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20. 3. 2007 17:37

110 Years of the Strakova Academy

Press release- 110 Years of the Strakova Academy

The Strakova or Straka Academy, the current seat of the Czech Government, was inaugurated 110 years ago, on March 21, 1897.

Originally, this neo-Baroque building on the left bank of the Vltava river in Prague, was built - in the spirit of the testament of the Imperial Secret Councillor Jan Petr Straka - as an educational institute for children from impoverished aristocratic families. Its construction took five years, and students could avail themselves not only of its classrooms but also of its chapel, gymnasium, bath and hospital.

The building served its stated purpose, as laid down in its foundation charter, i.e. as an institute for horse-riding, fencing and physical training, for less than twenty years. Soon after the outbreak of the First World War it was made available to the Red Cross, serving as a hospital that offered a total of 470 beds.

From 1918, the year of the establishment of independent Czechoslovakia, until 1938 the building still belonged to the Straka Foundation, being used by the Union of Czechoslovak Students as well as a state administration institution.

In April 1939 the building was turned into the seat of the Protectorate government. A large-scale reconstruction was then carried out. As of 1942 it housed a Reich court.

The Strakova Academy was opened as the seat of the Czechoslovak and later Czech Government on May 15, 1945. Since then 17 Prime Ministers have been in office in the Strakova Academy.

Press Department of the Government of the Czech Republic

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