Architecture & Art

DSC00573In the twentieth century Czech artists made a significant contribution to the European movements of Art Nouveau, known as the Secession in Central Europe, and Cubism.

Prague is home to several buildings in the remarkable cubist architectural style that have no parallel elsewhere. Functionalist buildings abound in the Czech Republic, evidence of the fresh approach to architecture in the democratic Czechoslovakia that existed between the two world wars.

 

 

Video, above, shows the world-famous Villa Tugendhat by Mies van der Rohe in the context of Brno, the capital city of Moravia in the eastern part of the Czech Republic. Photos, top: Secessionist building in Olomouc; below left: Cubist lamppost in the centre of Prague

CubistLamppost40,000 buildings are listed as of architectural or cultural significance, in addition to 200 conservation zones in historic towns and as many as twelve sites are on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Monuments. In addition many important historic gardens and parks survive. This marvellously rich cultural heritage suffered grievous damage under the long years of Communist rule.The massive nationalisation of private and church property following the Communist coup of 1948 meant that the state now had in its care thousands of monuments which it had not the resources to maintain. About 140 of the most important great houses and castles were opened to the public as museums. Countless others were turned into institutions and allowed to deteriorate slowly. Since 1945 over 300 castles and manor houses have been destroyed and currently the survival of hundreds of others is seriously threatened.

Windows andDoors

Photos above, left to right: Gateway of Jurkovič Villa, Gothic windows, both in Brno, Renaissance portal in Olomouc

VilaMuller2Since the Velvet Revolution of 1989, enormous efforts have been made to restore a patrimony that in many cases had suffered deeply from neglect and misuse over forty years. But the task is enormous because the Czech architectural heritage is so rich.

Photo, right: The Villa Müller in Prague, designed by Adolf Loos, belongs to the Museum of the City of Prague, click here for details.