In the recent decades, Fanta’s café at Prague’s central railroad station has been more of a mythical place, known mostly to a select few. Visitors to the capital who happened to find out about its existence had quite a bit of trouble finding their way out of the communist station up into its oldest, and arguably most beautiful parts. The search, though, is rewarding. The tall, ornate dome from early twentieth century is breathtaking, especially after the not-so-modern main part of the station with its low ceilings and until recently notoriously
One of Prague’s defining buildings of the late communist era is set for demolition, its new owners, the PPF group, have confirmed. Hotel Praha, a large, curved concrete structure, will make way for a park for pupils of an elite school run by PPF. However, many architecture enthusiasts say the building is of great value and are up in arms over the decision.
Architects, preservationists and artists are planning a protest on Tuesday evening against the demolition of the Hotel Praha in Prague 6. Supporters say the 1980s building, which has a concrete exterior, is of significant architectural value and should be left standing. However, the PPF group, which bought it last month, plans to knock it down later this year to make way for a private park for its elite Open Gate school.
Outgoing Culture Minister Alena Hanáková took a final decision on a building on Wenceslas Square and Opletalova Street slated for demolition, making clear it was not a heritage site and could be torn down to make room for a new one. The project faced opposition earlier from some experts and members of the public who took part in demonstrations. A commission spent several months looking into the matter. City Hall earlier gave the building’s owner, Flow East, the go-ahead to tear the building down. If the decision were reversed now, the firm indicated, it would have sought compensation in the millions of crowns.
Standing atop of a small hill, with a tramline swooping around it, punctuated by a baroque Roman Catholic church on one side and a modernist Hussite church on the other, Rangherka, or the small Vršovice château, contains within its own story the history of the surrounding district as well. The original building was put up just as the then village of Vršovice began to grow and develop rapidly. Now, unlike the surrounding neighbourhood, it is a sad sight. The prominent neo-renaissance building is in ruins, with reconstruction having dragged on for
It’s a far cry from the country’s traditional tourist sites. The imposing Vítkovice ironworks, dubbed the steel heart of the country, served the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the First Republic, the Wehrmacht and later communist Czechoslovakia. In 1998 part of this huge industrial complex with its blast furnaces and coke oven batteries was closed down and rather than getting dismantled it was declared a national cultural monument that is gradually being transformed into an interactive museum and a multipurpose cultural facility.
The City of Prague Gallery was given custodianship of the Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace in Prague’s Old Town a few years ago. The gallery is finally ready to open the building to the public, and possibly make it one of its main exhibition and educational sites. Radio Prague headed over to the palace to speak with the team that is working on its new appearance.
A public tender for the renovation of the National Museum’s historic main building on Wenceslas Square was launched on Monday. The tender was approved in April by the government and subsequently by the finance and culture ministries. Proposals received will be revealed at the end of August. The main building of the National Museum will retain its historic facade which was designed by architect Josef Schulz, but visitors in the future will be able to enjoy a modern exhibition venue following 21st century trends, representatives have made clear. One of the most prominent elements in the renovation plans is the creation of a tunnel connecting the National Museum’s main building with a sister-site which used to serve as the Parliamentary building in the former Czechoslovakia.
A conference is to be held in Prague next month aimed at re-evaluating Czech architecture from the four decades of Communist rule. Organisers say they want to show that buildings created between 1948 and 1989 were highly diverse in terms of style and that many have been viewed from a political perspective and as a result wrongly stigmatised. The conference will take place on June 13 at the former Federal Assembly building in central Prague, which was completed in 1973.
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