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A Visit To Prague's Municipal House, Which Gave Birth To Czechoslovakia

Matthew Brumley
The Municipal House in Prague was built in the early 20th century and now boasts a stunning concert venue, among other things.

In the center of Prague is a soaring building with arched windows, a towering dome, and lavish artwork. It was all put in place in the early 20th Century, making it relatively young for Europe.

But the building itself speaks to a much longer history, involving national identity in what is now the Czech Republic. KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley takes us inside the Prague Municipal House.

“When I was a small child, my grandfather used to work here as a night guard,” said Darina Krajakova, who works as a guide in Prague. “I could see the building before it was restored, after the fall of communism. I could play the piano in the main concert hall.”

The Municipal House now features a stunning concert hall.

The Prague Spring International Music Festival begins here each year, on May 12, which is the anniversary of the death of Czech composer Bed?ich Smetana. The festival begins with the playing of Má Vlast, or “My Country” – a fitting musical suite for the building from which, in 1918, the Czechoslovak state was proclaimed into existence. 

Ed Ronco is a former KNKX producer and reporter and hosted All Things Considered for seven years.