Category Archives: Pražská Ulice

Articles related to Pražská Ulice, Plzeň

Water Tower – Vodárenská věž

Vodárenská věž

Vodárenská věž (Water Tower), Plzeň  1950s
Vodárenská věž in the 1950s
Photograph © Copyright George Krejci

Plzeň’s old Vodárenská věž (Water Tower) was constructed in 1532 to supply water to the city. It formed part of the Prague gate in the city’s old fortifications.

The top floor of the tower was added in around 1822 and the gothic portal in 1912. The portal was originally part of a house (197) on Prešovská ulice which was demolished and it dates from around 1500.

It can be found et Pražská ulice 19.

Vodárenská věž (Water Tower), Plzeň 1993
Vodárenská věž (Water Tower) 1993
Photograph © Copyright 1993 Clive Porter

 

Vodárenská věž (Water Tower), Plzeň 2004
Vodárenská věž (Water Tower) 2004
Copyright information unknown

 

Vodárenská věž (Water Tower), Plzeň 1800s
Vodárenská věž (Water Tower) end of the 19th century
From a postcard.

The above image shows detail from an undated postcard. It must be after 1822 and before 1912 because the extra floor is present but the gothic portal hasn’t been added.

For the above reasons, this image is interesting but it is even more so – not just because of the mention of a porcelain factory at number 21, but more importantly for the obvious bridge over the stream. This was a back water of the Mže which can be seen clearly on the 1912 map of Plzeň but which is missing in the 1930s version (see Street Names – Street Plans).

This may explain some of the effects of the 2002 floods in this part of the city. It would certainly explain the placement of a water tower here :)

Vodárenská věž (Water Tower), Plzeň 1761
Vodárenská věž (Water Tower) 1761
From a postcard. Artist: Josef Novák 1761

The above detail from a postcard is interesting as we can clearly see the (shorter) water tower forming part of the Prague Gate. The river is quite obvious in this view.

The Water that Fed the Water Tower

Water towers are constructed for a single purpose – to provide a source of on-tap water to the community. Most modern day water towers use rain as their supply, they then stock the rain water to be treated and used by households.

Pilsen’s water tower was obviously not fed (directly) by rain fall. As we’ve seen, the supply came from the river. The river in question was actually a backstream – a short-cut, if you like, which joined the Mže to the Radbuza. In 1912 it would appear that this was a major route – there was a weir taking water from our stream down into the Radbuza. I’d love to have seen it!

1912 map showing the water system
The 1912 map showing “our stream”
Provided by George Krejci

 

Šafařikovy sady 1910
This 1910 postcard of Å afaÅ™ikovy sady clearly shows “our stream”
From a postcard

Question: was the weir constructed in order to ensure a plentiful supply of water to our stream and, therefore, the water tower?

Answer: I don’t know but our stream may well have been a canal whose sole purpose in life was to provide water to the city. Had it been a canal, I feel sure that it was constructed over an existing water course – even if the said water course was little more than a trickle. I remain unconvinced however. I’m of the opinion that this was a natural water course which has been helped a little by the engineers.

So where did this stream (or canal) go and why?

Pražská 23, 2006
Pražská ulice 23 in 2006
Photograph © Copyright 2006 Eva Haunerová

This is a great photo for our purposes – here we can see no water (there’s a little snow though) and we can see the bridge. The building, 23 Pražská, is the same building seen in the 1900s postcard (formerly a red brick construction).

The area we see covered in snow would, however, seem to be rather high – doesn’t the bridge seem to missing part of its arch? I’m beginning to wonder if there isn’t some kind of underground stream covered and hidden by the City’s engineers somewhere between 1912 and 1930.

I wish I had access to records – this is bugging me…

In 2002 Plzeň was a victim of floods. There are many photographs of Plzeň during the 2002 floods available on the internet and one of these is very pertinent – I don’t remember where I found it and I haven’t found it again since. I’d very much like to credit its owner, so if anybody finds a url for this photo – please contact me.

Floods at Pražská 23, 2002
Floods at Pražská ulice 23 in 2002
Copyright information unknown

I love this photo, not just because it shows Our Stream having returned from the dead, but because the guy seems to be genuinely preoccupied with this particular scene – I wonder what was going through his mind? Wouldn’t it be nice to know?

I wonder if the floods refilled the water tower’s chambers? Did its old wooden water wheel turn again?

U Salzmannů, Plzeň

U Salzmannů, Pražská 8

Number 8 Pražská Ulice is the site of Plzen´s oldest beerhall which dates from 1637. The pub was named after Martin Salzmann who ran it between 1858 & 1908. Salzmann was the guy who had first sent Pilsner beer to Prague in 1843.

U Salzmannů, Plzeň, 1858 & 1908
U Salzmannů 1858 & 1908
From a postcard

 

Pražská in the 1950s
Pražská Ulice in the 1950s
Photograph © Copyright George Krejci

U Salzmannů can be seen on the righthand side of this 1950s photo (above).

U Salzmannů, Plzeň in the 1950s
U Salzmannů in the 1950s
Photograph © Copyright George Krejci

When I first saw the building in 1991 (see photo below) it was closed and in a sorry state of repair – as was much of Pražská ulice.

U Salzmannů Plzen 1991
U Salzmannů Plzen 1991
Photograph © Copyright 1991 Clive Porter

The quality of the above photograph leaves a little to be desired – I’ll blame it on the sun shining in the wrong direction and the damage the print has received over the past 15 years. Maybe I should just blame it on my lack of skill as a photographer…

U Salzmannů Plzen 2002
U Salzmannů Plzen 2002
Copyright information unknown

I think this later photograph, taken in 2002, shows just how nicely the building was restored.

U Salzmannů Plzen 19th Century
U Salzmannů Plzen at the end of the 19th Century?
Copyright information unknown

This photograph shows Salzmannová Pivnice which would appear to be on the same site as U Salzmannů and whilst the building has obviously been replaced, the renaissance portal remains.

The University of West Bohemia explains this :

House ref. no. 90 (Prazska Street no. 8 ) “Salzmans’” (U Salzmanu) – originally a Renaissance house which master-builder Jan Merlian (or Skarpalin) built for himself in 1584.

The house was constructed afresh in 1907 and only the beautiful portal with its Italian inscription remained. The house takes its name from an owner of the inn there, who was the first to take Plzen Prazdroj (Pilsner Urquell) beer to Prague in 1842.

This is a helpful explanation as it’s the Renaissance portal which intrigues me. Compare U Salzmannů’s portal with that found accross the street at N° 13 : Jan Merlian’s Portals.

U Salzmannů is once again a pub, restaurant and guest house / hotel. I should love to visit it one day.

If you should have any old or new photographs of this building, I would be very interested to see them!

Restaurace a pension U Salzmannů
Pražská 8
301 00 Plzeň
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 377 235 855
Fax: +420 377 235 886

Pražská Ulice 13 (My House!)

Pražská Ulice 13 – My House? Well, no…

Ok, well it’s not my house but back in 1991 – 1993 I would have liked it to have been. I had a dream to buy this house (picture below), secure a job in Plzeň – perhaps at the brewery, the bank or the Å koda works, anywhere – but it didn’t happen.

My house in Plzen 1992
My House? 1992
Photograph © Copyright 1992 Fred Porter

I haven’t been back to Plzeň since 1993 in fact I haven’t been to the Czech Republic since October 1994 which is a great shame. I’d love to go and visit “my house” and see how it scrubbed up. I often wonder what became of it but the only trace of it I have found on the internet is a tiny terracotta roof in an aerial photograph of the old town centre.

My house in Plzen 1993
My House? 1993
Photograph © Copyright 1993 Clive Porter

The building is, if my memory serves me correctly, on the corner of Pražská Ulice and Perlová Ulice just off náměstí Republiky.

My house in Plzen Now
My House? Now
Copyright information unknown

I just found this photo (above) which was taken from the spire of St. Bartholomew’s church – I’ve tried to show my house’s roof.

Can anybody help me by sending me a recent phtograph of the building?

If anybody should have a photograph of the building before it fell into disrepair I would love to see that too!

Any information and / or photographs would be enormously appreciated!

More Recent Photos of My House

Thanks to Eva for pointing these photographs out to me!

My house from plzen-city.cz 1
My house from plzen-city.cz 1
Photograph © Copyright MÄ›sto Plzeň

This photo shows My House when looking down Pražská Ulice from the Náměstí Republiky end.

My house from plzen-city.cz 2
My house from plzen-city.cz 2
Photograph © Copyright MÄ›sto Plzeň

This shows a view of My House from the other end of Pražská Ulice – a similar view to my old 1993 photograph.

The sundial on My house
The Sundial on My house
Photo by Mira

This picture shows the sundial added to the face of My House.

Since identifying My House (thanks Eva!) I now know a little about it’s current life. It is apparently an art gallery, part of the West Bohemian Gallery and is known as Výstnaví Sín „13” (Exhibition Rooms “13″) and is registered as a building of historical importance (Number 83).

A Final Comparison

I don’t know how to thank Eva enough – she actually went out and took photographs of My House for me! One of her fantastic photographs was taken from an almost identical angle to one I took in 1993 so now I can do a before and after comparison.

Before

My house in 1993
My house 1993
Photograph © Copyright 1993 Clive Porter

After

My house in April 2006
My house 2006
Photograph © Copyright 2006 Eva Haunerová

One thing which became evident to me while comparing the two photographs is that the sundial was present in 1991 and 1993. It appears that the house’s cladding was removed – perhaps as an early step in the restoration process – but that the area around the sundial was left.

My house in April 2006seen from Perlova
My house 2006 Looking South along Perlová ulice
Photograph © Copyright 2006 Eva Haunerová

I’d now like more than ever to see photographs of the building prior to 1991. So if you have any, please contact me. It would be very interesting!

My House pre-1991

My house in April 1987
My house 1987
Photograph © Copyright 1987 J. Hertl from tramvaje.plzenskamhd.net

This photo was a great find. I didn’t bookmark the site it came from so I can’t credit or link to it – I apologise to the site owner for that and will be happy to rectify the situation should anybody make me awayre of the url.

But it’s exactly what I was looking for (I’d have prefered the tram not to have been there). It shows that in 1987 My House had it’s cladding and it shows that the buildings around it were already undergoing a first stage of renovation. So the renovation of Plzeň didn’t start after 1989 – it was already underway. I’m so pleased to have found this photograph!

My House in 1959?

My house in April 1959
My house 1959
Copyright information unknown

Can you believe it? I can’t! My House in 1959! Just imagine the feeling of joy when I first saw this one!

Interestingly, we can see here that the building was used for commercial purposes – look at those twin shop front windows. A clue to this is obvious in the right-hand side window in my 1990s phtotgraphs. I’m very, very pleased with this one!

I’ve found evidence that number 13 Pražská ulice was once a restaurant. Perhaps this 1959 photograph shows My Restaurant? At the turn of the century (circa 1900), the restaurant was named “Svoboda.”

My house in 1975
My house 1975
Copyright Statni pamatkovy ustav v Plzni assumed

This is a great photograph because it shows a number of things. It shows that in 1975 My House was multi-purpose: The right-hand side was used as a hardware store, the left-hand side was used for another business (I can’t tell what that might have been from the photograph) and we can see that the central doorway was totally seperate and probably lead to apartments on the first floor.

The back part of My House is clearly seperated and has its own entrance on Perlová ulice.

I feel a little guilty about using this photograph as it comes from a book Plzeň 1965 – 2000 published by Starý Most and is subject to copyright. I’m not sure who owns the copyright of this particular photograph although I have written to npu.cz requesting permission to use it. So far I have received no reply but I think its use here is useful for our needs and I hope that this won’t cause any problems. I’d like to thank Eva for making me aware of this photograph and would stress that any resulting copyright infringement is totally my responsibility.
Clive Porter, 20 May 2006

My house before 1918
My house some time before 1918
Copyright Statni pamatkovy ustav v Plzni assumed

This is another copyrighted photograph for which I’ve requested permission – this one comes from the book Plzeň 1880 – 1935 also published by Starý Most.

What can I say about this photo? We can see that the right-hand side of the building appears to be a wholsesale hardware store. But here it would appear that both the left-hand side and the centre are used for two seperate commercial purposes. I think the sign above the first floor may say A. Svoboda which would seem to relate to the restaurant which I originally thought to be in My House.

But where is Jan Merlian’s portal / doorway? It certainly doesn’t seem to be present in this photograph and so must have been added at a later date. But where did it come from? The sundial is also missing.

My house 1916
Painting by B. Hochman of My house dated 1916
From a Postcard

Now that I have this postcard, I can see that My House wasn’t a restaurant – the sign for Restaurant Svoboda points down Perlová ulice. The shop on the right-hand side is K Smetana which was the hardware store as seen in the previous photograph.

I wonder which building on Perlová was the restaurant? My guess would be number 8 but I’d like to find out for sure.

I still want more…

Výstnaví Sín „13”
Pražská 13
301 14 Plzen
Tel: +420 377 223 759, +420 377 223 948
Fax: +420 377 322 970

[tags]Prazska ulice, Plzen, Pilsen[/tags]