“More than 100 buildings are open to the public”: Open House Prague kicks off

Open House Prague, the week-long festival where many buildings throughout the city normally closed to the public open their doors, kicks off this week. Until May 19th, visitors will be able to explore famous sites across the city, and learn more about their history, says spokeswoman Michaela Pánková.

Michaela Pánková | Photo: Eva Kořínková,  Open House Praha

Open House Prague is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. It’s a community event where many people from buildings, architects, and also people who are interested in Prague and its architecture gather together to celebrate the city. It originally started as a two day event over the weekend, but it’s grown into a whole one week event over the years. There are also many events, tours, and debates that now accompany the event. Until May 19th, more than 100 buildings in Prague are open to the public.”

Can you tell me a bit about the program? Are there any buildings that people can go and visit that are a little bit special?

Trade Fair Palace | Photo: Slavík,  National Gallery Prague

“This year we are commemorating some anniversaries of important Czech architects. Most of them are ones from the functionalism period, and there are many buildings of this style that people can visit, like the Fair Trade Palace, which is the seat of the National Gallery. People can also visit Terminal 4 of the airport, which is a place where only governmental or VIPs planes go. We are also commemorating the Fanta building, and will be showing the newly reconstructed salons and buildings interiors at Prague’s main station. The most exciting place for me this year is the Goethe Institute building, which was originally a palace. It’s a beautiful building from the late 19th century, and people can see the whole building – including the basement sauna.”

The Goethe Institute building | Photo: Hana Slavická,  Radio Prague International

 Why are events like this important for residents and visitors to the city?

“We really think that events like Open House Prague can create and draw interest into the architecture and urban development of Prague. Once people get into these buildings and learn the history and context, they will realize how important the architecture is to our culture and history. This will help them to take care of these places more and think about their future. I really think the festival helps people take more interest in the city, and helps to create more engaged citizens.”