The National Theatre is Prague’s most distinguished theatre with a strong historical and political background, located at Národní street, right at the riverside, and at the same time it is the national organisation running the National Theatre, the New Stage theatre right next to it, the State Opera and the Estates Theatre, as well as the three most important stages in Brno and two more theatres in other Czech cities.
The National Gallery has several locations for permanent collections as well as galleries for temporary exhibitions, clearly described on the website. Out of a historical as well as an artistic context, some of the collections are absolutely unique – as are the places where they are exhibited.
The Museum of Decorative Arts is a charming small museum with a beautiful collection of glass, ceramics, jewellery, clocks, fashion, posters and a graphic collection, right opposite the Rudolfinum concert hall. It also runs a few smaller places in and outside Prague. It is closed for renovation till 2017, but opened a unique collection of Cubistic objects of art at the House of the Black Madonna, the first Cubistic building ever, right downtown, on Dec. 3rd, 2015.
Theater.cz is a bit of a miracle – a reunion of the best stages of German speaking theatre in Prague, a city with a long, fascinating but also controversial bilingual past. The festival was founded in 1996 by one of the Czech Republic’s most outstanding writers and playwrights – Pavel Kohout. For a full month, mostly late autumn, theatres like the Deutsche Theater Berlin, Schaubühne Berlin, Berliner Ensemble, Thalia Theater Hamburg, Burgtheater Wien, Schauspielhaus Zürich, Münchner Kammerspiele or Volksbühne Berlin perform on Prague’s most prominent, but also on the most alternative stages. You will recognise some of the names: Directors such as George Tabori, Robert Wilson, Andreas Kriegenburg, Luk Perceval, Christoph Marthaler, Frank Castorf, Thomas Ostermeier, Martin Kušej or Stephan Kimmig, or actors like Klaus Maria Brandauer, Bruno Ganz, Josef Hader or Sophie Rois.
The culture department of the Austrian Embassy in Prague, the Austrian Cultural Forum, offers a rich and wide variety of 250+ events every year, ranging from lectures and exhibitions to films and concerts as well as presentations of authors and artists, often also together with partners. The forum also supports intercultural exchange between Austria and the Czech Republic and runs a library.
The Unknown Prague, as this title would be translated into English, is a wonderful initiative by a Prague citizen who thinks that the city’s past should be more accessible to Praguers themselves as well as to travellers who want to know more. It started with a blog and became a tour organisation with a high quality level and a distinct difference to what tour guides usually offer.
Bohemian Alternative Bar Tours are definitely no pub crawls, but unique in that they not only include a selection of truly vibrant places, but also offer to meet with locals and expats and experience Prague’s magical energy first-hand. The tours provide a new and unseen perspective on the city’s transformation from Communist rule to a free society today. The bar tour will take participants away from the crowded city center into Prague’s vibrant neighborhoods, off the beaten path to places one otherwise wouldn’t find, alternative bars and clubs.
Manto Gallery is one of the few alternative glass galleries in Prague. The creations come directly from the hand of the artist: Antonín Manto, born in 1960, is one of the leading Czech glass artists. His artwork sits on the border between functional and fine art. His ancestors used to work in workshops of the russian tzar and so he decided to take a similar path as well. Manto’s biggest penchant is work and experiments with different materials; whether it’s crystal, glass, cast iron or the typical czech precious stone, Bohemian garnet. In addition, the gallery offers workshops for visitors who can create their own and very personal souvenir.