532 - A romanticizing vista of pre-Hussite Vyšehrad from a lithograph by A. Pokorný, made during the second half of the 19th century
A similar picture could be seen until recently on a fresco above the entrance to the sacristy of the Vyšehrad Church of St Peter and St Paul, which had probably inspired Pokorný. It was a Baroque painting by an unknown artist from the 18th century. Although the painter started from some historic knowledge, it is certain that the appearance of Vyšehrad was different in 1420, and that this painting is more or less based on his imagination. The part closest to the reality of the time is perhaps the crenellated wall and the keeps, the romanesque rotunda of St Martin, and the stocky Špička Gate protruding behind it.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. AFTER A. POKORNÝ’S LITHOGRAPH. STAMPED BY POST IN 1905
533 - Appearance of the Vyšehrad rock towards the end of the 19th century
This picture, taken from the Royal, later Imperial Meadow (Císařská louka), displays a striking absence of high buildings in Vyšehrad, and the rock lacks any vegetation. In the top left corner is part of the Baroque front of the St Peter and St Paul Church. On the right, a continuous wall stretches away, in some places the medieval fortification is still visible. The little house in the middle is a residue of the original keep. From the former guard-room on the rock below it, the river traffic used to be controlled. Below the rock, by the river bank, is the end of Libušinská Street. On the left is a one-storey Baroque house, No. 44, the residence of the canon, which later became the office for construction of the Vyšehrad tunnel. In front of it is a ferryman’s cottage and the wall of his orchard, built obviously as protection against frequent high water, particularly with floating ice.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1897
534 - A ferryman’s picturesque cottage, No. 46, below the Vyšehrad Rock at the end of Libušinská Street
Given its length and appearance, this low ground-level building resembled a village house. The west corner of the cottage was supported by an oblique but- tress, which perhaps had to do with frequent floods. The ferryman and his family had to take the floods into account from the moment they settled here. In the case of serious floods, however, nothing could be done other than to seek shelter on the Rock. The ferry plied between Vyšehrad and the Royal, later Imperial Meadow, and between Vyšehrad and Podolí - see the boat with its oars on the river. Due to construction of the tunnel and modification of the embankment in 1902, the cottage was partially integrated into the elevated ground and partially pulled down. After that, the ferry remained in operation for some time; later, steamboats stopped here.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE AROUND 1898. Z. REACH, BEGINNING OF THE 1920s
535 - The right bank of the Vltava with Vyšehrad, from the Smíchov side
The Neo-Gothic steeples of the Collegiate Church of St Peter and St Paul already tower over Vyšehrad. Their construction, under the leadership of F. Mikš, lasted until 1903. Libušinská Street runs through the riverside housing at the foot of the rock but it cannot be seen in the picture, as it is hidden behind the fenced orchards, gardens and houses. It ended at the ferryman’s cottage (on the extreme right). On the left, there is one of Prague’s open-air wooden swimming pools on the river; these were very popular among inhabitants of Prague. This one, however, had to be removed temporarily during canalization of the river and building of the embankment during 1907-1910. To the right of the swimming pool, on the wall of house No. 96, the builder A. Heyhal advertises suspension scaffoldings - a patent of Březina (for its usage, see picture No. 127). Nearly all the riverside housing in the picture was pulled down by 1908.
SVĚTLOTISK. A. TRUHLÁŘOVÁ, 1903
536 - Soldiers by the cannons on the walls of Vyšehrad, with a part of the New Town in the background
Although Prague as a fortress was abolished as early as 1866, following the lost war against Prussia, the walls of Vyšehrad, with adjoining plots and buildings, were property of the military administration until 1911. There was a garrison located here, who inter alia used to perform watchguard duty, shut the fortress gates for the night, and keep watch so that nobody could set out to build a house in the neigbourhood without permission of the military administration. In the picture, taken probably from the Bastion of St Paul, a group of artillerymen, probably during aiming practice, can be seen. The cannons are old types, no longer used during the First World War. The major town part of the borough of Vyšehrad (in the valley) cannot be seen from this place. St Apollinaris’ Church and the area of the Provincial Maternity Hospital are on the horizon to the left. Part of the church at Karlov can be seen on the extreme right.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. AROUND 1896
537 - The south side of the Vyšehrad Railway Station, new No. 86
It was built during 1904-1905, in the context of construction of the Prague Connecting Railway between the stations of the Bohemian West Railway in Smíchov and the Railway of the Emperor Franz Josef I in the New Town. Freight transport commenced here in 1872, passenger transport in 1888. The trains stopped below Vyšehrad long before construction of the Station, the front of which faces Svobodova Street. The houses on the left stand on the north side of the street, and were built in 1902-1906. Before that, an open space was here. On the right, the house new No. 144 is just being built. (It was finished in 1906.) In the forefront, where several workers are busy among the rails, a slat fence separates the Railway Station from the grassy slope leading down to the Botič stream.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. F. ZUNA, 1906
538 - Construction of the Vyšehrad tunnel - a view from the Prague side
The tunnel’s frontage is almost complete except for some finishing touches. The ground toward the tunnel had to be elevated and secured from the river side. Garden walls and a part of the ferryman’s cottage served for reinforcement of the embankment (see picture 533). This provisional arrangement remained here until 1907, when building of a compact embankment wall from the tunnel as far as Podskalí began. Everywhere one can see an abundance of building rubble and carts for carrying materials and soil. Two step-like walls on the left served as protection against land-slide. On the rock above the decorative look-out tower is a fragment of a mediaeval building - a former watchroom over the river. The tunnel (for pedestrians, a road, and later tram traffic) is the shortest in Prague - 34 m long, 9 m wide and 5 m high.
539 - The north side of the Vyšehrad tunnel, built during the years 1902-1905
Up to the present time reservations have been expressed concerning the design of the front part of the tunnel, with its crenellations in the English Neo-Gothic style. The designers of the project were V. Dvořák and F. Velich. The surrounding housing, in the imitation of other historic styles, dates back to the years 1904-1906. A low tower with a sightseeing terrace is on the right side of the tunnel. On the extreme right, there is a railing above the elevated embankment. The road, unpaved at this time, has no tram rails yet laid, and runs about 6-7 m above the level of the Vltava. Trams started to run here in 1910, linking Prague with Podolí and Braník. The building on the left was erected for the Commercial Office of the Royal Capital City of Prague; its employees collected the following fees for passage through the tunnel: 2 h (hellers) per pedestrian; 4 h per rider; 4 h per wheel-barrow; 10 h per draught cattle; 1 h per driven cattle.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. K. ZUNA, 1907
540 - A view from the extended dyke of the island, today known as Veslařský, (Rowers’ Island)
Facing north towards the Railway Bridge and a part of Vyšehrad, its tunnel, and the Podolí embankment. The Bridge was built for the Prague Connecting Railway linking Smíchov and the New Town in 1871. The original construction was replaced in 1901, facilitating two-track traffic. Unlike the Prague embankment, the Podolí embankment was finished in almost its full length in 1905. The south, Podolí, side of the tunnel had no decorative front for a long time, merely a part of the cross wall. Only after experiencing the fall of stones from the rock, it was decided to frame the tunnel with crenellations and a tower, as on the Prague side. Furthermore, in 1906, a security wall was built at the foot of the Rock. At the top, the remnants of the fortification can be seen, with the Baroque Bastion of St Ludmila on the right.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1908
541 - A view from approximately the centre of the park on Vyšehrad (known today as Karlach Park), facing west
The picture was taken in spring or autumn, so the long north wing of the Vyšehrad armoury can be glimpsed through the branches. This building was constructed in 1655 on a rectangular ground plan. It is known to have had the first lightning conductor installed in Prague. It burnt down to the ground in 1927. In the middle of the picture is the Church of St Peter and St Paul. Its Neo-Gothic reconstruction was accomplished in the years 1885-1903. At the end of the road, in the wall of the cemetery, the back of Slavín, the communal tomb of a number of the most distinguished personages of the Czech nation, can be seen; it was completed in 1893. On the top, the statue of the winged Genius of the mother-country is prominent above the tomb.
PHOTOTYPE. F. J. JEDLIČKA, AROUND 1908
542 - The statue of St Wenceslas in the park (the present-day Štulc Park) in front of the New Provost’s Residence
The sandstone equestrian statue, a work by J. J. Bendl from the years 1678-1680, stood originally on a fountain in the centre of the horse market, later Václavské (Wenceslas) Square, at the junction with Jindřišská and Vodičkova Streets; in 1827, it was placed on a new Empire-style base (a work of J. Kranner) a little further up the Square - opposite the present-day Evropa Hotel. At request of the provost of the Vyšehrad Chapter, V. Štulc, the statue was transferred to Vyšehrad in 1879 but it was later replaced by a copy. The original work can be found in the Lapidarium at the Prague Exhibition Area.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1899
543 - The Baroque Leopold Gate
Which serves as the entrance gate to the inner area of the Vyšehrad fortress - a view facing north-west. It was finished by the master builder C. Lurago sometime during the years 1657-1680, and took its name from the emperor Leopold I. Sometimes it is also called the French Gate, perhaps after the French who raised the walls around it; however, they did not build the Gate itself. The thoroughfare in the picture led through Vyšehrad, and was the only road by which the New Town could be reached from the south. This situation changed after demolition of the New Town walls in the Nusle Valley and building of the Vyšehrad tunnel. To the left of the Gate, pinnacles of the spires of the Church of St Peter and St Paul are visible.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE AROUND 1908. Z. REACH, 1920s
544 - The former Vyšehrad Town Hall, No. 31
In the present-day Vratislavova Street - a view from the north, from the plot previously occupied by the demolished corner house No. 51. The town hall once stood in the so-called Upper Town within the Vyšehrad fortress. After building the Baroque citadel in the 17th century, a new town hall was established around 1765 in the place shown in the picture; it managed the town of Vyšehrad until its incorporation into Prague in 1883. The building with two symmetrical wings was reconstructed several times, the last time by the master builder J. Schwartz in 1870. During this reconstruction, a new front was created in a style resembling the English Neo-Gothic, and a striking clock installed (see the two bells with the actuating rods on the roof). Two one-storey houses (Nos. 30 and 29) still stand behind the Town Hall in the picture but they were replaced by two new building after 1908 (see picture 546). In front of the Town Hall, there was the terminal of the tram line No. 4; this had been in operation on the Vyšehrad - Karlovo (Charles) Square route from 1898, and was extended as far as the National Theatre from 1905 onwards.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. H. Z. ZUNA, AROUND 1905.
545 - A view from the open area in front of the former Vyšehrad Town Hall, facing north towards Vyšehradská Road
On the right, a part of a house with a shop, No. 57, in the curve of Vratislavova Street. The goods displayed in the shop-window, in two unusually shallow cases, and inscriptions directly on the plaster reveal what was sold there: kitchen utensils, irons, padlocks, methylated spirit, rum, coffee, sugar, tea, etc. The next house, No. 56, as well as the tenement houses on the left and also those behind the viaduct, do not exist any longer - they made way for modification of the terrain and erection of new housing. Tram No. 4 used to run along the street in both directions using only a single track at this stage. The bridging over the street is part of the Vyšehrad viaduct, linking with the Railway Bridge over the Vltava. The construction of this, the most demanding section of the Prague Connecting Railway, began in 1870. In addition to the iron structure over the street, the viaduct has thirteen arches of Saxony sandstone, and is 840 m long.
PHOTOTYPE. UNIE PRAGUE, 1910
546 - A view of Vratislavova Street from the area in front of the former town hall, facing south-east
This was actually the main thoroughfare of the Vyšehrad settlement under the Castle. After its function was abolished in 1883, the town hall building was used for various purposes (the first Prague shelter for school youth, Sokol, and others). The last two high houses on the left side of the street, new Nos. 63 and 64, were built here after 1900, in place of two old Neo-Classical houses. This style determined the architectural character of the predominant part of the Vyšehrad settlement under the Castle before its modern development. Furthest left, house No. 57 follows the curve of the street turning to the north into Vyšehradská (see picture 545). On the right, behind the Town Hall, are two new houses (see picture 548). Passing house No. 23 in the background, Vratislavova Street winds up the hill as far as the Empire-style Cihelná (Brick) Gate. It then continues in the present-day V Pevnosti (In the Fortress) Street, which runs through the Leopold Gate (see picture 543) and ends at the Táborská Gate.
COLOURED PHOTO-LITHOGRAPH. V. KRÁTKORUKÝ, 1913
547 - A view into Neklanova Street, facing north-west
On the left, at the corner of Přemyslova and Neklanova Streets, is a tenement house, new No. 98, built in the Cubist style, according to J. Chochola’s design, in 1913. With its geometrical shapes and many broken surfaces, it distinctly differs from the older buildings dating from the years 1885-1900. At the time of taking the picture, the Velkopopovické beer pub U Neklana (At Neklan’s) was on the ground floor. Behind the gardens of the houses, on the right side of the street, the Botič stream ran freely; today it runs underground. Přemyslova Street crossed Neklanova Street, continued outside the picture to the right, and ended at a little bridge over the Botič. Interesting, too, is the relatively busy traffic; perhaps it was a Sunday. Such a level of traffic in the street can be observed only rarely today
PHOTOTYPE. PHOTOGRAPHER CHVOJKA. V. KOUBA, AROUND 1930
548 - A row of houses in the south-west side of Vratislavova Street
On the right, behind the former town hall of Vyšehrad, are two houses built by A. Dlabač in imitation of an historic style with distinct Neo-Renaissance gables. The first, new No. 30, has interesting sgraffiti on the gable and also between the floors (motifs of plants, a beehive) and relief emblems of Vyšehrad and Prague. This house was built in 1908 for the Vyšehrad Savings Bank, previously located in the house U Kroka (At Krok’s), new No. 28. Later on the interior was rebuilt for the local branch of the Hussite Czechoslovak Church. Decoration of this house of prayer is the work of the painters L. Novák and K. Skála. The other house, new No. 29, with the broad front, also with sgraffiti (motifs of Renaissance heads, an owl, and flowers) and with a rather motley-designed top floor, was built in 1910. The seat of the Trade Cooperative for Vyšehrad was in the next Neo-Renaissance house U Kroka, which dates back to 1894.
PHOTOTYPE. F. ZUNA, A. DÖRFLER, 1911
549 - A view into Neklanova Street, facing south-east (from the opposite side to that in picture 547)
On the left one can see part of the iron railing, under which the Botič disappears into an underground tunnel ending in the embankment wall at the Vltava. Coal, wood, coke, implement handles, and other objects were sold by J. Mesl in the courtyard of the one-storey house, No. 85, beyond the railing. Prominent in the front part of the picture is the Schicht Company’s huge advertisement of its product Schichtal - a Grated Super-Soap for Boiling Laundry. It was popular to use the blank side walls of Prague houses for large-scale advertising. In front of the first house on the right (just off the picture), stands today, in line with the street axis, the second Cubist house in this street, new No. 56, the work of A. Belada.
PHOTOTYPE. PHOTOGRAPHER CHVOJKA. V. KOUBA, AROUND 1930
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