The first written reference to the meat market – a wooden building with butcher shops situated on the present Přemysl Otakar II Square, dates back to 1336. In 1364, King Charles IV ordered pulling down this meat market owing to its bad hygiene. a new suitable location for establishing another wooden building with the meat market was found in Krajinská St., where many master butchers lived at the time.
The foundations of the present brick building of a basilica ground-plan come from the 2nd half of the 16th century. The sidelong lower halls were home to individual butcher shops accessible to the public from the tall middle hall. There were separate entrances for suppliers from outside. The western face of the building has been maintained up to the present day in the Renaissance style with battlements, loop-holes on the attic gable and the gable formed by so-called swallow tails. The eastern face of the building was rebuilt in the early 1830’s. The twin-stone Renaissance portal is also original.
After a new town slaughterhouse was built at “Pražské předměstí” outskirts in 1899, the meat market underwent many changes regarding its construction and use, being turned into small shops with various goods and gradually fell into disrepair. Owing to the dilapidation, its demolition was seriously considered after 1945. In the end, the meat market was reconstructed into a restaurant in 1953 according to J.Fidra’s design. On 1st October 1954, the Masné krámy restaurant was officially open to the public.
Since that time, the Masné krámy has established itself as a restaurant renowned for its hospitality, great cuisine and particularly perfectly treated drawn beer from Budweiser Budvar Brewery.
In 2014, the Masné krámy restaurant in České Budějovice celebrates two important anniversaries. On 13th February, it will have been 650 years since the moment when Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. ordered the demolition of the original meat market on today’s Přemysl Otakar II. Square and its subsequent moving to Krajinská St. to the spot where the Masné krámy (meat market in English) restaurant is today. The restaurant was open to the public on 1st October 1954, therefore nearly 60 years ago. The restaurant has always exclusively drawn beer from Budweiser Budvar Brewery.
The restaurant got its present look during an overall reconstruction, which was completed on 5th December 2007. The Masné krámy reconstruction project organically interconnected modern gastronomic technologies with the building's history, dating back to the 16th century.
The original basilica ground-plan was maintained. The main middle hall is lined with individual loges on both sides. The tap and the bar dominate the main hall, being the throbbing heart of the restaurant, which gives life to the whole interior. Behind the tap, there is a special room with lighted copper tanks, making a functional as well as an expressional feature of the tap. a spacious loge particularly suitable for large groups of guests is situated to the right of the front door, while the left side is home to an individual raised seating area and a small lounge. The entire back half of the restaurant is designed as a quieter area, intended primarily for quiet relaxation with friends.
The reconstructed interior follows the historic character of the building. Its granite floor tiles of a pavement character combined with solid oak flooring underline this impression also thanks to the lighting, which combines the natural light from Hroznová Street and the light from the indoor lighting made of traditional materials – black metal and patina copper.
The other interior fittings evoke the relation to history as well. All the furnishings are made of natural materials, such as solid oak, natural leather, black mat metal and patina copper with a perfect craftsmen and technical finish. Nonetheless, even more modern technological elements entered the historic Masné krámy, such as LC screens and LC projection equipment with an installed sound system in the main hall.
The capacity of the restaurant is 200 visitors.