History of the Building

The first records of the place where the Theatre Na zábradlí stands today date back to the 12th century. The Chronicle of Royal Prague states that in the 15th century the building of today’s Theatre Na zábradlí was called Dům U zeleného kloboučku (House at the Green Hat), later Dům Milevských (House of the Milevsky family). In the 16th century, the house was owned by the Wallensteins, who also took possession of the neighbouring building and combined the two houses into a single unit. At the beginning of the 19th century the building served as a factory for printing cotton fabrics. In 1836, a major reconstruction was carried out here according to the design of the architect J. C. Vitek, during which a large hall was created in which printing tables for the card room were placed. At the end of the 19th century, the ownership was acquired by the Union of Catholic Apprentices, which provided free accommodation and food for ‘working craft youth’ from poor families.

At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the theatre industry boomed in the Czech territory – in 1913 the Union of Catholic Apprentices built a hall and stage for its amateur company in the former textile factory. In 1933 the troupe’s activities were interrupted by the war and in 1944 the house was occupied by the Germans. After the war, the Union briefly resumed its amateur activities. In 1954, the house was expropriated for the Czechoslovak state.

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