The House of the Black Madonna Prague

(Last Updated On: February 7, 2020)

Museum of Czech Cubism
Looking for something to do in Prague? Check out the House of the Black Madonna which is home to the Museum of Czech Cubism and the Grand Cafe Orient. Click To Tweet

The House of the Black Madonna Prague – Cubism is an influential 20th century art movement that was embraced by the likes of prominent artists such as Pablo Picasso.

Our friends over at Wikipedia can provide a more technical explanation – in Cubist artwork, artists take an object, break it up and put it back together in an abstract form enabling the subject to be examined from multiple viewpoints and from within a greater context.

Cubism happened to be especially popular in Prague, one of my all time favorite cities. Says Modernista, “Sharp points, slicing planes, crystalline shapes. These are the trademarks of the Czech Cubists – a unique, avant-garde group, feverishly active in Prague between 1910 and 1914.” 

The House of the Black Madonna Prague

Museum of Czech Cubism
Museums usually bore me. I’d much rather explore street art in Toronto or in the very least, check out a quirky museum like the Katten Kabinet in Amsterdam. It turns out that I only learned about Czech Cubism by accident.

Recommended reading: Highlights of other museums I’ve visited, including the Museum Of Toilet History Kyiv and The German Salt Museum in Lüneburg

While visiting Prague a few years ago, I was eager to explore as much of the city as possible. Over the course of three very cold winter days, I visited Christmas markets, Prague Castle, the Museum of Medieval Torture, experienced romance by night and a whole lot of weird and offbeat stuff.

It was during an attempt to escape the frigid outdoors that I ducked inside the House of the Black Madonna and was surprised to discover the Museum of Czech Cubism and the Grand Cafe Orient. I ended up staying as I could think of no better way to spend an afternoon than to soak up some Czech culture and have a warm coffee.

The House of the Black Madonna Prague: Museum of Czech Cubism

Museum of Czech Cubism
The building first served as a department store, then bank offices and even office space. After the fall of Communism, it was turned into the Center for Czech Art and Culture. The museum opened in 2003 and now features Cubist work created by Czech artists including furniture, paintings, ceramics and glassware.

Museum of Czech Cubism Museum of Czech Cubism

 

The House of the Black Madonna Prague: Grand Cafe Orient

Museum of Czech Cubism
After I took an hour or so to look at the exhibition, I went down to the cafe, ordered and pondered Bohemian life …

The cafe opened in 2005 after extensive renovations. It’s been made to look as close as possible to original plans and even the furniture, chandeliers, ashtrays and sugar bars are Cubist design replicas! Cubist interiors are known to be challenging and require special reinforcements to support the wildness of the designs – the Grand Cafe Orient actually has no supporting pillars and has been hailed as an example of innovative engineering. It remains the only surviving Cubist interior in the entire world.

The House of the Black Madonna Prague: The Final Word

If you’re an art buff or a designer geek, this museum is for you. While it was a nice way for me to spend the afternoon, I wouldn’t likely return. However, I adore that cafe and would happily have a coffee there again someday.

Have you been to any cool cafés or museums around the world? Let us know about it in the comments below. 

Good to Know

cherylhoward.com Newsletter1) Basic museum information:

💖 The museum is open Tuesday – Sunday from 10:00 AM – 6 PM.

💖 It’s insanely cheap to visit the museum – costing about 4 euros for adults and 2 euros for children.

💖 Always check Lonely Planet to get the latest information or call ahead (the number’s listed below).

💖 When I was there in December 2010, smoking was allowed in the cafe.

💖 There’s a gift shop on the main floor where you can purchase your own Cubist pieces. Items are also available for purchase online.

2) Take a tour when you’re visiting Prague:

 

3) Get a deal on your hotel stay in Prague:



Booking.com

4) If you’d prefer an Airbnb apartment, first time users can use this link to get a €34 travel credit. 

5) Make your trip to the Czech Republic into an epic road trip and book a car rental.

6) Looking for more country content? Check my archives or some of my favourite posts:

💖 Brno Restaurants: Places To Eat In Brno Czech Republic – If you’re visiting Brno & looking for a place to eat, consider these Brno restaurants. From hip cafés, to cheap pubs, & fine dining, we’ve got you covered.

💖 Prague Photos: 41 Pictures That Prove It’s the Prettiest City in Europe – Considering a visit to the capital of the Czech Republic? Is it as pretty as they say? Be convinced to go there right now by looking at these Prague photos.

💖 Good or Bad? Love Locks in Prague – These love locks in Prague highlight the still growing trend to place locks on bridges around the world, but these specific love locks have locals worried.

Location

The House of the Black Madonna
Ovocný trh 19, 110 00 Praha 1 – Staré Město, Czech Republic ‎
+420 224 236 378


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House of the Black Madonna Prague
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Founder of cherylhoward.com. Canadian in Berlin. Frequent traveller now at 43 countries and counting.

10 Comments

  1. I’ve been here once or twice as I really do like cubism, and there are many examples of cubism oot and aboot Praha. Thanks for writing about this museum, C!

  2. It’s a pretty cool museum, that’s for sure! I’m dying to have a coffee there again … that cafe is just amazing … all that attention to detail.

  3. Prague is filled with gems like this – and the cafe looks to be the perfect, quiet, spot to take in all you’ve seen in the museum as well as the city.

  4. I miss Prague! It was on this visit that I decided to move to Europe so it now holds a special place in my heart. 🙂

  5. The museum’s collection looks impressive and I am curious about the cafes Cubist details! It must be incredible in person – particularly if found entirely by accident! I would say that this is a case of serendipity!

  6. They’re some quirky pieces of furniture. I’m not sure about the first chairs though, I think it would bug me having the middle so low on my back.

  7. Dan – Ha ha, it’s all about the design and not so much about the comfort. Much like women’s high heel shoes. 🙂

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