Prague Architecture Walking Tour

Prague Architecture Walking Tour

prague wenceslas square hotel evropa
Art Nouveau on Wenceslas Square

Prague Architecture Basic Information

  • Duration is 2 hours
  • Distance is 4Km
  • Maximum 6 people
  • Guide: Jason, livingpraguetours.com owner/operator
  • Tour can be taken privately with content as required
  • The meeting point is on the Old Town Square and the tour ends on Wenceslas Square

What to Expect

Prague is considered to be one of the architectural gems of the world with an eclectic mix of building types covering a thousand years of history. When the historic centre of the city was inscribed onto the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1992, the report stated that it “represents one of the most prominent world centres of creative life in the field of urbanism and architecture across generations”.

People that do my Prague Architecture tour want to know 1) Why the city has so many architecture styles, 2) What are the main features and differences between these architecture eras, 3) How the idea of Avant-Garde arrives in Czech, 4) How architects drew inspiration from each other and 5) Who paid for all these great buildings. You’ll also get an understanding of how eras overlapped and how that forced architects to adapt and work together.

If you have architecture training/education then I’ll be speaking to you in terms that you will understand because I expect you’ll know the difference between a Corbel and a Cornice or a Pediment and a Pilaster. If you are an interested novice then I’ll be more descriptive and you’ll be learning the correct names of building elements. It’ll give you a whole new view of a building.

The tour starts with an introduction to the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Mannerist and Rococo parts of the Old Town Square so that you build up from the 11th Century to the 1850s, the Czech Reformist Movement and the drive for National Identity which sets the scene for the Modernists.

From there we’ll merge the modern and the classical so that you’ll recognise which elements of Classical structure and decoration made their way into Modernist design and which did not. So we’ll cover more than ten revivalist/modernist architects covering 1885 to 1933. We’ll see multiple examples of their work so it covers the late revivalist period (what people refer to as “neo” Classical) and Avant-Garde which includes Secession, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Cubism, Rondo-Cubism and that which cannot be classified. We’ll also touch on Brutalism/Functionalism.

So the aim of this tour is for you to understand why much of Central Prague looks like it does, where did all the space come from, who paid for it, what/who influenced the designs, the architects who planned it and specific architectural features. It’s by no means a comprehensive coverage of all the architects working during the period but what you learn here you can apply to anybody active at that time. By the end of the tour you’ll have learned how to recognise architectural influences, identify technical features and recognise individual architects by their signature designs.

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Like the sound of it? This is a specialised tour so tickets are a little more expensive than the regular scheduled tours. If you don’t see anything scheduled to suit you then simply contact me to get options for date/times. If you want it as a private tour we’ll agree details and when you are ready to book I’ll send you a secure booking link. After payment you’ll receive the confirmation containing the meeting point details, photos, map and my contact details. You’ll receive a reminder email 48 hours before your tour but if you have any questions feel free to Contact Me.

Here are some pictures from the tour and what to expect:

baroque church of st nicholas old town in prague
We do Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque on the Old Town Square and I’ll tell you which two significant buildings on the square had the same architect.

prague cubism museum facade
Of all the Avant-Garde building styles, Cubism is my favourite. I’ll tell you about this building, who designed it, why it’s architecturally famous, the interesting internal feature and what was the secret of Cubism.

bilkova cubism apartment in prague
Some architects just have to go with the flow. Here I’ll tell you about the only piece that this architect ever did in this style, what the building was used for and then I’ll show you a completely different style by the same guy.

prague koruna palace glass ceiling
Sometimes you get what we call a “peculiar”. It kind of stands alone and although the year of construction should give clues, it really doesn’t fit into the era in which it was built. An interesting story about why Communists weren’t big on understanding how things worked

prague municipal house
Often an architect is employed for a job but to get the job he may have had to win a tender or even a competition. Here I’ll tell you about the winner, what to look for in his work, why one of his buildings was torn down after only 35 years and why he used a particular feature with a double meaning.

prague wenceslas square hotel evropa
One of the architects you’ll learn about has a certain feature that he liked to use and I’ll show it to you on at least 5 different buildings.

paris street prague building with jewish decoration
I’ll tell you about one architect who was employed basically because he had no style but was very adept in understanding exactly what the client wanted.

prague hotel intercontinental
You’ll take one look at this picture and say it’s Brutalist. I’ll explain why you think that is and then I’ll explain why it’s not.

prague architecture rondo-cubism palace adria
You’ll learn how this architect tore up his own rules and ended up with three styles in one building