After several years, the reconstructed lower part of Wenceslas Square received a ceremonial ribbon cutting, which is an imaginary point behind the first stage of the reconstruction of the entire square. There were added trees, benches, a fountain and also a drinking fountain. The second phase of the reconstruction will return the trams to the square and make pedestrian movement in the city center more pleasant. The ribbon-cutting ceremony in heavy rain was also complemented by the opening of an exhibition about the history of Wenceslas Square, the author of which is Ondřej Šefců. The exhibition is located in the lower part of the square and on several panels with historical photographs it shows, for example, what changes it has undergone, how the construction of the metro was carried out, and also several points of interest.
“Václavské náměstí is now a new and beautiful urban space, an urban boulevard with new paving, avenues of linden trees and also a water feature. I think that this space really deserves it and I thank everyone who has participated in it over the years, I believe that this space will serve all the citizens of Prague well”, said Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) at the symbolic opening of this space. Together with him, Adam Scheinherr (Praha Sobě) and Petr Hlaváček (STAN) cut the ribbon. In his speech, Hlaváček appreciated, among other things, the addition of approximately fifty linden trees. Scheinherr then talked about plans for a tram line to return here within the next three years. Ideally, this should connect the line leading from the main railway station, through the Muzeum station and Wenceslas square to Náměstí republiky via Na příkopě street.
Almost 17 years of waiting
Its architect Jakub Ciegler also spoke about the reconstruction. whose office has been engaged in reconstruction since 2005, when they won the competition. He also mentioned the tram connection in his speech, saying that he hopes that future political representations will remain in agreement that trams belong here. For lightning he then described in more detail, why the reconstruction took almost 17 years: “An entire book could be written about it, it is proof of how difficult it is nowadays to get political agreement on something. Each political representation has a different opinion on different things, while, for example, whether a tram should run somewhere is, in my opinion, more a question for experts than for politicians. In short, it is necessary to convince a number of people about a number of important things, and this costs a lot of time“. The current city management started the construction itself in 2020, just before the start of the pandemic.
The lower part of the square is now more pedestrian-friendly, it is wider and the new avenue will ensure lower temperatures in the summer, thanks to the humidity and shade from the trees. The fountain is especially popular among children, which shoots water at ground level, so you can enter it and in hot weather it is a target for children who can frolic in it. The revitalization cost 347 million crowns.
The fountain in the lower part of Wenceslas Square is a place to refresh yourself not only in summer Jan Dařílek
Visualization of the planned changes to Wenceslas Square in Prague.
By Cigler Marani Architects