Těšnov Station / Thirty Years after Demolition, A Hundred and Forty Years after Opening

Těšnov Station / Thirty Years after Demolition, A Hundred and Forty Years after Opening

Place:
Main Building

Date:
1. 7. 2015 – 31. 8. 2015

Anew station opened in Prague in May 1875. It was built by the Austrian Northwestern Railway, an important railway company which connected its large rail network with Prague two years earlier. Designed by architect Karel Schlimp, the impressive Neo-Renaissance building was presented aptly by Světozor Magazine in 1867: “The building is a sumptuous structure, very suitable for its purposes and very decorative for Prague”. The central part of the station building was most monumental; its façade was patterned after the classical triumphal arch with four columns in the front which supported the statues of Trade, Science, Industry, and Economy. A group of figures representing Industry and Agriculture embellished the very top of the building, which was crowned by the allegorical sculpture of Austria. Similarly, the interior of the departure hall was also very sumptuous, as quoted in Světozor Magazine: “The emblems of the Northwestern Railway main stops are placed all around, with Prague and Vienna above the entrance, followed by Znojmo, Jihlava, Německý Brod, Kutná Hora, Kolín, Litoměřice, Ústí nad Labem, Děčín, Trutnov, Hostinné, Mladá Boleslav, Jičín, Hradec Králové, Chlumec, Nymburk, and Lysá on both sides.

The Czech coats of arms were equipped with Czech signs and German emblems with German signs; the only exceptions were Lysá and Nymburk, which were accompanied with signs written in German. The emblems are painted tastefully. Furthermore, the vestibule features a large map of Austrian, German, and borderline countries. The waiting room for the first and second-class passengers shows an elegant style; seats are upholstered in green velvet and tables are made of marble. Splendid arabesques adorn the ceiling. The restaurant and waiting rooms for the third and fourth-class passengers are also decently furnished” (Světozor, 1876, No. 44, p. 591). Primarily, this station was for passenger transport; a freight station had been established on the nearby Rohan Island. In 1919, Těšnov Station was renamed Denis Station after a French historian, politician, and expert on Slavism who significantly supported the origin of Czechoslovakia. During the German occupation, the station was first called Vltavské and later, after February 1948, Prague-Těšnov. In 1972, personal transport was discontinued; the northern wing of the building was demolished to make space for the North-South Arterial Road. On March 16, 1985, the remaining parts of the building were demolished without taking into account its architectural value and interesting possibilities of use.

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