Grand Café Orient
May 11, 2018
Housed in one of Prague’s iconic Cubist buildings, The House of the Black Madonna in the Old Town, the Grand Café Orient is something of an architectural landmark. The venue was originally opened in 1912 in and was designed by Josef Gocar, one of the founders of the Czech Cubist movement. It closed in the 1920s but the interior has recently been restored – using the few surviving plans for and photographs – to its original splendour. It’s a gleaming space of lines and angles with a mirrored wall and striking cubist light fittings. There are elegant striped green booths and period-appropriate music plays in the background. They serve a serviceable menu of beers, wine and Czech food, but that’s clearly not the main draw here. There’s a small terrace with views out over the street below, but we prefer the tables inside where you get to appreciate the style and beauty of the room. True, it’s a place that appeals to tourists – they even sell T-shirts celebrating the cubists – but that’s par for the course in a city like Prague. This is a fascinating building with a fascinating history and the Grand Café Orient allows you to see just how inventive and distinctive this architectural movement was.