Death's Dancer

The Grace Bloods Prague Tour: The Municipal House

Photo by the Author

A monument to Art Nouveau design and Czech pride, the Municipal House had served as a center for Prague’s community, culture, and gathering since the beginning of the twentieth century. Recognized as being state of the art for its day, it had seen countless concerts, balls, and been the backdrop for history-making events—none so important as the necromancer’s claim to Prague as the capital of his territory.

Left in shambles after the wars, the restoration of the Municipal House was his gift to the Praha Dance Academy. Great pains had been taken to preserve the original interiors and decor. These days, only the first floor and front halls, housing a museum and a few of the old ballrooms, were open to the public. The students and faculty of the Academy occupied the rest.

Death’s Dancer

If you recognize the Municipal House (Obecní dům) that might be because you saw it in a movie. XXX, Mission: Impossible, Edith Piaf and I Served the King of England have all featured shots of the interior or exterior. State of the art at the time it was complete, it’s one of my favorite buildings in Prague. (I’ve taken the tour THREE TIMES, and seen a concert in Smetana Hall just to hang out in the building). Today’s video is all about the part the Municipal Hall plays in Death’s Dancer, as the home of the Praha Dance Academy…

Photo by the author

Niles met [Isela] outside as she passed through the glass doors. Her eyes went to the elaborate stained-glass canopy that had always been her favorite part of the building’s exterior. Greens and peaches colored the muted light refracting through the glass. Niles unfurled a crimson umbrella edged with gold in anticipation of her leaving the shelter of the building. The colors the Academy shared with its home city bloomed against the rain-sodden day, and a small gasp went up among the passersby as they recognized her.

Death’s Dancer

The powder tower is that big dark building on the left. It’s been around for a while.

The Powder Tower was one of thirteen original gateways to the city of Prague. In the fifteenth century, the Bohemian king restyled it as a welcoming entry point to the seat of his power, and for years it served as the gateway through which future royalty passed on their way to being crowned at Saint Vitus Cathedral. As the city expanded, its prominence declined until it earned its modern name by serving as a storage place for kegs of powder used in guns and explosives. Restored with the Municipal House for the Praha Dance Academy, it now served as home of the Academy library—the official and unofficial one.

Dancer’s Flame

…on the shadowed roof of the Municipal House, the last of the winged figures alighted, leaning casually on the hilt of his sword. He caught her eye and winked before he went still in a slouch as if he were suffering from a millennium of boredom.

Dancer’s Flame

Story goes The American Bar in the basement of the Municipal House is the first bar in Prague where women were allowed to attend without an escort. I do know that it’s a nice cool spot on a very hot day to pause with a good book…

A couple of familiar books in the American Bar.
photo by Author

…and a cocktail.

An Old Fashioned and an iceberg are the perfect way to end a humid summer day.

Here are a few more shots of the interiors that are open to the public.  Be sure to check out the previous tours of the Prague Castle and Vysehrad.

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