233 - The Spanish Synagogue and the Church of the Holy Spirit
The picture was taken after the demolition of most of the buildings which stood to the north of the Church between Cikánská Street(on the right) and Dušní Street (on the left in front of the synagogue). Also depicted is the as yet undemolished area around the Old school, which was situated behind the synagogue and covered a square area of approximately 80 × 90 metres. These houses were demolished mostly in 1912. The Church of the Holy Spirit is surrounded by small houses, Nos. 891-893, which were administratively a part of the Old Town. Originally, the houses lined Střelní Street (see picture 229). These houses were demolished in 1914 and, while new streets and houses were built in the surroundings, the Church remained solitary.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. D. KOSINER & CO., 1912
258 - Demolition works in the central part of the former ghetto
As viewed from Josefovská Street towards the north. We can see the wide, empty space where Mikulášská Street was later to be built and which was wrangled over by the property developers. In the street running crossways, Josefovská, we can see the demolition of the block between Rabínská Street (on the left, just off the picture) and Šmilesova (it ran on the right where the new street was built). In the foreground there are three extant old houses, in various stages of demolition, Nos. 98, 104 and 105. Behind them runs the narrow V Kolnách Lane (from the 19th century it resembled a courtyard, rather than a street) which was blocked in the south by No. 104. V Kolnách Lane was accessible from the north through the vaulted passage of house No. 103, which was already demolished. On the left we can see the small tower of the Jewish Town Hall projecting, and to the right there are the ridge roofs of the high and Old-New Synagogues. In the background on the right of it there is the Cikánova Synagogue with its high windows.
259 - The first stage of the demolition works of 1896-1898
Hit the area neighbouring Staroměstské Square in the south. It was this area that saw rise of pride of the new construction, the future Mikulášská Street, with its spectacular buildings. Nos. 935 and 934 in Staroměstské Square were demolished first. Their side facades were turned to Meislova Street. Next, the Benedictine Monastery and Jáchymova, Meislova and Kostečná Streets were demolished. The picture shows the demolished Kostečná, in front of the St Salvator Church. In the middle we can see a building (originally a wall) which is a part of the Pauline Monastery. Two palaces belonging to Bassevi in Meislova Street originally stood to the right of that building. The picture was taken after most of the buildings in the block between Jáchymova and Josefovská Streets had been pulled down.
PHOTOTYPE. PICTURE 1896. K. BELLMANN, 1897
260 - A view of Janské Square and the remaining parts of the Jewish Town from Letná
In the south of the Jewish Town we can observe new, high buildings, erected at the beginning of the 20th century. In the background there is the first half of Mikulášská Street. The second half was built later, starting from Velkodvorská (Grand Court) Synagogue (the building with high windows), and then running to the north and leading into the former Janské Square (we can see it in the middle of the picture). The Square is separated from the river by a newly-built wall (see picture No. 138).
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1904
261 -This picture illustrates the first stage of the demolition works in the ghetto between 1896 and 1898
We can see the ruins of the original Meislova Street and the Benedictine Monastery behind St Nicholas Church. The demolition works advanced selectively - some buildings were often left standing. In the foreground, curiously towering from among the ruins, we can see the small former customs house, No. 277, with an open staircase (this is where the excise tax on food was collected), while the opposite two palaces belonging to Bassevi, Nos. 73 and 74, had been demolished. The houses on the very left, Nos. 72 and 71, were pulled down as late as in 1898.
262 - A view of the Velkodvorská (Grand Court) Synagogue, also called the Bassevi Synagogue
It was founded by the banker J. Bassevi and built some time after 1627 in the Baroque style. The author of the design is unknown. It was last reconstructed in the 1880s when the facade was decorated in the Moorish style. The synagogue stood on the corner of the former Rabínská Street (on the right) and the narrow Masařská Atreet (on the left). Masařská (Meat) Street took its name from Jewish butchery stores. Clearance of Rabínská Street created space for construction of the future Mikulášská Street. This picture is a close-up of the demolition works around the synagogue (compare picture 260). The remaining buildings were demolished in 1906 and Mikulášská was then completed, running from Staroměstské Square around the synagogue and further to the river bank.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE 1903. Z. REACH, 1920s
263 - The Jewish General Hospital, No. 248
It was accessible via a cul-de-sac originating in Rabínská Street, opposite the Jewish Town Hall (see picture 267). The hospital was situated inside a block on the eastern margin of the Jewish cemetery. It was the only building in the block in the south-eastern part of the Cemetery which was left standing after the 1905-1907 phase of demolition works. The surrounding buildings in the picture are newly built - we can see the back facade of house new No. 38 in present-day Maiselova Street (on the left), new No. 37 on the corner of Maiselova and Široká Streets, and the building of the Jewish Burial Society (behind the hospital), No. 36, in present-day Široká Street. On the very right, in the back, also in Široká, stand houses new Nos. 25 and 24. The hospital was demolished in 1917, and an appartment block, designed by B. Hypšman, was built on its ruins between 1928 and 1929.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE 1903. Z. REACH, 1920s
264 - The central part of Rabínská Street as seen towards the north
On the right we can see a part of an annex of the Old-New Synagogue. In the middle, there is a large Renaissance (originally Gothic) house on the corner of Rabínská and Červená Streets, No. 220. It belonged to the Wedeles family (A. Š. Spira-Wedeles was the Chief Rabbi between 1640 and 1689). When the picture was taken, the house was deserted, as was the pub in the building, which belonged to F. Astel. The person holding the rod assists the marking out of the route of Maiselova Street. The house with a white side wall in the background, No. 199, facing the Velkodvorská Synagogue, is standing right in the axis of the future Mikulášská Street. Its demolition took place in 1902. The houses on the right side of the street were demolished between 1902 and 1903, those on the left were pulled down two years later.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE 1902. Z. REACH, 1920s
265 - A view of the Baroque Cikánova Synagogue
It was founded by (and named after) Solomon Cikán at the beginning of the 17th century. It was one of the tallest buildings in the ghetto. Like the Meisl (Maisel) Synagogue it was built as part of a block of houses, but its triangle gable projected far above the roofs of the other buildings between Cikánská and Rabínská Streets. Houses Nos. 213, 215 and 217, which originally stood before the western front of the synagogue, were demolished before this picture was painted. This opened the view of the synagogue from Rabínská Street (in the foreground of the picture). The eastern part of Mikulášská Street later ran along the wooden fence (see picture 258). As the synagogue was not found interesting from an architectural point of view, it was demolished in 1906. Houses new Nos. 131 and 132, in the newly built block between Pařížská and E. Krásnohorské Streets, were built on its site.
FOUR-COLOUR AUTOTYPE. AFTER AN OIL-PAINTING BY J. MINAŘÍK, AROUND 1905, F. J. JEDLIČKA, 1915
266 - The western facade of the Church of the Holy Spirit with a vista of the southern part of Střelná Street
The Church was erected in the third quarter of the 14th century in the Gothic style. After the fire of 1689, parts of it were rebuilt in the Baroque style. It was surrounded by small houses, some of which were leaning directly against the walls of the Church. During the demolition works, all extensions added to this building (as well as to the Church of St Salvator and the Church of St Castullus) were demolished with the intention of uncovering the pure structure. The painter was standing at quite a distance from the building - this was possible as practically all houses in Kostelní Street had been destroyed. However, the houses behind the Church (see picture No. 233) and house No. 890, U Šišlingů (in the background, behind the tree), were still awaiting their demolition. The new houses built after the slum clearances were built apart from the Church.
267 - The northern part of Špitální Lane
Which was a cul-de-sac originating in Rabínská Street opposite the Jewish Town Hall, and leading to the Jewish General Hospital (see picture 263). It could be seen thanks to the fact that its southern part had already been demolished. The back of house No. 255 (on the left) served as a private Talmudic school for poor children. The Renaissance arcades we can see on the first floor were originally built on all the storeys. Until recently the area in the foreground of the picture was covered with houses Nos. 256, 258 and 261, as well as the rest of the block as far as Josefovská Street. On the right, in Rabínská Street, we can see that by the demolition of No. 253, the clearance advanced to the proximity of the Jewish Town Hall.
FOUR-COLOUR AUTOTYPE. AFTER AN OIL-PAINTING BY J. MINAŘÍK, AROUND 1906. F. J. JEDLIČKA, 1915
268 - The eastern side of Mikulášská Street
The picture shows progress of the demolition works, starting from Staroměstské Square and moving to the centre of the ghetto. While the southern end of Mikulášská Street had been finished, in the background we can see the route of Mikulášská, still blocked by the original buildings of the northern side of Josefovská Street. There we can see No. 127 on the corner of Šmilesova Street, and parts of No. 105 (on the left) and No. 126 (on the right) - see picture No. 246. These buildings were demolished in 1903 and only then could the construction of Mikulášská continue in the northern direction. The western side of Milulášská had already been built as far as present-day Jáchymova Street, as indicated by its shadow. The two eastern blocks of new buildings, separated from each other by the new Kostečná Street, are dominated by the impressive house of Mr Schier, No. 934, which was the first house constructed on the ruins, built to the design of R. Kříženecký between 1896 and 1897. In 1945, during the Prague Anti-Nazi uprising, house No. 934 was badly damaged, and during the subsequent restoration the tower and the top floor were removed.
PHOTOTYPE. F. J. JEDLIČKA, 1903
269 - A view of Mikulášská Street from Staroměstské Square to Letná, no longer obstructed by the old buildings
In the background two houses on both corners of Široká Street are nearing completion, while the last part of Mikulášská Street is still under construction. On the right, in the ground floor of the Schier House, there are shops which have been open for five years. Next to the Church, there is a Neo-Baroque house, new No. 1073, built to the design of J. Koula. The next three houses are in the Art Nouveau style. The new No. 1075, which was built by the construction firm of M. Blecha and decorated by K. Novák and C. Klouček, is exceptionally impressive. While the street was under construction, it was called Asanační (i.e. Clearance Street). In 1901, it was given its first official name - Mikulášská - in honour of the Russian Tzar Nicholas II (Mikuláš in Czech). It is interesting that the name was not changed during the First World War, although the two empires - Russia and Austria-Hungary - were at war. In 1926 the name of the street was changed to Pařížská.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. AROUND 1905
270 - The appartment block, new No. 128, on the eastern side of Mikulášská Street
The buildings on the street show different styles used by Prague architects at the turn of the century. Between 1896 and 1910 dozens of appartment blocks were built, featuring elements of the Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Art Nouveau. The modern Art Nouveau was often combined with older styles. The new Nos.128, 129 and 127 were built to the design of A. Dlabač by E. Dvořák between 1905 and 1907. The building No. 128 was reconstructed in the second half of the 1990s.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. 1907
271 - The eastern side of Mikulášská, featuring the Old-New Synagogue
Organisers of the clearance project were proud of creating such a wide boulevard, which ran across the whole Jewish ghetto. Houses in the street were intended to offer above-standard, comfortable and healthy accommodation, which they did. However, not all architectural solutions in these buildings were quite felicitous. The picture shows houses, new Nos. 130-125, in the block between the present-day streets Bílkova (on the left, just off the picture) and Široká. The first four houses were built between 1905 and 1907 by E. Dvořák to the design of A. Dlabač (see picture 270), and the fifth house, on the corner, was built in 1906 by M. Blecha to the design of J. Justich. A small park with a statue of a kneeling Moses by F. Bílek was later created in the area north of the Old-New Synagogue. Behind the synagogue, on the left, there is a tower of the corner house, new No. 98, which resembles a romantic castle. On the right, there is the former Rabínská Street, today called Maiselova.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. UNIE-VILÍM, AROUND 1910
272 - A view of Mikulášská Street towards Staroměstské Square
The two blocks of houses (excepting the new Nos. 934 and 935) were built in the first stage of post-demolition building after 1900. The Neo-Baroque structure, new No. 120, on the corner of Kostečná Street (on the left), was built by A. Dlabač. Two Art Nouveau houses with some Gothic and Renaissance elements - the new No. 1068 on the other corner of Kostečná, and the new No. 1076 with towers, balconies and bays on the corner of Jáchymova Street - were built by J. Vejrych. The Art Nouveau building, new No. 67 on the right, was built by A. Makovec in 1904. In the following year, there was another house built next to it (not yet in the picture), on the other corner of Jáchymova, which served as the headquarters of the Merkur Association. It was designed by J. Vejrych.
PHOTOTYPE. AROUND 1904
273 - Facade of the enlarged Jewish Town Hall in the former Rabínská Street
The Renaissance building was built by Mordechai Meisl and in 1763 it acquired its present-day appearance when it was reconstructed in the Late Baroque style. It was preserved during the slum clearances and in 1908 an extension was added with Baroque elements of the original Town Hall. The photographer could take the picture only after the demolition of the western part of Rabínská Street in 1906 and 1907. On the left, there is the Old-New Synagogue, and beyond is one of the spectacular houses of the new boulevard - Mikulášská.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE AROUND 1908, PHOTOGRAPHER A. BAYER. MONOPOL, AROUND 1910
274 - A panoramic view of the Vltava bank
From Letná which shows the architectural changes to the area during the busy construction works. Behind the Rudolfinum there is already the grammar school with a round corner tower, built in 1902. In the middle of the picture, there are two new frontal houses in Mikulášská Street, and we can also see a construction of the Svatopluk Čech Bridge. The wall along the river runs all the way to the Na Františku Quarter, where construction activities still continue. The picture highlights a contrast between the newly built high houses in the western part of Mikulášská Street, and the still extant little island of the low houses of the ghetto between Mikulášská and Museum of Decorative Arts. This block of old houses, between Hampejská and Břehová Streets, was demolished in 1909, in one of the last stages of the clearance.
PART OF A SEVEN-PART POSTCARD. PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1908
275 - Laying of the last stone of the Svatopluk Čech Bridge below Letná
It is a typical documentary postcard featuring a celebration attended by the Emperor Franz Josef I. We see him surrounded by Prague notables wearing frock coats and top hats. The Emperor can be seen standing in a festive marquee decorated with his initials and the two-headed Austrian eagle. The Bridge connected newly built Mikulášská Street with the road running below Letná, built prior to 1900, and further with Holešovice (see picture No.276). In the oval portrait on the left is the photographer. We only know his initials - Th. H. On May 10, 1907, he wrote to Miss L. Bílá: I’m sending you my photograph, taken at laying of the last stone of the bridge. Did you fix up that studio? I have moved and now live in 36 Mikulášská.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PHOTOGRAPHER TH.H. 1907
276 - Spectacular Art Nouveau Svatopluk Čech Bridge
Was built between 1905 and 1908 as an extension of Mikulášská Street. The view from Letná shows its impressive architecture and the statues of the Victories on high, slender columns. The Bridge and Mikulášská form a unified and architecturally homogenous whole. In the foreground we can see (using a magnifying glass) a little known feature of the bridge: logs of hard wood, which were originally used for the paving of the road. The logs wore out quickly and so they were soon replaced by a layer of asphalt. Immediately after completion of the Bridge tram tracks were quickly laid down. The first tram was No. 5 - it ran to Královská Obora.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. LEDERER & POPPER, AROUND 1910
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