Czech Republic

Holešovice 

 

 

 

For hundreds of years, the Holešovice district, surrounded by the Vltava River on three sides, was a peaceful expanse of fields and meadows.  It was transformed in the 19th century into an industrial meatpacking district, and was officially incorporated into Prague in 1884.  Without any progress during the Communist years,

Holešovice deteriorated into a derelict area known for crime and drug deals.  Over the past few decades, companies have been encouraged to locate there in order to take pressure off the city center, and the resultant construction of new multi-story buildings has changed the city skyline.  The area has undergone considerable gentrification, turning old apartment blocks and factories into upscale office, retail and cultural centers, strewn with galleries and restaurants. 

 

 

Holešovice is now the home of DOX, Prague’s center for contemporary art, with exhibits that include photography, painting, sculpture and video.  A former paint warehouse has become La Fabrika’s performing arts space.  With input from Frank Gehry, a 19th century brewery has been converted to the A7 Office Center.  Even an old slaughterhouse has been renovated and now houses SaSaZu, a fusion restaurant-nightclub.  Nightlife is now a huge attraction, with Holešovice containing some of Prague’s most popular clubs, attracting both locals and tourists. 

 

In contrast to the gleaming new spaces, many second-hand shops are still scattered throughout the district.  The massive Prague market is located here, with food stalls and rows of kiosks selling eclectic goods.  Directly across from the center of Prague, Letna Park in Holešovice provides magnificent panoramic views of the city.

 





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