The Czech capital is using its illustrious history to grow its meetings and events industry, writes Marisa Cannon
Dine like a king in the palaces, castles and medieval halls of the cobblestoned Czech Republic capital, one of Europe’s top meetings destinations
Looking out from the hilltop grounds that surround Prague Castle, the Czech capital is a sea of gabled terracotta roofs and church spires, punctuated by florets of bottle-green foliage poking through the patchwork. The murky Vltava river cuts through the sprawl, pouring through the arches of the legendary Charles bridge (pictured), which, touristclogged during day, has connected Prague’s old town with the picturesque Mala Strana (Little Quarter) since the 14th century.
It looks as it might have done 200 years ago, when the city’s artistic revival was in full swing, and landmarks such as the stately National Theatre and National Museum were first founded. Capitalising on its unique history, many of Prague’s palaces, concert halls and cultural centres have opened their doors to planners, offering a store of spectacular, beautifully preserved venues for events.
The city has built a reputation as a meetings destination, earning it 11th place in the 2016 International Congress and Conventions Association rankings. It has tripled the number of events it has hosted in the past ten years. International hotels include properties from Hilton, Corinthia, Intercontinental, Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental and Radisson Blu, which boast a number of elegant dining outlets and well-appointed meeting rooms. But there are also remarkable venues that give a taste of Prague’s illustrious past.
The 16th-century Lobkowicz Palace is the former home of one of the era’s most wealthy and powerful families in central Europe. Noblemen from the country’s Bohemia region, the Lobkowicz family’s run of prosperity dried up when their properties were seized – by the Nazis and Communists – but they have since been restored to their full glory. Set within
Prague Castle, the palace has 15 event spaces regularly put to use for private concerts, cocktails, seminars and conferences, alongside a museum containing the oldest and largest private art collection in the Czech Republic.
Spread across 22 galleries, the museum contains key pieces by the likes of Velazquez, Canaletto, Brueghel the Elder and Cranach, and guests are invited to browse the collection with a free audio guide. Classical music recitals take place at 1pm every day in the palace’s 17th-century baroque concert hall, but performances can also be tailored for private parties, followed by a drinks reception and private dining catered by the in-house restaurants. Five distinct dining outlets offer a mix of casual and formal options, although the cream