Czech National and Cultural Identity
The National Theatre and Vltava River are two icons of Czech national and cultural identity. Known as “Prague’s Golden Chapel” the National Theatre is the Czech Republic’s most prestigious theatre. It features the best Czech actors appearing in plays by Czech and international authors.
“There’s a striking story behind construction of the National Theatre as a stronghold of Czech culture within the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.”
The theatre opened in 1881 and shortly after its opening a fire destroyed a large part of the building. A wide public collection enabled the National Theatre’s reconstruction and re-opening two years later in 1883. The theatre is on the right bank of the Vltava River in Old Town. It’s next to Legions Bridge which connects with Malá Strana.
National Theatre has a characteristic golden roof making it stand out even from a distance. The auditorium’s interior ceiling decorations include eight painted female figures representing the different art forms. It’s a spectacular sight!
The theatre is closed for the season and plays, opera, and ballet performances are not scheduled to begin again until after August 30.
I often take tram number 9 and get off in front of the National Theatre. Every time, I look up in awe of its beauty and imposing presence!