A portal to the past: Discover a Prague shopping mall's incredible historic heritage

Built on the foundations of a 12th-century Romanesque palace, Prague's Palladium preserves the past while keeping in step with modern retail trends.

Julie O'Shea

Written by Julie O'Shea Published on 30.06.2023 17:06:00 (updated on 01.07.2023) Reading time: 4 minutes

This article was written in cooperation with Property Solutions s.r.o. Read more about our partner content policies here.

Since opening almost 16 years ago, Palladium, an imposing presence along Náměstí Republiky, has become one of the most recognizable landmarks in central Prague. 

Like most things connected to the Golden City there is a mesmerizing backstory here. The modern shopping, entertainment and office center, which combines historic buildings with contemporary architecture, was built upon centuries-old foundations, and a lot of relics were unearthed in an archeological excavation of the site, which dates back to the 12th century.     

Most were recorded, photographed and removed for safe keeping. However, several of these medieval remnants – namely stone slabs of ancient Romanesque palaces – were left in place and can be viewed at various spots on the ground floor of the shopping center, including among the shelves in Luxor bookstore and behind the escalator across from the Albert supermarket. 

At the end of the 18th century, a large barracks and unique riding hall were erected on the land to support the military’s growing needs in the area. The Czech national anthem, "Kde domov můj" (“Where My Home Is”), was written within these very walls in 1834 by Josef Kajetán Tyl while he was serving in the army. 

Among the biggest shopping centers in the Czech Republic, Palladium is a prime meeting spot for locals and tourists alike thanks to a vibrant community atmosphere as well as its proximity to the capital’s key sights. In a testament to its longevity and dedication to the public’s changing shopping habits, Palladium – offering 200 shops, services, restaurants, and cafes over five floors – was honored with this year’s prestigious Superbrands award.  

In an effort to preserve this storied past, many elements of the original complex were seamlessly incorporated into Palladium’s dazzling new design, including the distinctive facade of the Josef Barracks building. The original ceiling of the riding hall was also painstakingly renovated. 

In keeping with the times, the architects also added a number of modern design features, like the stunning light installation, from the workshop of the North Bohemian company Preciosa. More than 500 glass tubes illuminate the path above Palladium's main entrance from náměstí Republiky. Approaching from the metro station entrance, visitors are treated to a second light installation consisting of 700 crystal tubes, nicely setting the stage for a one-of-a-kind shopping experience.  

From flagship brands like Under Armour and Apple Premium Partner to mainstay retailers, including Marks & Spencer, H&M, C&A, Sportisimo, and Datart, Palladium has quietly positioned itself as Prague’s one-stop shopping hub.

With some thirty stores specially curated for men, like newly opened Celio and EDEN PARK or Anthony’s London which specializes in smart business suits and premium shirts, there's also something for every discerning gentleman at Palladium.

Over the past year, the center has welcomed a cache of new brands including Hugo, SAM 73, s.Oliver, Karl Lagerfeld, GAP, Smarty, Tescoma, Maner, Bageterie Boulevard, Rossopomodoro, and La Donuteria. Palladium’s popular gift vouchers are redeemable at more than 110 stores in the shopping center and can be purchased at the information kiosk by the main entrance or online.   

On the top floor, you’ll find a well-stocked food court, where you can choose from Indian, Thai, Chinese, Czech as well as the newest addition – a wildly popular Neapolitan pizzeria. Speciality items like freshly prepared waffles, trdelník or fruit juices as well as ice creams are also big hits. 

Looking for a cool respite from the summer heatwave? Then check out Palladium’s “Relaxation Zone,” which, like the rest of the shopping center, is nicely air-conditioned. Located on the second floor next to the fitness center, the space has comfy seating, where you can charge your phone or borrow a book from the library. 

An exhibition of photographs by renowned Czech photographer Alexander Dobrovodský is also worth a look. For tech enthusiasts, the Zone offers an opportunity to delve into the world of virtual reality.  

In addition to 39,000 sqm of retail, the center also offers more than 19,000 sqm of office space that’s accessible from a separate entrance from Na Poříčí street, its entryway adorned by a lovely fountain. For those driving in, 600 underground parking spots are available for your convenience.    

Along the busy promenade directly outside the mall’s front doors, you’ll often run into seasonal markets, food festivals, art displays and other street performances, making Palladium not just a shopping center, but a cultural destination. Embrace the unexpected and discover a thriving community hub that blends the best of the past with the excitement of the present. 

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