Prior Department Store Opens To The Public This Saturday For A Guided Tour In English

Before its demolition, scheduled for this year, the Prior department store will open its doors to the public this Saturday. Photo credit: Brno Architecture Manual.

Brno, May 2 (BD) – As part of the Brno Architecture Trails project, organised by the City of Brno and the Brno House of Arts and financed by the European Regional Development Funds, the Prior department store will be opened to the public for a guided tour in English, on Saturday 6 May at 3pm. 

Designed by architects Zdeněk Řihák and Zdeněk Sklepek, and completed in 1984 after four years of work, the Prior was considered to be the most modern shopping centre in Moravia at that time. It is now one of the last architectural monuments from the second half of the 20th century close to the historical centre of Brno. However, it is due to be demolished this year after several years of delays, with a six-floor complex of offices, shops and apartments to be built in its place. 

This weekend’s guided tour is therefore one of the last opportunities to look around the interior of this Brutalist monument. On Saturday, post-war architectural historian and curator Šárka Svobodová, together with architect Eva Truncová, will guide visitors through some areas usually inaccessible to the public. The meeting point is outside the entrance on the first floor terrace (which leads to the footbridge to Vaňkovka shopping mall), and the tour will include empty warehouses and the former employee canteen, before concluding in the Dornych shopping centre.

The Prior is part of the Brno Architecture Manual (BAM), whose database contains nearly 400 examples of interwar architecture, and has been gradually expanded with buildings from the period 1946-1989. The database includes hundreds of archival photographs and documents, including floor plans, historical images and maps, additional keywords relating to buildings, and short biographies of architects. The expanded BAM will gradually include such buildings as the Janáček Theater, Hotel International and Hotel Continental, as well as all residential complexes in Brno.

It is possible to retrace the history of the building on Instagram at Prior_Brno.

The maximum number of participants for the tour is 35 people, and tickets are available for CZK 100 from

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