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The Czech Republic is a nation of theater lovers. This is particularly true in Prague. The National Theater is both a symbol of the cultural revival of the 19th century and the dedication of its benefactors. The history of this building truly represents how art can overcome obstacles including a fire that destroyed the original building just before opening night in 1868. Unfazed, contributions poured in and construction of a new theater began. This time the master builder was Josef Shulz. It opened two years after the fire. The theater went through some years of neglect, but a restoration in the 1970s and 1980s saw the addition of a new stage by Karl Prager.

The attic of the western façade features representative figures of the Arts by the sculptor Antonín Wagner dating from 1883. The top of the structure reveals a bronze chariot. The driver, the Goddess of Victory, sits in the chariot drawn by three bronze horses. The work is by Bohuslav Schnirch. If you make it to the President’s Box – formerly the Royal Box, do not merely admire the plush red velvet. The décor features famous historical figures from the history of the country. If no one invites you to the Royal Box, do not worry. Step out into the lobby and look up at the ceiling. The artist, Frantšek Ženišek depicts vividly the Golden Age of Czech Art. In the loggia of the auditorium, note the five arcades with lunette paintings by Josef Tulk titled the Five Songs”. It is an interesting venue to catch not only a traditional opera but to listen to the contemporary works of John Osborne and Philip Glass

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