A Cubist Cafe in Prague? Yes.
Are you an architecture-junkie? Let me give you a hit and turn your attention towards The Madonna House (also known as “The House of the Black Mother”, or “U Černé Matky Boží” in Czech). Luckily for us, it’s located right in the heart of Prague’s Old Town and is noted as the only surviving Cubist interior in the world.
Josef Gočár was only 31 years old when he designed the building in 1911 which originally was supposed to be a department store. With angular windows and its unique balconies, it symbolizes the Czech contribution to the cubist movement in its entirety. This building was open for ten years until it shut down due to cubism going out of style — seems like there was a strict fashion police at the time to go as far as to shut down buildings (deciding what to wear each day must have been chaotic).
After some time, it reopened in the mid-1920s and its cafe and stores were converted into bank offices. The top floors were reserved for apartments. Then in 1994, the entire building became the centre for czech and art culture. Nowadays, after considerable renovations, it stands to represent what is left from the cubist movement, as well as exhibiting czech cubist work from famous artists from that time.
The Grand Café Orient is located on the first floor and remains the most significant and stylish of the building (aside from the visually appealing staircase inside — you can’t miss it). Cubism is represented not only through its exterior and floor-plan, but also considerably well with its internal furnishings in the cafe. Elegant lights and lanterns hang above you as they complement the slick cubist buffet-bar.
The atmosphere is light and stylish. The pancakes are highly recommended for breakfast and the staff is incredibly friendly and can crack good jokes. A perfect way to kick-start your Sunday morning.
Where is it located? Ovocný trh 19, Praha 1,
Their digits: +420 224 224 240
Their site: www: www.grandcafeorient.cz