The Stavovoské divadlo [Estates Theatre] is where Mozart decided to premiere Don Giovanni in 1787, after The Marriage of Figaro had been so much better received in Prague than in Vienna (at that time it was called the Nostitz Theater, after Count Nostitz who built it in the early 1780s for the large German community in Prague). La clemenza di Tito, commissioned for the coronation of Leopold II as king of Bohemia, also had its first performance here, though was not so well received.
The Rudolfinum (strictly 'Dům umělců', or 'House of Artists') was built between 1876 and 1884 by Josef Zítek and Josef Schultz, as an art gallery, museum and concert hall, and was named in honour of Crown Prince Rudolf of Hapsburg. It was the home of the Czechoslovak Parliament from 1918 to 1938, and again just after the war, reverting to its original use in 1946.
Now the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra is based here, and I was able to buy a ticket – before I left home – for a performance of Mahler's 7th Symphony conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek, 100 years to the day since its premiere with the same orchestra under Gustav Mahler himself. The premiere was given on 19 September 1908 in a concert pavilion built as part of an exhibition to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Austro-Hungarian Emperor, Franz Josef I. Details of my concert are in the Music Trail. Outside the Rudolfinum, in náměstí Jana Palacha [Jan Palach square], is a statue of Antonin Dvořák.
Photographing the great bulk of the National Theatre [Národní divadlo], beside the river at what is now a busy road junction, was difficult, especially under the grey sky and falling light levels; I've included one image to illustrate the problems of the local street furniture. The theatre was built by public subscription between 1868 – when Smetana and the historian and politician František Palacký laid the foundation stone – and 1881, opening with a performance of Smetana's opera Libuše. The architect was again Josef Zítek. Tragically the interior was destroyed by fire only two months later, but was rebuilt within two years, this time under Josef Schultz.
I went to Muzeum station, just in front of the National Museum at the southern end of Wenceslas Square, and walked along Wilsonova to try to photograph the State Opera house, originally the 1888 Neues Deutches Theater [New German Theatre]. But Wilsonova is now a busy dual carriageway and it's impossible to photograph. It's also next door to a building with a heavy police guard and concrete barriers and CCTV cameras, which I think is the Federal Assembly building, so I just took a couple of snaps on the Coolpix P5000. Then a couple more on the Nikon D300 from down the road opposite, to show the awful approach.