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RUDOLFINUM

Old town - Prague 1

GPS: 50°5'21.12"N, 14°24'54"E

   After the National Theatre, the most outstanding building of neo-Renaissance, built according to design of arch. Josef Zítek and Josef Schulz, as a multi-functional building in
 1876-1884 at the expenses of Česká spořitelna. The monumental building of Rudolfinum no. 79 turns with its main front to the square of Jan Palach, further it is bounded with Alšovo nábřeží, Street Na Rejdišti and Street 17. listopadu. Ludvík Šimek, Bernard Seeling, Tomáš Seidan, Bohuslav Schnirch, Jindřich Čapka and many others have participated in sculpture decoration. By the main stairs there are placed two sitting female figures, allegories of secular and sacred music. Figural reliefs in parapet of the building represent figures of prominent musicians and creative artists.
   Formal opening of Rudolfinum, which has got its name in the honour of royal prince Rudolf, was held on 7th February 1885. The building should have been used as art gallery for Society of the Patriotic Friends of Art, Association for the Advancement of Music in Czechia, for exhibition of The Museum of Fine Arts and for Conservatory of Music.
   In 1919-1939, Rudolfinum, after reconstruction in interiors, served as Chamber of Deputies for National Assembly of the new state, the independent Czech Republic. Construction work was realized according to design by arch. Václav Roštapil and Rudolf Kříženecký. In World War II part of the building was reconstructed again, this time according to design by arch. Antonín Engel and Bohumír Kozák, for the purpose of concerts of German Philharmonic Orchestra. After World War II and short existence of interim parliament, the building became seat of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and musical education. There was also laid a foundation stone at great tradition, Rudolfinum is the centre of prestigious musical festival Pražské jaro.
   In 1990-1992 the building of Rudolfinum underwent capital reconstruction according to design by arch. Karel Prager.