The large building at the western side of the Lesser Town Square is the Lichtenstein Palace. It was built in the 16 th century as the first large Baroque building in Prague. The ruthless vice-regent Karel of Lichtenstein lived there later. There is an exhibition space, a concert hall and other cultural spaces nowadays.
“Bloody vice-regent” Lichtenstein
Lichtenstein Palace was built after the big fire of Prague Lesser Town in 1541. Karel of Lichtenstein, called “the bloody vice-regent” lived there in 1620s. He was commissioned to punish the participants of the rebellion against the emperor. He decided that the 27 leaders of the rebellion will be executed at the Old Town Square in 1621. Relatives of the convicted men came to him to beg for mercy, but vainly. There are 27 cast-iron heads on the guard stones in front of the palace, commemorating the event.
Alois J. of Lichtenstein had the palace rebuilt in Classicist style in the 18 th century. The building was then rented to a post office for a half of a century.
Josef Dobrovsky, one of the leaders of Czech National Revival, lived in the Lichtenstein Palace between 1811 and 1826. Michal Ledebour bought the palace in 1825, hence the second name of the building.
The palace became military headquarters in the revolution year 1848. The Austrian army bought the building then. There were two cannons by the entrance and changing guards took place there. The Lichtenstein Palace was a last place of Austrian military power in 1918, when the independent republic Czechoslovakia was established.
Music Faculty in the Lichtenstein Palace
The palace remained a military building till 1960. The Political School of the Communist Party was situated there later. The Lichtenstein Palace was finally restored in 1990s for the Music Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. There is also a Bohuslav Martinu Hall where concerts take place, an exhibition space, a recording studio, a library and other spaces of culture.