443 - One of the rare pictures showing the lower end of Wenceslas Square with the buildings
A view which remained unchanged throughout the second part of the 19th century. On the left there is the Renaissance building U Cikádů, No. 774. Decorated with sgraffiti and serving as a passage, it housed offices of a Smíchov based calico factory. Next to this is No. 773 which replaced two older houses and is adorned with an interesting Baroque gable and statues. It was itself replaced by the Functionalist Baťa and Lindt Buildings. The last house in the row is the four-storey building, No. 772, U Obrazu P. Marie (The Picture of the Virgin Mary). It later became a location of the renowned Café Kaiser (today it is a site of one of the Metro entrances). To the right of the centrally located lane Na Můstku we can see the house U Jednorožce (The Unicorn) and a complex of three buildings erected on a site which was originally a part of the house U Špinků. Of these only the two houses in the middle, Nos. 378 and 379, are still extant today, known as Zlatý úl (The Golden Beehive). The placid atmosphere of this part of the Square was only occasionally disrupted by the traffic of the horse-drawn trams and carriages whose stand used to be in front of the corner house on the left.
PHOTOTYPE. E. SCHMIDT, DRESDEN - BUDAPEST, AROUND 1898
444 - Wenceslas Square as seen from Na Můstku Street immediately after the construction completion of the Royal Bohemian Museum
Towards the end of the 19th century the area behind the former Horse Gate, then consisting of fields, vineyards and gardens, saw rise of the new municipality of Královské Vinohrady. Upon demolition of the city ramparts in the years 1875-1876, Wenceslas Square began to be used for transportation to this new suburb. In connection with the gradual eastward expansion of the suburb, the Square also became the centre of the residential area on the right bank of the Vltava River. As a consequence, the real estate on the Square grew in value, and the Square soon saw a growth of imposing buildings and palaces. The picture still shows older, lower buildings with Baroque and Neo-Classical facades, now with a recently completed edifice of the Museum. The original sapling avenues planted here around the year 1875 had, in the meantime, grown into trees, and the centre of the road is dominated by massive gas lamp-posts erected here in 1867. As can be seen in the picture, the tram rails used to be close to the pavement. Judging by the poor Czech of the caption, the postcard must have been published by a German publisher.
PHOTOTYPE. PICTURE 1890. PHOTOGRAPHER A. BEER. PUBLISHED AROUND 1898
445 - A view of Wenceslas Square from the lower end, looking towards the Royal Bohemian Museum
Compared to the previous picture taken 16 years earlier, the appearance of the Square is clearly very different. Following several experiments with planting trees in the middle of the Square, they were eventually planted in the extended pavement. Of the four new buildings in the middle of the Square only the highest edifice on the right is not capped by a cupola. This building was constructed in the years 1898-1899 on site of the old two-storey house U Doušů, No. 780, which used to house one of the first gymnasiums in Bohemia (1848), a well-known pub and a ballroom. The tram 129 obscuring the garden of the hotel U Zlaté husy (The Golden Goose) is one of the four-axle cars supplied by the Ringhoffer tram factory in the years 1899-1901.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1906
446 - A picture taken from exactly the same spot as the above photograph, only four years earlier
This picture includes the ironmonger’s shop of C. Lüftner. Apparently the knives and scissors bought in this shop were not always sharp enough as a street knife-grinder established his stand precisely on this spot. The barrows in front of and behind the sharpen er were used to deliver the more bulky goods from the surrounding shops. In the foreground, at the No. 11 tram stop, one can see a little tableau of various Prague types: their dress clearly tells us about their social standing, e.g. the white apron of the apprentice closest to the camera, behind him two matrons in black with their obligatory hats, while the cap-wearing characters are mostly workers, and the student is characterized by his books.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1902
447 - A photograph of Wenceslas Square taken from the corner house Zlatý úl (The Golden Beehive)
This is an interesting picture showing empty lots on the left side. The first of these (behind the fifth building from the left) would soon be filled with a building capped with a tower. This building would house offices and printing plant of Politika. The other vacant lot on the corner of Jindřišská Street would be used to build premises of the insurance company Assicurazioni Generali. This was still an advantageous time for site development in Wenceslas Square as the lots here were considerably cheaper (70-100 guldens per square metre) than e.g. in the streets Na Příkopě, Ovocná or Ferdinandova (220-330 guldens per square metre). On the site of the two old structures on the right we can today see the modern Lindt and Baťa Buildings which were built in the 1930s. Reconstruction of the third building in 1911-1913 led to existence of the Adam House with its apothecary. Attempts to plant trees in the middle of the Square were abandoned after it transpired that the soil was soaked in gas leaking from the as yet imperfect pipeline in the centre of the Square.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE 1895. RÖMMLER AND JONAS, DRESDEN, 1898
448 - The Aehrenthaler Palace, No. 795, at the corner of Wenceslas Square and Štěpánská Street (on the left)
A late Renaissance palace with an interesting corner bay, built around 1600 on site of the former brewery U Černého orla (The Black Eagle), later U Pekárků, was reconstructed in the first half of the 19th century. It included a large garden, in the southern half of which was built the middle part of the Lucerna Palace. Following demolition of the Aehrenthaler Palace, of the neighbouring building, No. 794, and of the less old Neo-Renaissance building No. 626 ( designed by A. Wolf) in Štěpánská Street, the site was used for construction of a large complex of three residential and commercial complexes in the years 1913- 1915 (see picture 457). This is one of the few postcards which capture the long vanished image of the old Wenceslas Square.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE 1900
449 - The junction of Na Můstku street and Wenceslas Square
There is a view through to Melantrichova Street and the corner of the building of the City Savings Bank in Rytířská Street. Na Můstku used to be intersected by the Old Town ramparts and a moat; further to the left stood the huge St Gall Gate. After founding of the New Town and of the Horse Market, a little gate was made in the ramparts and the moat was bridged. A part of this little bridge can still be seen today in the vestibule of the Můstek Metro Station. Significance of the gate, which was located outside the axis of Na Můstku Street, gradually declined and it was finally surrounded by newly constructed buildings such as the building on the left, new No. 377, constructed in 1902 and housing the Prague Credit Bank. This building replaced a three-storey Baroque structure with four large gables. The premises in the older building were occupied by offices and shop of the bodice manufacturers Federer & Piesen and also by the Café Kaiser. In the centre one can see the originally Renaissance double building of Zlatý úl (The Golden Beehive), Nos. 378 and 379, with its late Baroque corner facade, and its Early Neo-Classical facade in the rear, showing onto Na Můstku Street. This building was exquisitely restored at the beginning of the 1990s and converted into a financial and administrative centre.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. O. ZŮNA, AROUND 1904
450 - The lower end of the north-eastern part of Wenceslas Square
On the left one can see a part of No. 844, known as Mertlovský House. In 1792 it served as a poste restante office. Next to it is U Modrého lva (The Blue Lion), No. 843, with its Baroque facade and J. Ascher’s shop selling ribbons, a very much demanded article in those days, especially by ladies. The extraordinary prosperity of this shop is attested by the ten advertising boards on the second storey. These two structures have been replaced by the present Koruna Building. Standing out from the Baroque background is the new building of the hardware firm of C. Lüftner. Behind this is the U Zlatého beránka (The Golden Lamb) Building where, in 1841, the first daguerreotype studio in Prague was opened by V. Horn. The last building to be seen in the picture is the hotel U Zlaté husy (The Golden Goose). And finally, a peasant family is standing at a loaded cart, apparently waiting for the family head who must be doing some shopping at the ironmonger’s.
PHOTOTYPE. J. ASCHER, AROUND 1899
451 - The hotel U Zlaté husy (The Golden Goose), No. 839, in the lower section of Wenceslas Square
This is believed to have been owned by a rich woman whose daughter was reputed to be a silly goose - hence the name of this hotel, well-known throughout Bohemia. A part of its popularity may be due to the fact that in the revolutionary year 1848 it was owned by P. Faster, dubbed The Czech King, who was the initiator of the mass rally which petitioned the Austrian Emperor to grant the Czech people political and language rights. For a long time this hotel was one of the most luxurious hotels in the city. The garden in front of the restaurant demonstrates the newly-acquired penchant of the Prague citizens for combining the pleasure of a good drink with watching the square as it evolved into a big city boulevard. In 1908-1910 the present hotel building replaced the original construction (see picture 458).
PHOTOTYPE. AROUND 1900
452 - The north-eastern side of Wenceslas Square as seen from the corner of Vodičkova, probably from the tower of the building U Lhotků
The first five buildings on the left are still extant: the Hotel Garni (new No. 825), the building U Šenfloků (No. 824) housing a popular pub, the house No. 823, currently under complete reconstruction, the building new No. 822, built in 1902 by F. Buldra and, finally, new No. 821 with its tower, built in 1906-1907 by K. Janda on the site of U Černohorských House, one of the most remarkable buildings in the square, in the period 1637-1783 the location of the Horse Court. Each horse brought to the market had to be checked in there and registered. In disputed cases, especially those concerning flaws of sold horses, it was this court that passed the final verdict. Four other neighbouring buildings in the direction of Mariánská Street were later replaced by new structures. The largest of them, capped with a quadrangular tower (originally Nos. 817 and 818) was replaced in 1954 by the well-known Hotel Jalta. The time when the picture was taken is characterized by the protective fencing in front of the former Aehrenthaler corner behind which construction of a complex of bank buildings was taking place (see picture 457).
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE 1913. Z. REACH, 1920s
453 - One of the few surviving older views of Prague, showing the intersection of Wenceslas Square and Vodičkova Street
In the background one can see the tower of the former New Town City Hall which is today the only extant building of those shown in the picture. On the left one can see the house, U Žlutických, No. 792, which was demolished in 1895. The Renaissance tower, which was originally a part of the building, had been removed earlier. Standing today in its place is the Wiehl House (Wiehlův dům - see picture 456). On the right is the house U Bohuslavů (later called U Lhotků), No. 791, originally Gothic and, in 1600, capped with a Renaissance tower. Both buildings were demolished in 1913 and the two-storey building No. 790, in front of the tower, in 1891. The towers of the burghers’ houses were originally conceived as defensive, however in the course of time they continued to be built for the sake of the views they afforded and as a recreational facility. At the furthest right we can see the Renaissance building U Císařských which was demolished in 1895.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. AFTER A DRAWING BY B. WACHSMANN, AROUND 1885. Z. REACH, 1920s
454 - The commercial and residential building No. 781 in the lower, south-western section of Wenceslas Square
It was built in 1887 by Q. Bělský on the site of an older building, originally called U Kolčavů, but at the time of the new construction referred to as Stutzig House (Stutzigův dům). The first and second storeys of the older building used to house a fashionable café and cake shop owned by the Imperial Royal Court suppliers Köpf and Jäger. The imperial eagle carved above the portal indicates that this café must have been incorporated into considerations of the design of the building. This narrow building, boasting one of the most gorgeous Neo-Renaissance facades in Prague, is today, unfortunately, overlooked by the throngs of tourists. On the left is a part of the old building U Obrazu Panny Marie (The Picture of the Virgin Mary), No. 782, which used to house a workshop of the violin-maker B. Lantner. It was replaced in 1932 by P. Janák’s Functionalist Hotel Juliš.
PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1897
455 - The Koruna Building, new No. 846, at the corner of Wenceslas Square and Na Příkopě Street
Built in the years 1911-1914 by A. Pfeiffer for the Koruna Insurance Company on the site of three older buildings: the corner building U Špinků and the two neighbouring buildings on the Square, Nos. 844 and 843. The Neo-Renaissance department store Haas (beyond, on the left) which it was impossible to purchase, was incorporated into the design of the new building. As early as 1914 the new building housed the renowned self-service restaurant Koruna, the first Prague coin-operated restaurant. After 1949 the restaurant was further extended into a popular eatery covering the whole ground floor, with kitchen in the basement. It served all kinds of dishes and drinks, the most popular being frankfurters and beer. The good quality dishes were extraordinarily cheap, e.g. in 1953 delicious soup with meat balls and a roll cost a mere 50 hellers. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the 1990s, the eatery was closed, to the chagrin of all its regular customers in Prague, as well as tourists.
456 - The Wiehl House (Wiehlův dům), new No. 792, on the corner of Wenceslas Square and Vodičkova Street
From 1396, it was the site of a brewery and later a large market. From 1600 it was called U Žlutických, and from the end of the 18th century Scherzerovský. This two-storey building with a Neo-Classical facade (see picture 453) was demolished in 1895 and in the period 1895-1896 replaced by a typical Bohemian Neo-Renaissance building designed by the architect A. Wiehl. The Neo-Renaissance style, of which Wiehl was a leading representative, upset the established taboo against using traditional historical styles in modern times, and enriched architecture with a new form of expression (frequent use of ornamental and figural painting, sgraffiti, inlaid medallions, reliefs, etc.). The facade was designed by M. Aleš and J. Fanta. The broad windows of the Metropol Café on the second storey allowed customers to observe bustle in the square.
PHOTOTYPE. L. J. ČECH, AROUND 1904
457 - The complex of three commercial and residential buildings, new Nos. 626, 795 and 794
At the corner of Wenceslas Square and Štěpánská Street. It was built for three clients in the years 1913-1915 by the M. Blecha Construction Company on the site of the so-called Aehrenthaler Corner (see picture 448). One of the clients was the powerful Real Estate Bank. The immediate neighbour of the new corner building was the first part of the Lucerna Palace looking onto Vodičkova Street, built in the years 1907-1909. The construc tion of the second part, looking onto Štěpánská Street, was also started in 1913, but by 1915 only the ground floor had been finished. As is clear from the picture (extreme left), the building itself was far from being completed. The new type of two-axle tram seen on the left was designed by the architect J. Kotěra and put into operation in the years 1905-1907.
COLOURED PHOTO-LITHOGRAPH. V. KRÁTKORUKÝ, 1915
458 - The new building of the hotel U Zlaté husy (The Golden Goose), new No. 839
Was constructed in late Art Nouveau style (probably based on the design of E. Králíček) in the lower section of Wenceslas Square. The picture was taken immediately after completion of the building by the M. Blecha Construction Company in 1900. The Hotel was one of the most comfortable of its time, and it housed in its courtyard offices of the renowned newspaper České slovo (until 1913), and in the period between the two world wars, the well-known Hoyer Physical Training School. The vacant lot on the left would be used in 1912-1913 for construction of the Ambassador Hotel. The picture still shows building No. 838 (on the right), but this structure would soon be replaced by a new office and residential building by J. Sakař. The driver of the parked car on the right could drink his beer in the restaurant without any qualms as alcohol in the bloodstream was then an extenuating circumstance in the event of an accident!
PHOTOTYPE. A. JUNGER (THE HOTEL OWNER), 1910
459 - Inside the café and cake shop owned by K. Juliš
The café probably had its premises on the second storey of the Juliš Hotel, No. 782 (a part of the frontage can be seen in picture 454) in the lower section of Wenceslas Square. It is an adapted interior of the old house, dating back to approximately 1910, with decorative tiles and Art Nouveau chandeliers. The picture shows both the characteristic atmosphere of Prague cake shops, which were frequented mostly by ladies (men favoured the classic cafés), and also illustrates the winter fashions at the end of the 1920s. Another popular institution of this type was the Myšák cake shop in Vodičkova Street. In 1931 the old building was replaced by the new, Functionalist, Juliš Hotel which had a café and a restaurant on the second storey, a cake shop on the ground floor and a cinema and a night club in the basement. The futuristic, glass-floored night club provided a highly regarded entertainment programme.
PHOTOGRAVURE. J. ZIEGLOSER, AROUND 1930
460 - The north-eastern section of Wenceslas Square between Jindřišská Street (not seen in the picture) and Na Příkopě Street
The three five-storey buildings give a foretaste of the future multiple-storey structure. The first building, consisting of Nos. 842 and 841, has on its side an advertisement for the Lüftner Company which sold hard ware and domestic utensils. The middle building, No. 837, constructed in a pseudo-historical style, best known in Prague as the headquarters of the post-WWII company Darex, was recently restored in an unconventional manner: while the front of the building was retained, the rest was demolished and replaced by a modern construction. The third building, U Štočků, new No. 835, with its tower-like roof, was built in 1895. Another new building was added to it in 1906-1907. This is the four-storey building seen on the right. This double building housed offices of the German-language periodical Die Politik, and the Czech daily Národní politika founded in 1883. The annex was replaced in the years 1927-1929 by the constructivist building by R. Stockar
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE 1907. Z. REACH, 1920
461 - The Passage Cinema
In the building housing the Passage (later the Ambassador) Hotel, new No. 840, on Wenceslas Square. This building, by F. Klenka and F. Weyr, replaced in two stages the older structure known as U Zlatého beránka (The Golden Lamb). The first stage took place in the years 1912-1913, the other stage, including completion of the Cinema, and possibly also the passage, took place only after 1918 (even though some sources date the opening of the Cinema to the year 1915). The interior of the Cinema was designed by the two architects in Art Deco style. After the nearby Lucerna Cinema, this was the second motion picture theatre in Prague in which the public could enjoy the then already very popular medium of film in a cultivated environment. The very first cinema performance in Prague took place in 1896, and it took only two more years for the producer J. Kříženecký to show the first Czech films. From 1907 the first purely Czech motion picture theatre in Karlova Street was operated by another film enthusiast, V. Ponrepo. By 1910 Prague had as many as 11 established cinemas.
FOUR-COLOUR AUTOTYPE. PROBABLY BASED ON THE FIRST ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN OF 1912. V. NEUBERT, AROUND 1916
462 - A view of the intersection of Wenceslas Square and Jindřišská and Vodičkova Streets
On the left one can see the building of the insurance company Assicurazioni Generali, new No. 832, built in the years 1895-1896. The structure was designed by F. Ohmann, and adapted by O. Polívka. This monumental building arose on the site of the following buildings: the Renaissance house U Císařských, the neighbouring building No. 833 on the Square, and another two buildings, Nos. 902 and 903 in Jindřišská Street. The insurance company, based in Trieste and operating in the whole monarchy, used the new building for its general agency. The company’s prosperity was not only attested by this imposing building, but also by its stock capital which, in 1897 amounted to 5.25 million guldens, and by its dividend of 285 guldens per share in the nominal value of 1000 guldens. On the right, one can see two buildings, Nos. 831 and 830, while another building, No. 829, is off the picture. All these three structures were replaced in 1976 by a modern office and commercial building used till the early 1990s by the cooperative Družba. Nowadays the building houses the department store Krone.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. LEDERER & POPPER, AROUND 1903
463 - A picture of the south-western section of Wenceslas Square showing the crossing with Vodičkova Street
This area is dominated by the recently constructed corner buildings: U Wiehlů, new No. 792, erected in 1896, and U Stýblů, new No. 790, in 1892. Standing behind U Stýblů we can see two lower structures, Nos. 786 and 785, which would be, after 30 years, replaced by the Functionalist Alfa Building. The one-storey building U Lhotků, No. 791, with its Renaissance tower, would also give way to a new building. Within 12 years it was replaced by the corner building of the Czech Bank. On the left one can see the Vunšvický House, No. 793, called after its owner, Mr Vunšvic, who in 1787 had the then dilapidated building rebuilt into the kind of structure we see in the picture. Another name used for the building was Na Staré stráži (The Old Watch), as it served as the base for the New Town military watch in the years 1819-1848. After its demolition, the new Hvězda Building, later given its present name Melantrich, was built here by E. Bendelmayer in the period 1910-1913. It was used as the headquarters of the historically important Czech National Socialist Party.
COLOURED PHOTOTYPE. F. J. JEDLIČKA, 1901
464 - The Renaissance tower of the building U Lhotků, No. 792, at the junction of Wenceslas Square and Vodičkova Street
Modern history of the tower is connected with the names of two important 19th century Czech painters: J. Mánes, who for some time had his studio here, and J. Navrátil, who is the creator of the ceiling paintings on the second storey. Before demolition of the tower these paintings were taken down and deposited in the Prague City Museum. The striking corner tower was excellently suited for advertising. One of the advertisements is for the Czech Bank which, in a few years, opened its new premises on this site. The other advertisements offer the services of the Imperial Royal Court photographer J. F. Langhans in No. 37 Vodičkova Street, and of the restaurant in the garden U Lhotků, inviting guests to its cabaret. This was undoubtedly a high quality venue featuring a number of Czech and foreign artists, and emceed by J. Waltner, dubbed the father of Czech cabaret.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. PICTURE AROUND 1910. Z. REACH, 1920s
465 - The ornate corner at the crossing of Wenceslas Square and Vodičkova Street
One must especially appreciate the painter’s attempt to include in the picture the building in Vodičkova Street hiding behind the corner building U Lhotků (also known as Bergrův dům). In 1787 the site of this long, one-storey house with many windows was still occupied by two structures, Nos. 705 and 706. These were later linked into one building, No. 705, with a united front. This building and the corner structure U Lhotků were demolished in 1913, and the site was used in the years 1914-1917 for construction of the slightly overdone pseudo-Classical building which became the headquarters of the Czech Bank. The building was designed by J. Sakař and G. Polívka who provided the structure with a passage and a basement cinema. The passage later connected Vodičkova Street through the hall of the 1930s’, Functionalist Alfa (Stýblův) Building, with Wenceslas Square, and later, from the 1950s, with the former garden of the Franciscan Monastery of the Virgin Mary of the Snows.
466 - A view from the entrance ramp of the Royal Bohemian Museum onto the south-western section of Wenceslas Square
Of the row of structures in the picture, ending with the building with the corner tower (above the tram), the only extant building is the eclectic five-storey structure (new No. 805) in the middle, built in the years 1894-1895. The first two buildings, Nos. 808 and 807, with their row of little shops and an advertising display case of a photographer (his studio was probably in the square) were replaced by still extant Functionalist structures. The third building is currently being replaced by a new construction. The three-storey structure behind No. 805, on the corner of Krakovská Street, was replaced in the years 1913-1915 by a residential building with the Parlament Café, designed by A. Melka. In the period between the two world wars the building housed the large fabric shop of the company Prokop & Čáp. This structure was destroyed by German bombing during the May 1945 anti-German uprising. In 1956 it was replaced by the Fashion House.
PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARD. AROUND 1904
467 - The Hotel Archduke Stephen, No. 826, in the middle of Wenceslas Square on its north-eastern side
The Hotel arose through the linking and Neo-Classical reconstruction of two mediaeval buildings, Nos. 826 and 827. It was named after the Archduke Stephen (1814-1867), the Vice-Governor of Bohemia and later a Hungarian Palatine. In front of the Hotel stood the Baroque statue of St Wenceslas (see picture 542). In 1848 the Czech national leader F. Palacký chose the Hotel as the venue of meetings of Czech and German writers aimed at creating a spirit of concord between Czechs and Germans. This building and the neighbouring, narrow one-storey building (on the right) were replaced in the years 1903-1905 by the new, Art Nouveau Hotel Archduke Stephen, later renamed Šroubek (new No. 826) designed by B. Bendelmayer, and by the Hotel Garni, later Meran (new No. 825) designed by A. Dryák in a similar style. Both buildings are nowadays known under the common name of the Grand Hotel Evropa.
PHOTOTYPE. L. J. ČECH, AROUND 1898
469 - The Royal Bohemian Museum at the upper end of Wenceslas Square
The Museum was founded in 1818 on the initiative of the patriotic Czech noblemen F. A. Libštejnský of Kolovrat and Kašpar of Šternberk. The first home of the Museum was the Šternberský Palace in the Hradčany Quarter, the next was the Nostic Palace in Na Příkopě Street. When a new, more appropriate home was sought for the Museum in the 1870s, the Czech national leader F. L. Rieger had the lucky idea to suggest the place at the top of Wenceslas Square vacated by demolition of the Horse Gate in 1876 and remaining empty for another ten years. The construction of the monumental Neo-Renaissance edifice was begun in 1885, based on the design of the winner of an architectural competition which had 27 participants, J. Schulz. The plot was donated by the city, the construction took five years, and costs amounted to almost 2 million guldens. The first collections were moved to the building as early as the end of 1890 and the Museum was officially opened on May 18, 1891 in a ceremony three days after the opening of the Jubilee Provincial Exhibition. Apart from housing collections, the Museum also became the home of the Bohemian Provincial Archives, of the Franz Josef I Czech Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Czech National Foundation (Matice česká) aimed at stimulating and supporting the publication of books in the Czech language. The photographer, who stood approximately in the place of the future St Wenceslas statue, also caught a part of the corner building, No. 812 on the left, which was destroyed during the anti-German uprising in May 1945, as well as a part of building No. 808 on the right, which was demolished at the end of the 1920s. During the Warsaw Pact invasion in August 1968 the Soviet occupation army aimed unprovoked machine-gun fire at the front of the building to use the picture of the damaged building as proof in its propaganda that an armed counter-revolution had taken place in the country. The damage done in this area was compounded in the 1970s by the unreasonable and irrational decision of the powers to run the route of the extremely busy main highway connecting Prague’s north and south through the area in front of the Museum. This destroyed the once organic unity of the Museum with the Square.
EXTRA-LARGE POSTCARD. PHOTOTYPE. K. BELLMANN, 1898
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