Petschek Palace: A grand building with a dark past

Photo: Elena Horálková, Radio Prague International

With its monumental neo-classicist style and lavish interiors, Prague’s Petschek Palace was one of the most expensive buildings of its time when built in the 1920s. However today most Czechs don’t associate the palace with architecture but rather with its dark history as the headquarters of the Nazi secret police during the Second World War.

The Petschek Palace, known colloquially as “Pečkárna”, has stood near Prague’s main railway station for nearly a century. With its gray, stone-clad facade, the building has an imposing, almost fortress-like look common to many banks built in the early twentieth century.

Yet despite the palace’s grand style, many who pass by it on Political Prisoners’ Street will find the building easy to miss. Somehow, the Petschek Palace does not quite visually stand out among the many historical buildings of Prague’s city centre.

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Author: Vojtěch Pohanka