Kramář Villa (Kramářova vila)
The neo-Baroque villa with typical Art Nouveau elements has over 700 m2 of floor space and 56 rooms. Built between 1911 and 1914 by Karel Kramář, a politician and the future first Czechoslovak prime minister, it is considered to be one of the most imposing examples of Prague villa architecture. Since 1998, the villa, with its unique interiors and surrounding French-style gardens, has been the official residence of the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic.
Accessible only occasionally.
The Kramář Villa (Kramářova vila) was built at the site of the Prague city walls called Mariánské hradby, namely at the place of the bastion of St. Thomas. After the Prague Municipality had the walls pulled down, it sold the place out as the building sites. Karel Kramář purchased the lot for the construction of his family villa in 1911. At that time Karel Kramář (1860 – 1937) was a leader of the Young Czechs Party (Mladočeši), later he became a chairman of the Czechoslovak National Democratic Party (Strana československé národní demokracie) and finally the first Prime Minister of the independent Czechoslovak Republic. He was a Russophile and with his wife Nadezhda Nikolayevna, a rich Russian, they often stayed in their villa in Crimea. The project of the Prague villa was designed by Viennese architect Bedřich Ohmann, a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts. The stylish interiors and a hall with Byzantine mosaic ornamentation are the work of J. Beneš, a professor at Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design (UMPRUM), with the participation of J. Štipl.
The construction work was carried out by the Prague company of the master builder Josef Čámský. When buying the property, Karel Kramář had to commit that the building would be a single storey villa and would be suitably aesthetically and visually integrated into the panorama of the Prague Castle and its surroundings. The construction took 4 years. The extensive object is partly in Neo-Baroque and partly in Art Nouveau styles. Two smaller houses for the personnel, cooks and a gardener are built next the villa. There is also a tennis court. The building contains 56 rooms; the biggest room is a 25-metre long dining hall finished by a small balcony, there is also a hall with a Byzantine mosaic pattern, two guest apartments, saloons, bedrooms and study rooms. Mrs. Kramář took care of the interior equipment in cooperation with the prominent Czech artists.
After the death of Mr. and Mrs. Kramář, the villa was administered by the Karel Kramář Society (Společnost dr. Karla Kramáře). After the communist coup in 1948, the Society was dissolved and the villa passed to the state. Since 1952 it had been used for accommodation of important state visits and for important state negotiations. At present, the villa is a property of the Government Office. Since 18th December 1998, the Kramář’s villa has became a residence of the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic (however, only Miloš Zeman and Vladimír Špidla used to live there). The surroundings of the villa are arranged in a French style park.