- Hans Weber
- December 6, 2023
Prague’s New City Hall Set for Major Renovation to Preserve Historical Significance
Prague’s iconic New City Hall, located on Mariánské náměstí, is poised for a significant renovation project costing approximately thirty million korun. With the last renovations dating back three decades, the focus was primarily on the entrance areas, hallways, council chambers, and staircases—essential spaces within the historic building. However, these areas are now in dire need of attention, both technically and visually, prompting the initiation of the restoration project.
Recognizing their responsibility to safeguard the historical value of the New City Hall, the Prague City Council has prioritized the refurbishment of the most vital and frequently utilized sections. “It is time to renovate those main, most frequently used spaces so that they can serve future generations of Prague residents in their full splendor,” expressed Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda.
The restoration efforts will address various issues, including the deteriorating state of the wrought-iron elements on the main staircase, the stained glass in the foyer, and the entrance doors to the offices. Many of the doors have remained unrepaired for decades, visibly succumbing to decay.
The significance of this restoration project lies in its preservation of the historical value of the New City Hall. A multitude of skilled professionals, including stonemasons, carpenters, lead workers, upholsterers, and stained glass artists, will contribute to the meticulous restoration process. Given the building’s integral role in Prague’s history, it is essential that its appearance mirrors its importance.
The estimated cost for the renovation is 29,556,986.32 Koruna, excluding VAT. The bidding process for the public contract is slated to commence in late June or early July, with the project expected to span approximately twelve months.
Serving as the seat of the Prague Mayor and City Council, the New City Hall’s grand hall hosts not only meetings of the Prague City Council but also seminars, conferences, and university graduations. Additionally, the building has gained popularity as a tourist destination, renowned for the notable sculptures in the niches flanking the main entrance. These sculptures depict Rabbi Loew, famed for his supposed creation of the legendary Golem, and the enigmatic Iron Knight, whose ghost has allegedly haunted Old Town for over four centuries.
Another captivating feature within the New City Hall is a sealed metal box located between the second and third floors. This box contains documents pertaining to the establishment of a memorial plaque for Josef Kajetán Tyl, harking back to the original house that was demolished during the Old Town redevelopment. Tourists flock to the New City Hall to witness the mesmerizing Paternoster elevator, a beloved attraction. Renowned tour guides and documentarians, Janek Rubeš and Honza Mikulka, entice foreign tourists to explore lesser-known corners of the city through their popular YouTube channel, Honest Guide.
The restoration of Prague’s New City Hall stands as a testament to the city’s commitment to preserving its cultural heritage and upholding the historical significance of its landmarks. By undertaking this ambitious renovation project, Prague ensures that future generations can appreciate the splendor of this architectural gem
Article by Prague Forum