photo passThe pink Baroque building housing the Dvořák museum, in Ke Karlovu, was designed by Ignac Dienzenhofer and built in 1720 for Jan Václav Michna. The extravagant and nicely-restored frescoes on the ceiling and walls of the small upstairs concert hall are all that remain of the original decoration. Now often called Vila Amerika, presumably because at the beginning of the 19th Century it was home to a garden restaurant called 'America', the house and land were later used as a cattle market. It was partly restored around 1900, and in the early 1930s was acquired by the Antonín Dvořák Society and opened as the Dvořák Museum.

I paid an extra 30Kc (about £1) for a photo pass. On show are Dvořák's desk and favourite chair, his splendid Bösendorfer piano, and his copy of a painting of Beethoven. Also his cap and gown from the honorary degree he received from Cambridge University in 1891, not long before leaving for his 3-year visit to the US; I found a photo of the occasion at his birthplace in Nelahozeves. Dvořák lived for a while a few streets away from Vila Amerika, in Žitná.

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