In 1841, the Czech composer Antonín Dvořák was born in a modest house in the village of Nelahozeves, to the north of Prague. As part of the redevelopment of neighbouring Nelahozeves Castle, historic seat of major European art patrons the Lobkowicz family, Dvořák’s House will be restored and remodeled as a museum dedicated to the composer’s early years spent in the village and the local cultural context that continued to have a major influence on Dvořák’s music throughout his life.
The restoration of the house has an especially potent resonance that chimes with the wider ambitions of the Nelahozeves Castle masterplan as a new centre of culture, with an emphasis on music and art.
Known for employing aspects of the traditional folk music of Bohemia and Moravia in his work, Dvořák is regarded as one of the greatest Czech composers. He was born and brought up in Nelahozeves and was baptised in the local church of St Andrew, directly opposite his birth house.
Dating from the Baroque era, his family house, also the former village inn and a site for amateur music making and village dances, is a simple domestic dwelling, characteristic of its type and time, but the historical connection elevates and transforms it into a cultural centre of gravity.
With its sensitive integration of old and new elements, the project reflects Wright & Wright’s skill in reconciling historic buildings with new uses.
The restored house will accommodate museum and exhibition spaces, using state-of-the-art technology such as interactive displays, film projection and holographs to illuminate and disseminate Dvořák’s life and work. Former agricultural buildings will be transformed into spaces for educational activities and music rehearsals. Overlooking the village square, a new dining hall will be created for use both by visitors and the community.
The reconstruction of the Antonín Dvořák Birth House is not only one of the most important projects for the Lobkowicz Collections, but also for Czech society and the preservation of world cultural heritage in general. The project is also fully in-line with our motto: "sharing the past, creating the future", and we hope that this world-class museum will inspire people from all over the world to come to Nelahozeves.
Founder, Dvořák Birth House Museum & Nelahozeves Castle