The Nationale Nederlanden building, widely known as the "Dancing House" or simply "Fred and Ginger," is one of Prague's most recognizable buildings and is likely the most globally recognized piece of Czech architecture built after 1989. It has around 3000 square meters of office space, a restaurant, an art gallery, and a meeting center. The atrium inside the building is large enough to accommodate a performance stage.
Constructed between 1934 and 1938 during the reign of King George II, the Dancing House is renowned for its innovative modern design by architect Antonín Džastánský. The solid-surface skin, made of aluminum panels painted white, reflects light from above creating the appearance of a dancing figure from beneath. The building was intended as a display case for consumer goods manufactured in the Netherlands. It remains today one of the most influential examples of modern architecture in Europe.
The Dancing House was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997 and was named a European Union Culture Prize winner in 2009. It is also listed as a first-degree historical monument by the Czech Republic government.
After World War II, Communist Party leaders Joseph Stalin and Nikita Khrushchev visited the building and praised it as the best in Europe. This is probably why the communist government decided to use it as the national headquarters of the Dutch trade delegation. In 1990, the building became property of the Czech Republic when it gained its independence from Czechoslovakia.
3. The Dancing House in Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is known for its well-preserved castles, Baroque and Gothic churches, medieval squares, romantic bridges, nightlife, and vibrant arts scene. It is well-known for its centuries of history and cultural heritage, and its cobblestone alleys evoke the medieval heart of Europe.
The city's many landmarks include the Castle, which was built by the Bohemians in the 11th century; the Old Town with its winding streets, 14th-century gates, and medieval buildings; and the New Town with its wide boulevards, art museums, and prestigious universities.
Prague's old town is one of the most beautiful in the world and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town wall was first built around AD 990 and later expanded and fortified, becoming one of the largest walls in Europe at over 19 km (12 miles) long. Today, only parts of the original wall remain, but there are still enough traces left to view its former glory.
In addition to its castles and old towns, Prague is famous for its nightlife. There are plenty of bars and clubs in the center that stay open late, such as the popular Underdogs club on Národní třida. You can also visit some of the best rock concerts in Europe at Letís Rock Prague, which is located just outside the city center.
Prague Castle (Czech: Prazsky hrad; ['praSski:'hrat]) is a 9th-century castle complex in Prague, Czech Republic.
|Current tenants||Miloš Zeman (2013–present)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Matthias of Arras, Peter Parler|
1. Prague is a three-dimensional architectural textbook. Its Romanesque chapels and cellars, Gothic cathedrals, Baroque palaces and gardens, worldly Art Nouveau structures, and one-of-a-kind Cubist architecture set it apart from the rest of the globe.
2. It has culture. Bohemia was the birthplace of Czech nationalism and communism, and is now the most prosperous region in the country. There's also a lively music scene and an active nightlife.
3. It's viewable on foot. The city is small enough to see all its highlights in a day, but you can spend weeks exploring its labyrinthine streets and alleyways on both sides of the Vltava River.
4. It has history. From medieval castles and ancient churches to revolutionary sites and modern museums, Prague offers something for everyone who visits.
5. It's affordable. Even with its high prices, Prague remains a very affordable destination. In addition, there are many low-cost accommodation options available.
The Czechoslovak Heritage Museum, located in Oak Brook, Illinois, is a modest but magnificent museum run by the CSA. One difficulty you may have is that on US Census forms, most Bohemians just name their residence as "Bohemia" or "Czechoslovakia." On the form where you can list your native country, write in "Czech Republic" instead.
There are actually two museums at this site: one dedicated to Czech history and culture, the other to Slovak history and culture. It's best if you visit both because they cover quite different time periods and locations. For example, the Czech museum has many exhibits on Czech life during the communist period while the Slovak museum is completely free of communism and focuses only on events leading up to and including World War II.
The Czechoslovak Heritage Museum is set in the former home of E. J. Korbel & Company, which was founded by the same family who owned the liquor company that became known as Jack Daniel's. Today, the company sells wine and beer worldwide through brands such as Korbel and Steigenberger.
In addition to its fine collection of Czech and Slovak art, furniture, and decorative objects, the museum also has a small theater where live performances sometimes take place. These range from classical music concerts to dance recitals to comedy acts. There is no charge for admission to the museum, but donations are welcome.