496 - A view of Hybernská Street with the Powder Tower in the background
On the northern side of the street we can see the exquisite fronts of two Late Baroque palaces of Count Sweets-Sporck (see picture 497), and behind them the somewhat monotonous facade of the Customs’ Office (the former Hibernian monastery with its church). The left row of buildings begins with the Vrtbovský Palace, No. 1002, and continues with the narrow structure No. 1001 which was in 1900 replaced by the Hotel Central, one of the first Art Nouveau buildings in Prague, by F. Ohmann. The grand hall of the Hotel housed from 1918 the popular cabaret The Red Seven, and from the late 1920s also the chamber theatre. Another of the original buildings, No. 1000, disappeared from the city scene: in 1898 it was replaced by a monumental residential and office building.
PHOTOTYPE. ABOUT 1897
497 - A more detailed view of the two palaces of Count Sweets-Sporck
On the left we can see the three-storey building No. 1036 with two portals. It was built in approximately 1780 through a reconstruction of the original 17th century palace. Later the front was decorated with Neo-Classical elements. The next one-storey building, No. 1034, was constructed in the year 1790 and designed by I. J. Palliardi. From around 1900 it housed the English-Austrian Bank. The architect I. Gočár carried out an overall reconstruction of the Palace in 1923-1925 for the successor English-Czechoslovak Bank, elevating the rear wing with a modern extension. The statues decorating both buildings were created by I. Platzer junior. On the ground floor of the lower structure we can see the office of the Hamburg-Amerika linie which provided tickets for ships from Hamburg to the American continent. At the furthest right we can see a part of the originally Early Baroque palace remodelled in Neo-Classical style in 1798 by F. Heger. It was in this building that in 1912, in the presence of Lenin, the foundation of the Russian Bolshevik Party took place following a split from the Social Democratic Party.
PHOTOTYPE. AROUND 1906
498 - The beginning of Hybernská Street close to the Powder Tower
On the right we can see the long front of the Customs’ Office with a passage through a large courtyard to Poříčská Street (see the western front of the Customs’ Office in picture 284). On the left there is the much remodelled building no. 998, built in the first half of the 19th century. In the 1880s it received a Neo-Renaissance facade, later the balconies were removed. The last adaptation took place in the 1990s. Around 1900 the building housed a branch of the Bank for the Austrian Provinces, the printing office of F. B. Batovec, and the stationer’s of J. Hlavsa. Another building with a mid-19th-century Neo-Renaissance facade is the well-known Hotel Saský dům (The Saxon House), No. 997. At the end of the row we can see a part of the Hotel Modrá hvězda (The Blue Star - see picture 303). In the background, next to the Powder tower, there is the building of the Discount Bank with the well-known Café Francais.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. AROUND 1905
499 - The fashionable pub U Mariánského obrazu (The Picture of the Virgin Mary) in Hybernská Street
Frequented by wealthy train passengers, it stood against the side entrance to the departure hall of the State Railway Station. This classy restaurant was housed in the pretentious, tall building No. 1011, built around 1890. The name of the pub no doubt recalls the original building on this site called U Panny Marie (The Virgin Mary). The staff on show, including the pub owner J. Šašek (the bowler-hatted gentleman in the middle), pose here for a publicity postcard. The pub also included a taproom accessible through a passage (on the right, just off the picture), which also offered natural wines, and especially fast and cheap refreshments.
PHOTOTYPE. J. WAGNER, AROUND 1906
500 - The first-class and second-class restaurants in the building of the State Railway Station
These were first located in the departure hall, and were moved to this new building on the corner of Hybernská and Jezdecká Streets after its construction in 1873. The picture is a document of a not very original late Neo-Classical interior and its furnishings. The division of restaurants into four classes (later into three) corresponded to the analogical division of train carriages and waiting rooms. The empty restaurant has been carefully arranged for the photographer. At most times, however, this restaurant was full to capacity. Most of its clients were passengers changing from the Olomouc branch of the Bohemian Northern Railway and the Dresden branch. In the neighbourhood there was no dearth of other restaurants or cafés (e.g. the U Nádraží, i.e. The Station, and from 1907 also the intellectual Arco Café on the corner of Dlážděná Street), and so the passengers could hardly complain about their choice. The first licensee of the railway station restaurant was M. Donebauer, otherwise well known as a leading collector of Bohemian coins and medals.
PHOTOTYPE. H. SEIBT, MEISSEN, 1901
501 - A view of Hybernská Street towards the Powder Tower
On the right we can see the enormous late Neo-Classical edifice of the departure hall of the State Railway Station, No. 1014. The Railway Station complex arose on an area of 128 thousand square metres, on the site of vegetable plots and flower gardens and of eleven buildings both within and without the city limits (i.e. behind the fortification - see picture XIX). The place was chosen by J. Perner, the designer of the technical side of the station. The architectural design of the station buildings was by A. Jüngling. The station was constructed in an incredible nine months, between November 1844 and August 1845, for the Bohemian Northern Railway and it connected Prague with Vienna via Olomouc. The first train which arrived from Vienna was welcomed by the Prague populace at the festively decorated station on August 20, 1845. The connecting corridor and the Neo-Renaissance extension on the right, apparently serving as a post office, were added only after 1898. The first two buildings on the left were replaced in the period between the two world wars by modern structures. The third building with a cupola, No. 1012, arose in 1884 on the site of the small New Town military Barracks.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. LEDERER & POPPER, 1912
502 - The hall of the State Railway Station as seen from Jezdecká Street
The railway trackage had at first five lines for passenger transportation of which four can be seen in the picture. The right side was used for departures, the left side for arrivals. The fifth line ended behind the arrival building. The freight transport also had five lines at its disposal. These were laid behind the arrival building in the freight section of the station parallel to na Florenci Street. The original roofed hall was shorter, and was extended towards Jezdecká Street in 1873 (see picture 504) simultaneously with construction of the restaurant building on the corner of Hybernská Street (see picture 503). We can see the arrival of an express train drawn by a category I engine. The engines were property of the State Railway Company (StEG), a French consortium which in the years 1855-1908 owned the Austrian state railways. The engine challenged the usual Austrian conception of engine production as it was designed in France. StEG provided this type of engine from its own production halls in the years 1886-1896. The machines of this type could reach speeds of up to 100 km per hour and were operated till 1930.
PHOTOTYPE. H. SEIBT, MEISSEN, AROUND 1902
503 - A view of the intersection of Hybernská and Jezdecká Streets and Dlážděná
A view of the intersection of Hybernská and Jezdecká Streets (the latter on the left) and Dlážděná (on the right, just off the picture). On the left we can see the Lanna Building designed by J. Ripota and possibly also I. Ullmann. the structure underwent a number of reconstructions and a covered walk was created here in 1958. On the opposite side of the street we can see the building of the railway station restaurant of 1873. Its designer, Ruppert, took pains to harmonise its appearance with the already existing station buildings. The above-ground floors of the building housed administration offices and a flat of the licensee of the restaurant, M. Donebauer. The connecting wing was at the same time extended by approximately 6 metres towards Hybernská Street. The departure hall with two towers housed ticket offices, transportation and post offices(originally also a pub), and on the individual floors the directorate of the northern (Dresden) branch of the state railway. The funeral car in the picture undoubtedly lends it some curiosity value as this was no frequent subject to be seen on postcards.
PHOTOTYPE. F. J. JEDLIČKA, AROUND 1905
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