Open House Prague to present castle gems and English-language tours

The 10th edition of the annual Prague architectural festival will see more than 100 normally-inaccessible spaces open to the public from May 13-19, 2024. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 11.05.2024 11:07:00 (updated on 23.05.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

The 10th edition of the Open House Prague festival, scheduled for May 13–19, 2024, promises an immersive exploration of the Czech capital's architectural treasures. This year, the festival embraces themes of accessibility and inclusion, offering a diverse program aimed at opening the city to all visitors.

"In the ten years that we have been organizing the festival, we have come a long way, overcome many barriers and are still overcoming many," says the festival's founder and creative director Andrea Šenkyříková through a press release.

"However, the energy from connecting people intergenerationally, professionally, people from buildings and people with various handicaps is incredible, and the festival's overlaps are in areas where I didn't even expect it."

One notable highlight of this year's festival is the inclusion of several buildings within the historic Prague Castle premises, a first in the event's history. Among these is the Presidential Residence, originally designed by architect Pavel Janák for President Edvard Beneš. Renovated extensively in recent years, the residence preserves its original elements while offering insights into its storied past.

Another architectural gem within Prague Castle is the New Orangery, a modern glass and steel structure designed by Eva Jiřičná. Initially initiated by Olga Havlová, the first wife of President Václav Havel, the greenhouse boasts automated systems for plant care and features elegant fountains designed by prominent architects.

For those interested in private collections and historical architecture, the privately owned Lobkowicz Palace offers a glimpse into the prestigious Lobkowicz family's art collection. Combining elements of the Renaissance and Baroque, the palace stands as a testament to centuries of cultural heritage.

While the majority of tours included in the Open House Prague program will be in Czech, the festival also boasts a range of English-language tours catering to expats and visitors keen on exploring the city's architectural diversity. Highlights include the monumental Great Strahov Stadium, one of the world's largest stadiums, and the ARA Palace, a functionalist masterpiece offering panoramic views from its terrace.

Other venues offering English-language tours at this year's festival include the Sokol Gymnasium in Vinohrady, the Laichter House designed by renowned architect Jan Kotěra, the Clubhouse of the Autoclub of the Czech Republic, Terminal 4 at Václav Havel Airport Prague, Old Town Market Hall, and more.

A full list of English-language tours available during this year's Open House Prague festival can be filtered from the official festival website.

With over 35 new buildings added to the program across 13 districts, Open House Prague 2024 promises an enriching experience for architecture enthusiasts and casual visitors alike. Whether exploring historic landmarks or marveling at contemporary designs, attendees are sure to discover the rich tapestry of Prague's architectural heritage next week.

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