Jiřího z Poděbrad Square

Jiřího z Poděbrad Square (náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad) is the second largest Square in inner Prague, after the Gothic Karlovo Square. Karlovo Square and its counterpart in Vinohrady can be considered big parks surrounded by houses, which in many respects give the square an air of a noble spa town.

The show-piece of the square is the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord, built between 1928–1932 and designed by the Slovenian architect Josip Plečnik. Plečnik, like many of Prague-based architects, was a product of the Viennese school of Otto Wagner, one of the founders of the Art Nouveau and Modernist architecture in Central Europe. In his creations, Plečnik never shied from his strong Mediterranean inspiration, thanks to which his buildings display a dignified timeless form and a prominent role of classic architectural elements. Plečnik’s best known project was the transformation of the Prague Castle into the seat of the democratic republic’s president.

The Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord was Plečnik’s last commission for Prague and one of his most important. In it, he brings the archetype of an antique temple back to life in a remarkable fashion, and supplements it with Modernist features in the exterior, and especially in the interior.

The square is but a short distance from the elegant Škroupovo Square, whose circular ground plan evokes a Baroque urbanistic composition. It is also close to the Žižkov Television Tower, whose radical Technicist architecture provides a fascinating contrast to the surrounding historical development.