Black Brewery (Černý pivovar)
Contact detailsKarlovo náměstí 13
Praha 1 - Nové Město
not for public
The house was built in the years 1933 – 1934 for the insurance company Riunione Adriatica di Sicurta in a place where there used to be two houses: one used to be owned by the Vyšší Brod Monastery, and there used to be the New Town Brewery with a beer house in the other, which bore the house emblem and the name of Golden Lion. Its Classicist facade was very dark, and that is why it was sometimes also called the Black Brewery (Černý pivovar). Its name is sometimes also explained, probably incorrectly, by the fact that only dark beer was brewed here, or even that the beer was brewed here illegally. When demolishing the old building, wall paintings were discovered with an emblem of the maltsters‘ guild, emblems of the Bohemian, Moravian, Silesian and Slovak lands, and a painting of a historian and awakener Jan Erazim Vocel and several other writers and poets. Some paintings were taken down and are stored in the Museum of the Capital City of Prague. Regarding the second demolished house, the museum took the original late-Renaissance painted beam ceiling. According to a project of architect Karel Kotas, a functionalist tenement building with a restaurant and a buffet was built on the land plot 63 m wide and 44 m deep. The relief of the Golden lion was transferred to the new building, as well as the name Black Brewery. The construction was conducted by the company of ing. Jan Matoušek. During the construction, it was necessary to nail down the foundations of the neighbouring building of the Czech Technical University and others, as there were numerous underground springs here. The building with a flat roof had a ferro-concrete skeleton, and there were six floors. The top sixth floor receded from the front; the two side pavilions already formed a part of the seventh floor. There were two floors underground. The ground floor and the first floor of the main front facing the Karlovo náměstí square were lined by dark granite; the other floors were lined by artificial stone and the side axes by travertine. The passage from Karlovo náměstí leads to a yard, where a one-storied connecting wing was adjoining the building on the right, and there was a court residential six-storied house with garages in the back. On the left, another house is linked to the new building, realized in 1920 by architects Bohumír Kozák and Karel Roštík. Originally, there was a printing house named Tribuna in the four-storied building. The restaurant and the buffet were projected by architect Ladislav Machoň in cooperation with painters Jaroslav Benda and Alois Bílek. Alois Bílek made the black and white stained glasses from white glass and lead, with the motives of beer production and sale. The stained glass is installed in the large restaurant windows of the house. The emblem of the Golden Lion by sculptor Franta Bžoch and the inscription Black Brewery can be seen on the front at the level of the mezzanine. After the nationalization, there were about 50 flats in the house; the tradition of the restaurant and the buffet was maintained until the year 2000.