192 - A view of Havířská Street as seen from the Stavovské Theatre, looking towards Na Příkopě Street
The name of the street has nothing to do with mining (as the Czech meaning of the street name might indicate), but apparently arose as a corruption of a name or a nickname of one or other of the two owners of buildings in this street (Haller and Tobiáš, who both hailed from Kutná Hora, a famous mining town). The street arose through demolition of a part of the city fortification in approximately 1402. The fortification ran approximately along the line of Provaznická Street, behind the second building on the right. The fronts of the mediaeval buildings standing before them, faced Ovocný trh Square. The structures in the street are mostly Neo-Classical, with exception of the corner Baroque building on the right, No. 398. The opposite corner house U Modrého hroznu (The Blue Grapes), No. 580, was also Baroque, and in the 18th and 19th centuries housed a well-known café and wine-parlour frequented by patrons of the adjacent theatre who came here after the performance through a covered corridor linking the two buildings. After demolition of the house U Modrého hroznu a new building was constructed here in 1899. In the background we can see the Rococo Sylva-Tarouc Palace in Na Příkopě Street.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE AROUND 1910. Z. REACH, 1920s
193 - The interior of the Old Town Marketplace
It was on this site that food and all kinds of articles were sold in the open. Only increased hygienic demands of the 19th century, as well as technical developments (electricity, artificial refridgeration, heating, water mains, etc.) led to construction of covered market halls with all the appropriate facilities. The first market built by the City of Prague was erected in the public space between the new building complexes in Rytířská and Ovocná Streets in the years 1894-1897 at a cost of 2.7 million crowns. In the passage-like market hall accessible from both these streets were over 300 stalls located among cast iron columns supporting the glassed roof. Moving of the stallholders from the open air to the market hall was no easy matter. The stallholders, mostly women, were averse to the many novelties, not to speak of the fact that the rent for the market hall stalls was by no means negligible. However, eventually the spacious hall housed the majority of the open-air stallholders from Vaječný trh (The Egg Market) in Rytířská Street.
LACQUERED COLOURED COMBINED PRINT. D. KOSINER AND CO., 1907
194 - Rytířská Street
Rytířská Street between Uhelný trh and Ovocný trh Squares with the Stavovské Theatre in the background. The name of the street (the Street of Knights) was derived from the knightly tournaments documented for the first time in connection with the Czech coronation of Charles IV, and carried on still in the 18th century. Otherwise, the street was best known as a marketplace, one of the largest in Prague, with a number of stalls both in the street and under the arcades, full of hustle and bustle. The articles sold here included practically everything: both dead and live poultry, eggs, curds, butter, soups, doughnuts, coffee, etc. The whole pother ended here in 1897 with construction of the market hall inside the Neo-Renaissance administrative building designed by J. Fialka. The hefty five-storey structure was built on the site of four old houses, Nos. 405 to 408. Of the old buildings we can actually see only the first three buildings on the right, originally mediaeval, with arcades. The middle of the three buildings (No. 410) was from 1651 the domicile of the famous Baroque sculptor J. J. Bendl.
PHOTOTYPE. H. SEIBT, MEISSEN, AROUND 1898
195 - Rytířská (Knight) Street between the Stavovské Theatre and Uhelný trh Square
It was originally a part of the New Marketplace in the Havelská (St Gall) Quarter, founded in the 13th century and inhabited by German settlers. The Marketplace had an advantageous location between the Old and the New Towns, and its importance grew even more after Charles IV had ordered moving of the sale of some articles to this market from Staroměstské Square. The stalls in Rytířská Street offered such varied articles as cloth and fur, but also meat. After demolition of the stalls in 1891 the street saw construction of the City Savings Bank designed by O. Polívka and A. Wiehl, and built in the years 1892-1894 at the cost of 1.2 million crowns. Cecorations on and in the building were created by some of the leading sculptors and painters of the time. The originally three-storey structure (in the picture) was elevated in the 1930s by one more storey. On the right we can see a part of the former Carmelite Monastery, a Baroque building of 1671. In 1848 it housed the St Wenceslas Committee, the leading Czech political authority during the revolution of that year.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. LEDERER & POPPER, AROUND 1900
196 - A part of Rytířská (Knight) Street
Between Melantrichova and Na Můstku Streets, looking towards the Stavovské Theatre. Until the end of the 19th century this area was one of Prague’s busiest marketplaces. The stretch on the left side used to be called Husí trh, i.e. The Goose Market, as geese were sold here direct from the wagons (a decent half of a goose then cost one and a half guldens). In the area on the right side one could buy ironware and other kitchen utensils. On the left we can see the corner of the newly built City Savings Bank, on the opposite corner we can see the house U Modré růže (The Blue Rose), No. 403, with the originally Gothic tower which was a part of the Havelské Town fortification. The picture makes it obvious that most of the market people had already moved to the nearby market hall. The hustle and bustle and the usual haggling over prices were replaced by the a metropolitan image of carriages and pedestrians heading for Václavské Square.
PHOTOTYPE. E. SCHMIDT, DRESDEN - BUDAPEST, 1899
197 - Rytířská (Knight) Street with the Stavovské (Nosticovo) Theatre and the former St Gall Carmelite Monastery
The Stavovské Theatre was built in Neo-Classical style in the years 1781-1783 by A. Haffenecker. It was further adapted in the 19th and the 20th centuries. The Theatre was founded by count Nostic-Rieneck, a member of a group of patriotic Czech noblemen aiming to uplift Prague’s cultural life. The Theatre became famous thanks to its performances of W. A. Mozart: The Marriage of Figaro and the premiere of Don Giovanni in 1787. Language of the performances was prevalently German (until 1920), but at certain periods also Czech. Thus, e.g., in 1834 the Theatre saw a performance of J. K. Tyl’s comedy Fidlovačka to the music of F. Škroup, which included the future Czech national anthem Kde domov můj. The monastery building on the left was built in early Baroque style by D. Orsi and M. Lurago. On the right we can still see a few remaining stalls.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1900
198 - The northern side of Havelská Street (also called Zelený/Zelný trh)
The area is a part of the former marketplace of the Havelské Town. The street saw, among other things, the cheerful coronation of Wenceslas II on June 2, 1297 when wells yielded wine rather than the usual water. Another famous historical celebration took place here in connection with the coronation of Charles IV on September 2, 1347. After 1362 the original marketplace of Havelské Town was divided by small shops into two parallel streets, today’s Rytířská and Havelská (in the picture). The houses with Gothic arcades have retained their historical appearance until today, with exception of the corner house U Mrázů, No. 504 (on the right) which was in the 1920s insensitively reconstructed for purposes of the bank on the opposite corner. The Czech name of the market (Zelený or Zelný) means Green or Cabbage, with vegetables still being the chief article sold here today. Even though the picturesque sun-shades and the baskets of the market women belong to the past, the local marketplace remains the most popular marketplace in Prague.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1907
199 - The north-eastern side of Uhelný trh Square as seen from the intersection with Martinská Street
It is from here that we can best see how the original marketplace of Havelské Town gradually split - through erection of stalls and of two rows of buildings - into three streets: Rytířská, V Kotcích and Havelská. On the left the square intersects with Skořepka Street. Protruding in front of the intersection is building No. 424, with the café U Tří stupňů (The Three Grades) (see picture 201). Until the beginning of the 19th century there was a smithy in the middle of the Square which also sold charcoal - hence also the Czech name of the Square: Uhelný trh (The Coal Market). At the time of taking of the picture the articles sold here also included cut flowers and funeral wreaths. As in Ovocný trh, the Uhelný trh Square was also location of many refreshment stalls. Until the First World War you could obtain here a ladle of hot potatoes or noodles, a cupful of soup or a big doughnut, any of these for a mere two kreutzers.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1900
200 - The south-eastern side of Ovocný trh (The Fruit Market) Square
From the 14th century to the 18th century the Square was called Masný trh (The Meat Market) after the chief article sold here in this period. From the 18th century the market was reserved for sale of vegetables. It was open throughout the year, with the busiest time being obviously between spring and autumn. But even at times when no fresh local fruit was available, the stalls offered dates, figs, oranges, pressed appricots, nuts and many other fruits. The first buildings on the right, Nos. 576-574 (the last one with a passage to Na Příkopě Street), were demolished at the end of the 1920s. For a long time it remained empty, until in 1997 the commercial centre Myslbek was constructed here. The fourth building, No. 573, with the former hostel established in 1381 by Wenceslas IV for masters of the free arts, was also used as a passage to Na Příkopě Street, but was broader, with a number of small shops, especially furniture shops. This commercial passage, one of the first in Prague, was established in 1872. The next building with the broken gable housed, in the years 1539-1784, the Prague Mint.
PHOTOTYPE. PROBABLY E. ČÍŽEK, AROUND 1900
201 - The building with the Café U Tří stupňů (The Three Grades) in Uhelný trh Square, No. 424
It is the only building of the row of arcaded old buildings which lined the western side of the Square which is still extant. All the other buildings were demolished and on their site was constructed the residential building U Šturmů (on the left, on the corner of Skořepka Street), and in 1883 a school building (on the right). The Café, also called U Sester kafíčkových (The Coffee Sisters), was mostly frequented by greengrocers and other stallholders. A hefty cup of coffee with milk was offered at a price of 8 kreutzers, i.e. 16 hellers, at a time when, for instance, a stamp for a postcard cost 5 hellers. The second-hand clothing shop (next to the Café) certainly suffered from no dearth of customers. The market woman in the foreground is selling her products immediately from her basket. This postcard was used by the owner of the Café for publicity purposes.
PHOTOTYPE. UNIE PRAGUE, AROUND 1900
202 - The north-western side of Ovocný trh Square looking towards Celetná Street
The first two buildings on the left, Nos. 560 and 563, were in the 1960s reconstructed for use by Charles University. The fifth, five-storey building U České orlice (The Czech Eagle) was constructed in 1896 by F. Ohmann in an attempt to create a specific Czech architectural style combining elements of Gothic, Renaissance and Czech folk architecture. At the end of the row we can see the building U Zlaté mříže (The Golden Bar), No. 570, replaced in 1912 by Gočár’s Cubist building. In the background we can see the jagged wing of building No. 587 which, in the revolutionary year 1848, housed the headquarters of the ill-famed Austrian General Windischgrätz who suppressed the democratic rebellion. Interesting period details include the gas lamps lighting the shop windows on the right, as well as the stylish public convenience behind the sun-shades.
203 - The Church of St Gall (Havel in Czech) as seen from Zelný trh Square
The originally Gothic church was founded by Wenceslas I in 1232 as the parish church for the Havelské Town. Later the Church served as a grave for remains of St Gall acquired by Charles IV in St Gallen, Switzerland. The Baroque remodelling of the Church was carried out in 1723-1738. Unfortunately, the Neo- Renaissance building of the City Savings Bank built on the site of the former stalls partly obscures the view of the Church. The area in front of the Church, and the narrow lane along it, was in the 18th century covered by stalls, standing mostly in the arcades, and rented from their Christian owners by Jewish merchants from the ghetto. Due to the noise of their trading, the Jewish merchants had permanent conflicts with the Carmelites. This area was called the Jewish Tandlmarkt, to differentiate it from the Christian Tandlmarkt on the site of Zelný trh Square.
PHOTOTYPE. KOLEM 1900
204 - The courtyard of the Mühldorf House, No. 185, with a passage conecting Anenská and Karlova Streets
The original low-rise mediaeval structure was reconstructed many times over, as is attested by its current four storeys with its Neo-Classical front facing Karlova Street, and by its courtyard annexes with a porch and the large lunette windows. In contrast to the small windows of the main wing, these had the advantage of allowing more sunlight into the flats, certainly a fact welcomed by families with children who were tenants of this building. Apart from the posing family, we can also see omnipresent, practical two-wheeled carts. From 1902 the building was owned by the Jewish religious community which also established here a ritual mikve bath. In the period between the two world wars the Prague brewery Pragovar opened here the beerhouse U Rytíře Malvaze which until recently served many generations of students who came here from the nearby Klementinum Library.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1909
205 - The southern part of Husova Street from the Church of St Giles, looking towards Na Perštýně Street
Originally Dominikánská (Dominican) Street, it was renamed in 1870 after the church reformer Master John Huss. On the right we can see building No. 241 which, from the end of the 14th century, held the Archives of the Property Register of the Czech Kingdom. The third building on the right housed the German Technical University in Prague, while the Czech Technical University had its home in Charles Square. The corner building, No. 236, housed the Old Prague Pub called U Vocelků, renowned for its cuisine and good beer. The large shady garden was on Sundays the venue of afternoon and evening brass band concerts which diffused noise throughout the otherwise quiet environment.
206 - Betlemské (Bethlehem) Square looking west
In the middle we can see the bulky house U Halánků, No. 269, a former brewery plus malthouse owned from 1826 by the Náprstek family. V. Náprstek, a Czech patriot and traveller, inspired by technical progress in America, decided on his return from the U.S. in 1858 to found a Czech Industrial Museum. He used the building U Halánků for this purpose and also, in 1886, the newly-built four-storey building (in the background) designed by A. Baum and B. Münzberger. Later the Museum also included ethnographic and historic collections. In the Middle Ages the Square was the site of the Bethlehem Chapel used by John Huss for his preachings. The Chapel was demolished in 1784 and its remnants can be found in the building No. 255 (at the furthest right). In the 1950s, following demolition of both buildings on the right, the Chapel was reconstructed in a somewhat modified form.
207 - The northern part of Husova Street
Between the intersections with Karlova Street and Mariánské Square. On the right we can see the house U Hesínů, No. 154, with the exquisitely carved shop-window of the firm Raymann and Co. which had here a store for its linen and table-cloths. The Austrian Eagle with two heads, with the imperial crown and with winged lions on the sides, attests to the fact that this firm was an Imperial Royal Court supplier. The next building, the originally mediaeval house U Zlatého koníka (The Golden Horse), was remodelled in Neo-Classical style in 1804. Behind it stands one of the leading works of the Prague Baroque, the monumental Clam-Gallas Palace built in 1713-1729 by J. B. Fischer of Erlach. It was in fact a reconstruction, using remnants of the Gothic palace of the margrave John Henry, brother of Charles IV. The decoration, including the eight giants on both entrance portals, is the work of M. Braun. Currently the building houses the Prague City Archives, founded in 1851. The original location of the City Archives was in the northern wing of the Old Town Hall which burnt down during the anti-Nazi uprising in May 1945. While a great deal of the archive materials burned to ashes, the preserved documents were deposited in the Clam-Gallas Palace.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1899
208 - Seminářská Street
Meandering around the Klementinum complex to the right to Karlova Street. The name of the street was derived from the General Seminary for Priests founded in 1783 by Josef II in the Klementinum. Looking at the sunlit facades, we can see on the left in the shade a part of the Trauttmannsdorf House, No. 159, earmarked for demolition to provide the Seminary standing on the opposite side of the street with more light. Fortunately, the plan was never realised. The following building, the little Nostic House, also called U Černé hvězdy (The Black Star), No. 177, is a Renaissance structure with exquisite sgraffiti on the front. The street continues with building No. 176 with a Baroque front, followed by the house U Zlaté studně (The Golden Well) with Baroque porches on brackets, a bay and two gables. In 1900 the City Electric Transportation Company intended to include even this narrow lane in the tram network. However, the protests of experts and of the Club for Old Prague, prevented this plan from materialising.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1909
209 - The house U Zlaté studně (The Golden Well), No. 175
On the corner of Karlova and Seminářská Streets. The name of the house was apparently derived from a legend about gold treasure hidden in the local well. The facade of the originally mediaeval house is remarkable thanks to its Baroque stucco decoration by J. O. Mayer dating from the beginning of the 17th century. The front relief shows altogether seven saints, including St Rochus, the patron saint of plague sufferers (on the right above the shop window). St Rochus apparently owes his inclusion among the saints to the fact that the house owner, J. Wersser, and his wife survived the plague epidemic of 1714. Due to the decrepit state of the house, it underwent a partial renovation in 1957 during which the shop window was removed. The structure returned to its original beauty only in 1987 when the fourth storey was completely rebuilt. The building was connected with the adjacent building in Seminářská Street which had to be rebuilt too. Karlova Street (on the right), although narrow and meandering, used to be one of the most important and busy streets of Prague, a part of the Royal Coronation Route, and a part of routes for other processions between Staroměstské Square and the Castle.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE AROUND 1910. Z. REACH, 1920s
210 - A view of the intersection of Jilská and Jalovcová and Karlova Street
A view of the intersection of Jilská (on the right) and Jalovcová (on the left) and the little Karlova Street in the background. This is how the final stretch of Karlova Streets between Husova Street and Malé Square, a part of which we can see behind the group of buildings in the middle, was popularly known. The little Karlova Street runs a somewhat complicated course in this area. It starts behind the first building on the left, it turns into the above-described stretch, and finally ends in Malé Square (in the background on the right). Jilská (St Giles) Street is so called after the nearby Church of St Giles of the 14th century, belonging to the Dominican Monastery. The first house on the left, U Kočků, No. 147, originally Gothic with a Romanesque core, a wonderful Baroque front and portal, was owned around the year 1700 by I. Bull, the administrator of tobacco production in Bohemia. The opposite building, U Velryby (The Whale), No. 453, used to house the Czech People’s Bookshop, including a secondhand bookshop, and the publishing house of J. Springer which specialised in musical literature.
PHOTOTYPE. AROUND 1900
211 - The little Karlova Street, looking towards Jilská Street
The narrow lane was part of the Royal Coronation Route. It used to be one of the busiest Old Town streets with a large number of shops. On the left we can see the above-mentioned house U Hesínů, housing the shop of Raymann and Company, and beyond it building No. 152. Further, we can see building No. 149 with its three dormer-windows in the gable. It arose through linking of two Gothic houses and by their Neo-Renaissance remodelling in around 1600. It has a beautiful courtyard with Renaissance arcades, and with Renaissance and Baroque ceilings in some rooms. On the building we can see the circular-shaped advertisement for jackets manufactured by the Dejl Company. Beyond it is No. 146, whose corner can be seen in picture 210. This building housed the umbrella shop of J. Morgenstern. On the right we can see the house U Panny Marie Pomocné (Our Lady of Succour) of the 14th century, with a facade remodelled in Neo-Classical style, and with the clothing shop of J. Löbl. The shop windows have their own electric lighting. The first shop on the left has only the metal holders on which the lights are yet to be fixed.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE AROUND 1912. Z. REACH, 1920s
212 - Křižovnické (Knights of the Cross) Square as seen from the Old Town Bridge Tower
Its present appearance dates back to 1849 when the statue of Charles IV was erected here at a cost of 60 thousand guldens (acquired through public collection). The dominant structure of the Square is the domed St Francis Seraphinus Church of the Knights of the Cross, built between 1679 and 1688 to the plans of the French architect J. B. Mathey. The Church is a part of the Monastery of the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star, the only purely Czech order, founded by St Agnes of Bohemia in the 13th century. In the middle we can see an entrance to the Klementinum, next to it the Church of St Salvator, founded in 1578 by the Jesuits. The Early Baroque front of the Church was finished in 1601. The entrance portico is most probably the work of C. Lurago, the statues on the front were created by J. J. Bendl. In the background we can see an electric tram passing from the National Theatre to Linhartské Square, while the horse-drawn tram in the opposite direction is heading for the Charles Bridge.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. 1905
213 - The Old Town Mills and Waterworks with Novotného lávka (Novotný Bridge) (on the left) and the Karlovy (Charles) Baths
The access bridge is so named after an old Prague family of millers. Mills stood in this place from time immemorial, and in the 15th century a water tower was added (in the middle). The water ran from the tower through a wooden pipe-line to public fountains. The buildings in the picture were built later, after two large fires in 1848 and 1878. On the left we can see the Waterworks, No. 201, built by A. Wiehl in 1883 on the site of a burnt-out mill in the Czech Neo-Renaissance style. Another building on the site of the Mills, No. 200, also dates back to the end of the 19th century. The Waterworks was closed in 1913, following construction of a water main bringing water from Kárané. The buildings to the right of the tower, standing along Poštovská Street, Nos. 198-194, were constructed after 1848. The middle double building housed, until the 1970s, the Karlovy Baths. The new building (at the time of taking of this picture on the right), new No. 206, was built after 1896 on the site of three older buildings.
214 - The first Prague embankment, the Franz Embankment
Was constructed after demolition of old buildings in the period 1841-1843. After Na Příkopě and Ferdinandova Streets, this was the third Prague promenade, affording a new, intriguing view of the Hradčany Castle. The Neo-Gothic statue with the equestrian statue of Emperor Franz I was erected at the expense of the Czech Estates. The foundation stone was laid in August 1845 on occasion of the arrival of the first train in Prague. The statue has a shape of a Gothic tower with the bronze statue, created to the model of J. Max, inserted into it. In the lower part of the statue, which serves as a fountain, we can see 25 allegorical stone statues by the same sculptor. In 1919, after the Czech Declaration of Independence, this pro-Austrian statue was moved to the Lapidarium of the National Museum, while a part of the original monument still adorns the Embankment. The buildings in the picture are Neo-Classical. Electric trams started to operate on the Embankment in 1901.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. 1901
215 - The last journey of a horse-drawn tram
From Křížovnické Square over Charles Bridge to the Lesser Town on May 13, 1905. In front of the white horses drawing the festively decorated car full of passengers went a policeman, behind the carriage a numerous crowd of Prague locals. After that horse-drawn trams were replaced by electric trams with special electric mains providing power from below (see the caption to picture 38), because conservation considerations ruled out erection of columns for electric trolley wires. Humorous periodicals then suggested that the wires could be fixed to the throats of the stone saints on the Bridge. A humorous postcard illustrating this idea was even published. At any rate, the supply of electricity from below led to many problems and, following intervention of the General Inspectorate of the Austrian Railways, the trams were withdrawn from Charles Bridge for good after three years of operation, even though the trackage remained here till 1914. In the picture, behind the horse-drawn car, we can see electric trolley wires leading to both routes connecting Křižovnické Square and the Franz Embankment. It is a little curious that the optician J. Šebek anounces in his advertisement (next to one of the thoroughfares) that he has at his disposal his own home telegraph.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE 1905. Z. REACH, 1920s
217 - The garden restaurant on Střelecký ostrov (Fusilier Island)
It offered a place of repose in the midst of nature and in the shade of trees in the very heart of Prague. The music pavilion in the background hosted a military band every day. In some restaurants it was usual to print the programme on the back of postcards which could be posted by the visitors during the concert. The name of the Island is fitting as it has always been used for shooting (first with bows, later with rifles). However, the Island was also the site of mills, and for some time it was used for growing hops. Prague’s marksmen began to use the Island under Emperor Ferdinand I, and in 1742 they acquired the Island which became their property. In 1812 they opened a new shooting range and an inn. The shooters here also included - during their Prague stays - Emperor Franz Josef I and the Crown Prince Rudolf. In 1882 the Island hosted the first grand Sokol Rally. The Island was also sought out by workers’ organizations for their celebrations - thus it hosted the first May day celebrations in Bohemia in 1890. The Island also had its own baths and a swimming pool. Information on the entrance fees appears on the board fixed to the tree.
PHOTOTYPE. E. JÍLOVSKÝ, 1916
218 - A bird’s-eye view of the former Convent of St Anna
Between Anenské Square (on the left) and Liliová Street (behind the Church). However, the picture is not necessarily quite true to reality. The Convent, No. 211, was founded as a Templar monastery in the 13th century. From 1313 it housed nuns belonging to the Convent of St Dominic, whose spiritual needs were met by the new Gothic red-brick Church of St Anna (in the picture without the tower which was removed in 1870). Following closure of the Convent and the Church, the buildings were bought in 1795 by the printer Schönfeld. He quickly became rich through publication of official gazettes in both German and Czech from 1786, and so he could devote himself to his passion - collecting antiques. From 1835 the buildings housed the printing firm of B. Haas, which also owned the adjacent building No. 948 (with the chimney) which housed a part of the printing office and a storehouse.
PHOTOGRAVURE. PROBABLY AFTER A WATER-COLOUR OR GOUACHE FROM AROUND 1900. PUBLISHED AFTER 1910
219 - The Emperor Franz Chain Bridge connecting Ferdinandova Street via the Střelecký Island with Chotkova Street
It was built in the years 1839-1841 by V. Lanna to the plans of B. Schnirch. Until then Prague had only one bridge - Charles Bridge. The chain bridge had five quarry-stone pillars, it was borne by four chains on either side, and the bridge decking and railing were wooden. Built at the cost of 333 thousand guldens, it was no doubt elegant, but its unstable construction led to swaying, and it could not be used by the horse-drawn trams. The passengers had to get off at the National Theatre, cross the Bridge on foot, and continue on the other side by taking another tram. At the same time the crossing of the Bridge was mercilessly taxed at 1 kreutzer (no bridge toll was collected on Charles Bridge). As early as 1870 experts aired their objections to the lack of safety of the Bridge, its use was gradually limited, and finally in 1898 it was removed.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. AROUND 1896
220 - A temporary bridge
A temporary bridge, serving during construction of the new Emperor Franz Bridge in the years 1898-1901, as seen from the Old Town side. The wooden bridge was constructed, thanks to the famed workmanship of Prague carpenters, in a mere 4 months, 33 metres streamwards from the old bridge, at the cost of 260,000 crowns. It was 343 metres long, 7.3 metres wide and consisted of 17 sections. How thoughtful and frugal the project was, is attested by the fact that the axis of the bridge was determined in a way that would prevent any damage to the verdour on both Střelecký Island and the embankment. Its construction, moreover, was carried out with the intention of moving the whole bridge to the Quarter of Libeň after it had met its purpose. It was dismantled in 1902, and from 1903 it connected, after being extended by 57 metres (at the cost of 360,000 crowns), the quarters of Libeň and Holešovice. This wooden bridge served this purpose until construction of the present stone bridge in the 1920s.
221 - The Emperor Franz Bridge
Not the Franz Josef I Bridge as it says by mistake on the postcard, made of stone (nowadays Most Legií, i.e. the Bridge of Legions), as seen from Chotkova Road. It was built in 1898-1901 on the site of the original chain bridge (see picture 219) by the Hungarian company Gregersen and Son, to the designs of A. Balšánek. The pillars began to be built under the old bridge, as the new temporary bridge nearby was not yet completed. It was only after completion and opening of the temporary bridge and after removal of the old chain bridge that the building of the new bridge could continue. The Bridge has 10 pillars and 9 vault sections, is 343 metres long and 16.4 metres wide. The total cost of the construction amounted to 3.9 million crowns. The opening of the Bridge in 1901 occurred in the presence of Emperor Franz Josef I himself. Thanks to an ambiguous newspaper caption under a picture showing the Emperor on a walk across the bridge, referring to this activity as Procházka (meaning a walk, but at the same time one of the most frequent Czech surnames), the irreverent Prague people nicknamed the ruler old Procházka. On the sides we can see the stone huts of the bridge toll collectors.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. F. J. JEDLIČKA, AROUND 1902
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