroque house of the Granovský knights in this place. The original intent why the construction works had started was the idea of a big department house. However, this project did not match the contemporary historical surroundings of the Old Town at all. After the house had gained distinct Cubist elements that were already acceptable the construction works could contiunue.
Reconstruction of the building hand in hand with establishing of the Museum
The extensive reconstruction was carried out under the auspices of Karel Prager in the ´90s. The house was completely rebuilt in its original status. Simulteneously the splendid glass roof was finished by which means the original project of the building from 1911 was actually completed. After its reconstruction the house was again opened to the public and moreover, its premises were used for the Czech Museum of the Fine Arts. There was even a permanent exposition of the Czech Cubism to be found here. The museum was opened until 2002.
Exterior of the house
When looking at this five-storey gem, the passers-by will be taken away by the gorgeous typical facade of the eastern front face of the house first. The dominating balcony in the first floor, the pillars between the house windows, the Doric-style windowsill or the monumental entrance portal belong to the greatest view points that the tourists can see. However, if you take a look at the north-eastern house corner you can spot the little statue according to which the house is named. It is the statue of Madonna with black skin holding the baby Jesus in her arms.
The House of the Black Madonna was put on the list of the national cultural monuments in 2010.
Celetná ul. 34
110 00 Praha 1 – Staré Město (Old Town)
GPS: 50°5’13.532″N, 14°25’31.663″E
- from here along the Municipal House, to the right along Celetná street and the Powder Gate
street after a few meters which will lead you to Haštalské Square