Lažanský Palace

Old Town, Národní třída 1, Smetanovo embankment (nábřeží) 2

Lažansky Palace is situated at the corner of Narodni Street and Smetanovo Embankment.

In the 14th century there used to be a bath called "Painted", later it was bought by the Order of the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star who founded the hospital of st. Agnes for poor and ill women here. The hospital was closed by Joseph II. in 1784. During the building works of the Chain Bridge in the year 1839 - 1841 there was built huge embankment wall reaching the level of wide New Alley, which was on the place of today Narodni Avenue - it was created after the demolition of former fortification of the Old Town. There was a free space ready to be filled. Architect Vojtěch Ignác Ullmann soon built here the Česká spořitelna palace (today seat of the Academy of Science) and Lažanský Palace in front of it, closer to the Vltava River. The monumental neo-renaissance palace was built for count Prokop Lažanský in the years 1861 - 1863. It´s style was inspired by Viennese neo-renaissance buildings. It was one of the last Prague palace buildings, designed as a combination of representative seat of the noble family, appartments and administrative space. It has four wings, three floors and two courtyards. The whole complex was built by Prague constructor František Havel. The main facade faces the river, above the main entrance there is a cartouche with the Lažanský coat-of-arms. At the balcony above the portal there is embeded the tablet made of pink marble informing that in 1863 - 1869 Bedřich Smetana lived here and was composing his music. In 1881 reknown businessman Václav Zoufalý was allowed to open coffee house in the ground floor of the palace. He opened two coffee rooms connected together with a new entrance in the axe of the main facade. The coffee house called Velká (Big) Slavia got great fame thanks to famous personalities who visited it, specially the actors from the National Theater which is just oposite the street. In 1907 the constructor Jan E. Deport made a new art-nouveau portal of the cafe. The biggest change of the appereance of the palace was the restoration of the cafe in 1930s, when the cafe got the new large windows. The masterpiece of the interiour decoration is the picture "Absinth Drinker" by Viktor Oliva.

In 1932 - 33 today restaurant Parnas was opened, inspired by the project of the architect Oldřich Stefan - originally it used to be the Jazz cafe. Most of the palace is nowadays used by FAMU (college - Film Academy of Fine Arts).

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Updated 01-01-1970 01:00