Before embarking on a recent Avalon River cruise down the Danube, our group spent a few days in Prague. One of us had heard of the Imperial Café and suggested we walk through the Historic Center of Prague, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and try to find it. It turned out to be just a few blocks from the Prague Hilton where we were staying. Its Art Deco exterior made it easy to recognize, but we were not prepared for the beauty of the unique and dramatic space inside.
Opened in 1914, the Café has always been a busy and well-visited place – a social gathering spot for people from all walks of life. The reconstruction, really an artistic makeover, completed in 2007, retained the unforgettable atmosphere and combined it with a touch of class.
The tall walls and high ceilings are completely covered with Art Nouveau ceramic tiles and mosaics dating back to the Imperial Hotel’s construction in 1914.
The ceramics contain a wide variety of scenes in relief, like little angels, animals, or hunters.
Some of the walls also have intricate wood carvings. The tile-clad columns in the middle of the room are particularly impressive.