WenceslasSquare, originally called Horse Marketwas establishedwith the formation of the New Town in the middle of 14th century. Today it is the main center of Prague, actually only one true
Prague boulevard, 750 meterslong withwide tree-linedsidewalkspaved with Praguecubes(the technical term) assembledintomosaics, the center of Prague’s business, entertainment, social andpolitical life, gathering place for populationduring importanthistorical events.It is notworth to describe WenceslasSquare on the „Prague unknown“ elaborately, butI focusedon the detailsof interestingbuildings, interiors of buildings andarcades,justaboutpecularities that we oftenpass by, butdo not noticethem.
One of theremarkable landmarks ofWenceslasSquare is amulti-functionalcomplex of threebuildingsthat make upthe corner ofWenceslasSquare and Stepanska Street – St. Stephen’sStreet. These houses werebuilt between1912-1916designed bya leading architect ofthe Art Nouveau periodandcubismEmilKralicek, who was designing under the auspices of Matej Blecha´s construction company. That was the reason, why it took a longer time to attribute his designs tohim (either theauthor was featured as unknownorhis workswere attributedto otherarchitects). This complex of buildingsis often referred asSupich´shouses. This structureis characterized bya mixture ofgeometricmodernismwith elements ofcubism,whichwe canseeon thestrikingfacade.In contrastto the outer facade the courtyard facade is verymodest.From the outside,the buildingshavebrutalistimpression andwe feel thatthose buildingscould have beenbuiltat the timeinNewYork.Within ablockyou’ll find extensivesystemof passages – the Rococo passageinclinedtogeometricmodern, especiallyitsover-archingglassdomes, whilethe Lucerna passagewas built in at that time disappearing art noveau style.
HotelYaltawasbuilt in 1958, designed by AntoninTenzerin the latesocialistrealism ( also called as Stalin gothic) style with the influence offunctionalism. Not socialistornament buttastefulgeometricshapes were used for Socialist realism architectural style in itslatestage. Design of the building is of the highest quality. A unique feature isits ownfallout shelter, secretlyhiddeninsecond basementwith thickwalls, which shouldprevent thepenetration ofradioactivity.
At theend of the 19thcenturyNew Townbecame the center ofthe newly developingcity.Butthe foundation ofitsmedievalstreetscan not be sufficed for the needs ofa modernmetropolisandthe demands forthe growingbusiness network.ThusPrague phenomenon arose–shopping passages, whichallowed creationof newshops, restaurants, cafes andentertainment venueswithout additionalstreetspace.
At the corner ofof WenceslasSquare andVodickova Streetyou will finda strikingbuilding. Onthe site was originallyan ancient housewith a brewerywhichwasdemolished by architectAntoninWiehl, whowasironicallya functionary ofmanymonument institutions. However, in 1895-96 he built as compensation oneof the most beautifulhousesof the Czech renaissancewith richgenre painting of MikolasAlesand JosefFanta. The painting represents thelife cycleof a wealthy merchant. AntoninWiehl donated his house toCzechAcademyof Sciences, DocumentsandArts.
Representational neo-baroquepalace of Italian insurance company Assecurazioni Generali designed by architectsFriedrichOhmannand OsvaldPolivkawas builtin 1896. The insurance companywas based here untilWW2.
And just around the cornera different world–a quiet Franciscangardeninvitingyou to relaxwitha view of theCathedral of OurLady of the Snowsand thecomplex of the formerFranciscanmonastery.Church of OurLady of the Snowswas founded bythe RomanEmperorandCzech King CharlesIV. in 1347as a templefor theintendedcoronation. The churchshould begreaterthanthe St.Vitus Cathedral itself – 100mlong with the height of the ship of 40 meters. However the implementation ofa boldprojectwas interruptedby the Hussite wars and onlythe presbytery was implemented. Eventhe size of presbytery, however, can demonstrate you howmagnificentthe church hadto be.
Answer tothe question concerningthepicture of HotelJalta: staircasein a residentialarea of the hotel