New 'Modern Prague' map celebrates 20th-century architecture in the Czech capital

Modern Prague Map highlights Cubist, Brutalist, and more architectural gems from around the Czech capital constructed during the 20th century.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky
Published on 06.07.2021 12:19 (updated on 06.07.2021)

A new guide map celebrating the diverse architectural styles in Prague across the 20th century has been released by Blue Crow Media. It's the company's latest in a series of modern 20th century architectural guides featuring cities around the world, from Los Angeles to London to Tokyo.

The Modern Prague Map features selections and text by Prague-based architectural historian Adam Štěch, along with original images of the landmarks from photographer Tomáš Souček.

A total of fifty architectural landmarks from the past century were selected for inclusion in the new map, spanning a wide range of styles from Cubism to Brutalism, Postmodernism, and more.

Entries include central Prague Brutalist structures created under the communist regime, such as Karel Prager's New Stage of the National Theatre and the Kotva Department Store, which was designed by Czech architect wife-and-husband Věra Machoninová and Vladimir Machonin.

Kotva Department Store. Photo: Tomáš Souček for Blue Crow Media
Kotva Department Store. Photo: Tomáš Souček for Blue Crow Media

These buildings are cited as eyesores by some, standing out among the Prague architectural landscape, but are appreciated by others as visual remnants of a dark period in modern Czech history.

Cubist highlights include Gočár’s House of the Black Madonna and Emil Králíček’s Cubist Lamp Post at Jungmannovo náměstí, which is often called the world's only Cubist lamp post.

Among other notable entries on the map is Gočár's bold Constructivist Church of St. Wenceslas in Vršovice, which was constructed in 1930 to commemorate the 1,000th anniversary of the death of St. Wenceslas.

St. Wenceslas Church. Photo: Tomáš Souček for Blue Crow Media
St. Wenceslas Church. Photo: Tomáš Souček for Blue Crow Media

Other buildings featured on the map include architectural gems by notable names such as Josef Chochol, Pavel Janák, Otakar Novotný, Vlastislav Hofman, Adolf Loos, and many others.

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"Important historical events are imprinted on the walls of Prague's architecture," writes Štěch.

"In almost every street in Prague we can find various examples of architecture from all decades of the last century; from the phenomenon that is Czech Cubism to our unique take on Postmodernism and High-Tech architecture."

The map includes both English and Czech descriptions of the buildings, with a map of the Czech capital pinpointing their locations on one side and details for each entry on the other.

Modern Prague Map can be purchased directly from Blue Crow Media, or found in Prague's local bookstores.

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