About the Project

Living or working in the centre of a capital city has always been an exceptional experience. The feeling of leaving your apartment or office and walking past places engraved by history is hard to describe. You are at the heart of the city, and yet somewhere calm and noble. The winding streets of Old Town gather at the back entrance of the building, and the theatre, originally the Grand Operetta, dwells in its basement. Sitting in a café on the ground floor, you can hear the applause of the audience paying tribute to the genius of Shakespeare and others. Would you like this to be the stage on which your life unfolds? Then welcome to Palác Dlouhá.

The site on which Palác Dlouhá stands, bordered by Dlouhá, Hradební and Haštalská streets, has been an attractive residential area for Praguers since time immemorial. The first records of houses at this address come from the 14th century. A few decades later, the area around today's Náměstí Republiky square was one of the fastest-developing parts of the city – and no wonder. By that time the market in the Old Town Square was the most important in the country, and the nearby Vltava river provided a valuable transport artery for supplies and trade. Palác Dlouhá, in the form in which we know it today, took shape in the 20th century, in 1928 to be precise. It was built on the site of an original Baroque building, the only part of which to have been preserved is the facade of the two-story corner building facing Dlouhá street. The rest of the site was filled by a new building, designed by architect Paul Sydow and commissioned by entrepreneur Otomar Sušický. The ground plan takes the form of a letter E facing west, and the higher floors are served by four entrances with their own staircases and lifts. The most significant part of the palace is the arcade with its two atria, providing a place both to meet and rest.

The history of the theatre in Palác Dlouhá starts in 1929, when the new Grand Operetta opened with Romberg's Desert Song, directed by the famous Oskar Nedbal. Finally, the city had gained a theatre specialising in operetta, a genre highly popular at the time. It was not to last for long, however. Wars are no friend to theatre, and neither were the Communists. As Czech signs were replaced by German ones and Europe became a battlefield, the theatre was closed. After the war, the theatre was renewed, but then for several decades it served only as a destination for compulsory school theatre performance, initially as the City Youth Theatre, formed when the Young Pioneers Theatre joined with the Prague Youth Theatre. From 1953 until 1991 it was known as the Jiří Wolker Theatre. The theatre in its classic form did not return to the area until 1989, and like many other places in Prague, did not escape further changes of name. For four years, it became the Old Town Theatre. In 1995, however, a team consisting of two directors, Hana Burešová and Jan Borna, dramaturg Štěpán Otčenášek and manager Daniela Šálková won a tender to take over the running of the theatre, and its name changed - hopefully for the last time – to the Theatre in Dlouhá Street. In this form, it celebrated eighty years of theatre in the building. The company has also collected numerous awards from both theatre critics and audiences. The theatre is visited by over eighty thousand people a year, and has a long-term attendance rate of over 95 percent.