I am moving for the history and spirit of famous Czech personalities. Living in the very heart of Prague has its secrets


Believers of living in the city center

Two groups most often choose to live in the city center. Young people who want to have fun and want to enjoy day and night life to the fullest. In the city center, they have everything in one place, not far from where they live, where they can walk back in the morning.

The second group of people who prefer living in the city center are admirers and connoisseurs of historic buildings and interiors. It is in the city centers, and especially in Prague, that you can find the oldest houses that have lived for at least a century, as well as interesting and important Czech personalities who liked this luxurious living.

Advantages of living in the city center

As mentioned above, the main advantage is the location. Not only is everything close, from art to government offices, but so is the value of the property (whether it’s a house or apartment). In addition, this value will only grow over time, so you can buy real estate not only for your own needs, but also as a profitable investment.

Another advantage is a beautiful view of the city or an interesting place in the city. If there is a river in the city and housing is near it, it is beneficial both from the point of view and from the health point of view – better air, better air humidity and natural cooling of the air in the summer.

Luxurious Prague location – on the Vltava embankment

There are many great luxury places to live in the center of Prague, one of the most important is the Vltava embankment, which is steeped in history and famous personalities. It is less popular from the left bank of the Smíchov in Prague 5, the more interested is the embankment on the other side of the river, i.e. in Prague 2, from which you can see Prague Castle.

Rašin embankment

At the beginning of the 20th century, the builder Václav Havel and his associates bought plots of land in the center of Prague and built rental houses on them. One of the places of their development interest was located in the vicinity of today’s Jiráskova náměstí, on the Rašín embankment. Here, Havel had two houses built in Art Nouveau style with large windows, from which there is a panoramic view of Prague. The first one has a descriptive number 1980/70 and second 2000/78.

Builder Havel with his wife Emilia and two sons chose a house for their needs At Two Thousand, where they moved in on May 15, 1905, so that they could watch the traditional St. John’s Day fireworks from the balcony, which were set off by pyrotechnicians from the nearby Slavonic Island. The family lived in a five-room apartment on the third floor.

A large middle room with a bay window, serving as a dining room for family and company, measured almost fifty square meters. On the ceiling of this common room was a three-piece, already incandescent, brass chandelier, decorated with glass hanging skylights. Next to the dining room, there was a ‘living room’ on one side, and on the other the parents’ bedroom with a ‘winter garden’, also connected to the dining room and equipped with an art nouveau water jet stand, filled with cut glass. The heating was chambered with Heim’s coke stove.”

recalled Václav Maria Havel for the encyclopedia portal.

Other residents of the house at the beginning of the 20th century included, for example, the painter Karel Schneiberg, the Škardov, Mečířov or Žákov families.

Both sons of the builder Havel grew up in the apartment with a view of Hradčany: the elder Václav M., who also became a civil engineer, and the younger Miloš, a film entrepreneur and founder of film studios in Barrandov. While Miloš moved to Barrandov in the early 1940s, Václav stayed in the apartment. In 1935, he married Božena Vavrečková and they had the apartment reconstructed according to the design of a family friend, the architect Vladimír Grégr. They then lived here with their two sons, the elder Václav, the future president of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic, and the younger Ivan. In February 1945, the house was hit by bombs from an American airplane (the neighboring building was completely destroyed, a number of years later the Dancing House was built here).

The Havel brothers had their house renovated and in 1947 the Havel couple and their sons moved back.

Masaryk embankment

Masaryk embankment is the name of the embankment on the right bank of the Vltava. It is bounded by the Jiráské bridge, the Legií square and bridge, and Národní třída.

Until the 19th century, this embankment was unregulated, there were several mills and tanners worked here. Since 1912, this embankment has had different names – Riegrovo, Reinhard Heydrich Ufer during World War II, Gottwaldovo, Tylovo since 1948, and Masarykovo since 1990.

Art Nouveau houses from the beginning of the 20th century are also located here.

Two houses of the same style that replaced two previous buildings in 1906-1907 are interesting. Descriptive house number 1648/36 and the corner house standing next to it, descriptive number 227/34 and On Struza 1.

Its facade is enriched by loggias, bay windows and balconies, some of which have decorative metal railings, as well as ledge beams decorated with owls and mascarons. The 4th floor has stucco decorations and the roof is mansard with dormers.

On the site of two houses torn down during the rehabilitation of 1903, another new house with descriptive number was built 224/32, which became the seat of the First Czech Insurance Bank. The decoration of the facade was thematically adapted to its focus. In the upper part of the main facade, there is a globe in a golden circle near the chimneys, and behind it, a hawk spreads its wings as an overseer and protector of the house and bank deposits. Below are statues of an old firebrand, as a symbol of danger, and a guardian angel.

Also house number descriptive 236/30 from architect Jan Brzák is decorated with a fresco. Its author was Ladislav Novák, who captured on it, in addition to water towels and Neptune, the course of work on the improvement of the embankment, which was transferred to the facade by architect František Sandtner. In the interwar period, the 1st floor of the building housed the Riviera cafe, which is referred to by an inscription in the wrought iron railing of the balcony.

An interesting entry relates to the house number descriptive 234/26, which was built by the architect Kamil Hilbert, who was an expert in the reconstruction of monuments and who also participated in the completion of the Cathedral of St. Welcome. He built this entrance for his brother, the writer Jaroslav. The entrance is equipped with an art nouveau grille, on its sides are two owls, and above it is a rather pleasant-looking mascaron representing the head of a waterfowl, surrounded by greenery. Under the lower window ledges of the 1st floor, closer to the door is a stylized catfish with a wide-eyed expression, and a little further away is a stylized moth.

Many well-known personalities lived on the Masaryk embankment, of which we can recall, for example, the actor Bohuš Záhorský and his actress wife Vlasta Fabiánová.

So, as you can see, there are houses on Prague’s embankments, in which the entire history of the 20th century is recorded, as well as the memories and beautiful years of important Czech personalities who lived here.

Sources: Praha krížem krážem.cz, Encyclopedia Praha 2.cz, Wikipedia, author’s text

The article is in Czech

Tags: moving history spirit famous Czech personalities Living heart Prague secrets


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