Holešovice was established on a meander of the River Vltava, which flows around it. The direct link between the city and the river has unfortunately been weakened by new development in recent years, but the River Vltava still forms a key aspect of the character of Holešovice. The ordered urban structure is reminiscent of 19th-century industrial cities. Evidence of the rapidly and dynamically changing character of this period survives in the diverse townscape, in which factories, showpiece tenements and modest dwellings stand by side. The latter serve as a reminder of the district’s agricultural past. Architecture of note includes the old slaughterhouse complex, various industrial structures (the former Ferona and other factories), and the Libeň Bridge, designed by Pavel Janák. This structure offers a significant example of the architectural transition from the twilight of Cubism to the dawning Purist movement. Cultural venues include the DOX Centre of Contemporary Art, which hosts exhibitions and artists from around the world, and the La Fabrika and Jatka 78 Theatres.
Historic buildings and cultural attractions:
In recent years, Holešovice has been transformed into one of Prague’s liveliest cultural quarters. Disused factories have become ideal for alternative cultural institutions such as DOX gallery, La Fabrika Theatre and Jatka 78, which stages theatre and circus shows by performers from all over Europe. The old slaughterhouse, the location of Jatka 78, has become the Tržnice and forms the neighbourhood epicentre. The historic halls house an excellent vegetable market, and second-hand furniture shops. In contrast, some shops, which are a fascinating open-air museum of the 1980s and ’90s, sell counterfeit goods from Asia.
The western part of Holešovice is separated from the east by the empty space of a former railway station. At some point, it will certainly become one of the largest construction sites in central Prague. But before then, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the remarkable atmosphere of an open industrial landscape miraculously preserved in the centre of a busy capital.