Changing Street Names
All towns and cities have streets with names chosen by their governors. Often streets are named after important figures in the town, city or country’s historical past. For various reasons certain names can go out of fashion and streets can change identity.
The effect can go further – towns and cities, even countries can change name.
But here I’d like to talk a little about the changes in street names in PlzeÅˆ.
When I arrived in PlzeÅˆ I was looking for the Hotel Ural. I’d booked a room by telephone but had no map in the car. I remember stopping on Sady PÄ›tatÅ™icÃ¡tnÃkÅ¯ to ask directions. The guy I asked either didn’t understand me (which I can well believe as this was the first time I’d ever tried speaking Czech) or there was something wrong in what I was asking for.
I had the name and address written on a piece of paper and so fetched this from the car to show him. He knew at once what I was looking for and gave me directions. Looking back I don’t know how I could have understood his directions and I certainly remember the feeling that there was something wrong – I didn’t really understand – but I found my hotel all the same.
The hotel was no longer known as the Ural, it was the Hotel Central.
So hotels, too, can change name.
At the hotel I was given a town guide “PlzeÅˆ, OrientaÄnÃ PrÅ¯vodce MÄ›stem” which, of course, included a street plan of the city. Very useful!
Unfortunately I soon found out why the guide, priced at 22 Crowns, had been given to me free-of-charge – it was published in 1985 during the communist period and some of the streets have changed name since 1989.
I couldn’t find, for example, AnglickÃ© nÃ¡bÅ™eÅ¾Ã or AmerickÃ¡ Ulice – they had been renamed CharkovskÃ© nÃ¡bÅ™eÅ¾Ã and MoskevskÃ¡ Ulice. Very confusing.
I wonder if I’ll get a chance to list all the changes, it could be fun.
PlzeÅˆ Streets Now (2000s)
PlzeÅˆ street plan 2000s (Town Centre)
PlzeÅˆ Streets in 1985
PlzeÅˆ street plan 1985 (Town Centre)
PlzeÅˆ Streets in the 1930s
PlzeÅˆ street plan 1930s (Town Centre)
PlzeÅˆ Streets in 1912
PlzeÅˆ street plan 1912 (Town Centre)
Street plan provided by George Krejci