Nowadays one of the most modern theatres for music plays in Prague, Hybernia, is situated in the reconstructed Hybernians’ Palace (Palác u Hybernů) in námesti Republiky. It’s situated opposite the Powder Gate and the Municipal House in Prague.
The Palace stands on the site of a former Benedictine church. The property was given to Irish Franciscans, who were expelled from their country by Queen Elizabeth in 1630. The Latin word for Ireland is Hybernia, which is why the monks were called Hybernians. The church was destroyed and a new convent with the Church Of The Immaculate Conception Of The Virgin Mary (Kostel Neposkrneneho poceti Pany Marie) was built instead of it in 1641-1654. A tower was added in 1672, and a monastery library in 1701. By the way, the Franciscan monks were the first people who grew potatoes in the Czech lands.
The monastery was abolished by Joseph II in 1785 and the monks had to go back to the country of their origin. Since then the building has served as a military building, a theatre, a customs office, a financial office, a censoring office, an exhibition hall and today a theatre for music plays.
The building went through three major reconstructions. In 1808-11 the building got a new frontage which belongs now among the most valuable Empire frontages in Prague. After the reconstruction in 1640-42 new sanitary facilities were added and the building was adapted to become an exhibition hall. After the third reconstruction in 2000-2006 the first premiere of a music play in this theatre was Golem, on 23th November 2006.
How to get there: the Hybernians’ Palace is situated in namesti Republiky. You can get there by metro yellow line B, station namesti Republiky.