Thursday, September 13, 2018

Prague National Theater Souvenir Building

This metal replica of the National Theater in Prague, Czech Republic stands 3.5 inches tall and 6 inches long, including the black stone base. It's thin, but has details on both sides. Words on the base are:  “Prague: Theatre National, Praha Nar Divadlo, Zak. Chraneno” Through internet research, I found some antique swards which also had the maker’s mark of “Zak. Chraneno” The National Theatre (Czech: Národní divadlo) in Prague is known as the alma mater of Czech opera, and as the national monument of Czech history and art. The National Theatre opened for the first time in 1881 and designed by Architect Josef Zitek. The idea of building a stately edifice to serve as a theatre was first mooted in the autumn of 1844 at meetings of patriots in Prague. It began to materialize through a request for “the privilege of constructing, furnishing, maintaining and managing” an independent Czech theatre, which was submitted to the Provincial Committee of the Czech Assembly by František Palacký on 29 January 1845. The privilege was granted in April 1845. Yet it was not until six years later – in April 1851 – that the Society for the Establishment of a Czech National Theatre in Prague (founded in the meantime) made its first public appeal to start collections. A year later the proceeds of the first collections allowed for the purchase of land belonging to a former salt works with the area of less than 28 acres, which predetermined the magnificent location of the theatre on the bank of the river Vltava facing the panorama of Prague Castle, yet at the same time the cramped area and trapezoidal shape posed challenging problems for the building’s designers. Today, the National Theatre consists of three artistic ensembles: opera, ballet and drama.

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