Special Programmes

For many long years, Smíchov was a district lying behind the ramparts of historical Prague, a suburb full of pastures and wild nature extending out into the river floodplain. Over time, however, its natural beauty and diversity made it a prime location for summer residences and farmsteads. Workshops and small factories slowly began to appear in the 18th century, and when the railway was finally built, it took no time for Smíchov to become highly industrialised. The advent of the industrial age meant a flurry of construction, which included housing developments and a new riverfront. In 1922, Smíchov was incorporated into Prague and became part of the capital city. At the end of World War II, the population of Smíchov was well over 60,000, but the number of inhabitants gradually began to fall, finally dropping to half that in 2012. Not even the opening of a new metro line in 1985 could stop this decline. Smíchov’s industrial era came to a definite end at the close of the 20th century, and new ways of utilising the land were sought. First the Ringhoffer factory works were converted into a shopping centre. Now the former freight railway station is in the sights of developers. This 20-hectare property is currently neglected and unused; its strategic location between two metro stations and several tram stops, however, makes it ideal for conversion into a full-fledged neighbourhood.

Daniel Kajpr

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