The Prague National Theatre is one of the most famous theaters in the Czech Republic. This Neo-Renaissance building was built by Joseph Zítek is one of the most important buildings in the country.
The theater is now a contributory organization of the Czech Republic and formally established by the Ministry of Culture.
The National Theatre building stands on the site of the so-called Provisional Theatre, which later became part of it. On the 16th May 1868 a foundation stone was laid during a great ceremony, and in June 1881 the theater was inaugurated with the premiere of Smetana's opera Libuše.
Unfortunately, in August of the same year, the building was engulfed by fire and significantly damaged. However, this national tragedy sparked a new wave of determination and within 47 days a million of quids was collected on its reconstruction. The building was then completed by the architect Josef Schulz. In 1983 a new building was opened, the so called New scene.
A number of important contemporary artists participated on the decoration of this historic building. In the foyer on the first balcony there are paintings by Mikoláš Aleš and František Ženíšek. The second curtain was painted by Vojtěch Hynais and celebrates the dedication of the Czech nation that they people showed in rebuilding the National Theatre. The first curtain is iron and the third one is red, velvet and it is dilated manually.
Above the arch there is the famous slogan that says “A nation unto itself”, that expresses the importance of the National Theater to the Czech nationhood. There is also the organ in the theater.