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Stylish dining in the Dancing House

The Dancing House (Tančící dům) is the most famous contemporary building in Prague, a city most known for its historic architecture. The renowned restaurant Céleste is located on the upper floors of this bold structure on the Vltava River. Guests dine in style here, with a breathtaking panorama of Prague as a backdrop.

The extraordinary office building is also sometimes called ‘Fred & Ginger’ after the famous dancing couple Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Anyone looking at the curves and kink in the building from a distance will indeed see a graceful swaying couple. Although this elegant ultramodern building initially met with quite some resistance from the inhabitants of Prague, the Dancing House has now truly found its place in the city and is a popular attraction for fans of both architecture and French cuisine. The menu at the upscale Céleste on the top floor positively insists that you spend the evening dining with Prague at your feet.

Swinging symbol of freedom

The stylish ‘dancing’ building has an exceptional history. The lot was vacant for decades after being levelled by bombing in World War II. In the turbulent 1980s, the Croatian-Czech architect Vlado Milunić lived in the adjacent building. His neighbour was the dissident Václav Havel, who would become the leader of the Velvet Revolution and president of the Czech Republic. When Milunić told Havel of his plans to build a modern building on the lot, the latter immediately supported the idea – he hoped the building would become a cultural centre.

Havel found a Dutch bank willing to finance the construction, which, however, conditioned its support on another architect being brought in. The choice fell on the Canadian Frank Gehry, who started out in 1992 with Milunić’s drawings as his starting point and yielded the final plan in 1996. Not everyone was pleased with this asymmetric creation in the middle of Prague’s historical centre. Yet for many the building came to symbolise the embracement of freedom, democracy and a worldly modern architecture.

““For many, the asymmetric building symbolises freedom, democracy and a worldly modern architecture.””

A panoramic view of Prague

French specialties in a panoramic setting

To enjoy this extraordinary building to the max, start your evening in the luxurious cocktail bar of restaurant Céleste on the ground floor, where classic and modern drinks are conjured up in a jiffy. Then take the elevator to the top floor and choose a table, preferably at the window. While you enjoy French specialties such as lobster and pot-au-feu, you’ll have magnificent views of the castle, the Vltava River and the red roofs of the old district of Malá Strana. Naturally, you can also sip on a selection of excellent French wines and champagnes. In summer, an even more spectacular panorama of Prague unfolds from the open roof terrace.
At restaurant Celeste

Photo credits

  • A panoramic view of Prague: Celeste Restaurant
  • At restaurant Celeste: Celeste Restaurant