Day Tour

Art Nouveau and Modernism, Prague at the Turn of the Century (3 Hours)

Context Travel

Prague, Czech Republic

Valid for Travel Now Through: 23 Mar 2019

Art Nouveau and Modernism, Prague at the Turn of the Century (3 Hours )

Prague, Czech Republic

Tour Features


  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Sightseeing



Recommended Ages

12 and Above

Activity Level



At the dawn of the 20th century Prague exploded with fervent artistic and intellectual activity and focused a new way of seeing the world—an “art nouveau” that would transform Barcelona, Paris, Vienna, and other major European capitals. During this three-hour walking seminar we’ll look at the development of Art Nouveau and other early Modern movements in Prague and seek to contextualize it within the social and political realities of the time.

Our walk will start at the Prague train station, constructed in 1901. Using its ornate facade as a backdrop, we’ll look at some of the basic ideas behind Art Nouveau as a revolutionary movement against classicism and the aesthetics that emerged. We’ll also look at how modernisation—in this case, symbolized by the advent of trains—fueled the movement.

Our stroll will take us through the heart of Prague’s New Town, Wenceslas Square. Here we will visit many wonderful examples of Art Nouveau, including the beautiful Lucerna bar (once owned by Vaclav Havel’s family) and the elegant Grand Hotel Europa—both fantastic examples of a moment of Czech optimism in the early twentieth century. In addition to an artistic analysis and breaking down of Art Nouveau’s aesthetics, we’ll look at how the movement in Prague represented the transcendence of older ethnic grievances and signaled the region’s readiness to rejoin Europe by participating in European-wide avant-gardes.

As a counterpoint to the Art Nouveau movement, we will also spend a significant amount of time exploring the architecture of Cubism and Rondocubism. Born out of the Cubist movement begun in Paris with Braque’s 1908 exhibition, this unique style spread throughout Europe. Prague remains unique as the only city that contains examples of both Cubist and Rondocubist architecture. Whether it be the House of the Black Madonna, designed by Josef Gočár, or Cubist villas, each example will provide a unique lens from which to compare and contrast the mixture of architectural styles that reflected cultural tastes and attitudes in the Czech Republic during the early 20th century.

We’ll finish up near Old Town, visiting two major monuments of Art Nouveau and the incipient Modernism movement that followed. At Municipal House, we’ll not only consider its significance architecturally but consider it as a landmark of Czech independence, for it was here that T.G. Masaryk would announced the post-WWI creation of the fledgling first Czechoslovak republic.

About Us

The Context vision is to create an atmosphere—a context, if you will—for curious travelers to engage with local experts; to give them access to places and cultures that might otherwise remain out of sight to the casual visitor; to invite them off the tourist track and into the real life of the people, history, and heritage that make these cultural capitals amazing. With no more than six people, you'll participate in an intimate, hands-on, conversational experience. No Tour Guides - Our docents are first and foremost scholars or specialists, with MAs, Ph.D.s, or other terminal degrees in their fields of study.

Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge to help enhance your experience.

Terms & Conditions

Context walks can be cancelled up to 48 hours prior to the walk with an 85% refund. Within 48 hours all reservations are final and cannot be refunded. Walks are held rain or shine with some variations to accommodate the weather. If you are running late for your meeting with our docent, we ask that you call to alert us so that we can relay the message to the docent. No shows are treated as last-minute cancellations and are non-refundable. Cancellations within three business days need to be made by phone to the emergency number provided in your confirmation email. Cancellations within three business days made via email or by calling our U.S. 800 number may not be honored. Other terms and conditions may apply.

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Italy trip

By: Joe C

Reviewed on: 27 Jun 2018

Without question they did a superb job.
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"The Great European Tour"

By: MJ

Reviewed on: 14 Aug 2018

The trip was our first experience with Context and it was amazing!
Travel Advisor:  Donna Peacock
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By: Shari

Reviewed on: 17 Nov 2018

The 6 person maximum of Context tours really made for an intimate learning experience. The docents they get to lead the groups were top notch!
Travel Advisor:  Kelly Millington