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Rudolfinum

Rudolfinum (15)

Situated in the Josefov district, the Rudolfinum concert hall is considered one of the most beautiful examples of 19th-century Czech architecture. Its designers, the architects Josef Zítek and Josef Schulz, received the delicate task of designing a hall that would be on the same level as Prague’s musical fame. The result is this beautiful building which, just like the National Theatre, is in neo-Renaissance style.

It took eight years to build and was financed by the Czech savings Bank in commemoration of its 50th anniversary. The name of the hall comes from Archduke Rudolf of Hapsburg.

The reputation of the Rudolfinum has meant that historically it has also been given the names of “temple of beauty” or “house of the artists”. On the outside, the winding balustrade features statues of Czech, German and Austrian composers.

Since it was opened, the Rudolfinum has been the home to the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. It 1896 it was the venue for the premiere of the “New World Symphony” by Dvorák. This compositor’s name has been given to the main hall of the Rudolfinum, which with its excellent acoustics and rich decoration is an authentic treasure for the music world. Behind the Dvorák Hall is a smaller space used exclusively for chamber music.

The Rudolfinum also has an exhibition room dedicated to the plastic arts. The gallery possesses a modern art collection. 

Between 1918 and 1939 and for a brief period after the Second World War, the Rudolfinum was the home of the Czech Parliament. Until 1992 it housed the Conservatory and Academy of Music.

Czech music has given the world many important composers who, in one way or another, were connected to the Rudolfinum. Tragically, many of them ended their days in the concentration camps, such as Viktor Ullmann, Gideon Klein, Pavel Haas and Hans Krase.

The Rudolfinum plays host to the main concerts of the Prague Spring Festival. This event was held for the first time in 1946 to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Czech Philharmonic. If you love classical music, you should be in this city between the 12th of May and 3rd of June. On the first day, which coincides with the death of the composer Smetana, his work, “My Country” is played. On the last day you will be able to hear Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony”. The reputation of this cycle of concerts is such that it is considered by music lovers as one of the key annual events in the world.

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