In the lovely Prague Castle quarter known as Hradčany close to the Royal Summer Palace sits an Art Nouveau fairy tale villa designed by František Bílek, an architect and Art Nouveau and Symbolist sculptor. The house, which dates back to 1911, was designed by Bílek himself to be used as his home and studio. After Bílek’s passed the whimsical villa was turned into a museum of his works according to the artist’s own wishes. The villa was built on site of Prague’s former Baroque fortification walls (see nearby Písek Gate also known as Bruska Gate, the only remaining Baroque city gate. The gate was renovated from 2000-2002 and houses a café and event space for wedding parties). The villa seems to symbolize the nature of harvest seasons, as it resembles a strange and unique shape, almost as if representing a scythe hand tool for work in a field. The front and side columns of the villa mimic that of corn sheaves, or bundles of corn tied together after picking, which also mimic that of Egyptian architectural columns. City Gallery Prague has been operating Bílek’s Villa since 1963; the interior features original fittings, furniture reproductions based on Bílek’s designs and original artwork of Bílek’s. The villa will reopen in September 2010 after an extensive renovation.
Photo: Dolce Vita
Address: Mickiewiczova 1, Praha 6, +420 233 323 631, www.citygalleryprague.cz
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