Monday, November 11, 2013

Vineyards - Prague

Vinohrady (in English literally "vineyards", 1867–1968 Královské Vinohrady, German: Königliche Weinberge) is a cadastral district in Prague. It is so named because the area was once covered in vineyards dating from the 14th century. Vinohrady lies in the municipal and administrative districts of Prague 2 (west part), Prague 3 (north-east part) and Prague 10 (south-east part), little parts also of Prague 1 (Prague State Opera and Federal Assembly of Czechoslovakia) and Prague 4 (near Nusle). Between 1788–1867 it was called Viničné Hory (Vineyard Mountains). From 1867 to 1968 it was called Královské Vinohrady ("Royal Vineyards"). In 1875, Královské Vinohrady were divided into two parts, Královské Vinohrady I and Královské Vinohrady II, the part I was renamed to Žižkov and the part II to Královské Vinohrady in 1877. In 1922 Královské Vinohrady was made part of Prague as district XII. In 1949, the west part was conjoined with Prague 2 and the east part remain separate district Prague 12. In 1960, where Prague division was reduced from 16 to 10 administrative districts, the north part of Prague 12 was conjoined with Žižkov into Prague 3 and the south part was joined to Prague 10. Local patriots say that the real reason was that Královské Vinohrady were known as a "bourgeois" district and thus politically unreliable for the then-ruling Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. The historic part of Prague Main Railway Station (open 1871 as Franz Joseph I Station) is situated at the margin of Vinohrady. City Electric Tramway of Královské Vinohrady (1897) were a base of the Prague net of municipal electric tramway.
The main east-west avenue of Vinohrady is Vinohradská Avenue leading from Wenceslas Square to Žižkov and Strašnice. Along this street stand headquarter building of Czech Radio, old Vinohrady Market Hall and Vinohrady Water Tower and several stations of Prague Metro Line A (Náměstí Míru, Jiřího z Poděbrad, Flora, Želivského). Parallel to Vinohradská street, there is Slezská street, Korunní street (from Peace Square to Flora) and Francouzská street (from Peace Square to Vršovice]. In the east part of Vinohrady near Strašnice are situated the large Královské Vinohrady Teaching Hospital and Vinohrady Cemeteries. In the south-north direction, Legerova street as a part of North-South Artery leads at the west margin of Vinohrady, which is a boundary of New Town, along C metro line from Nusle Bridge to the main railway station (Praha hlavní nádraží). Next south-north streets (Bělehradská with Tyl's Square, Italská and many others) are narrower and surmount broken relief crosswise valleys. The main square of west Vinohrady is "náměstí Míru" (Peace Square) with Prague 2 town hall, Vinohrady Theatre, Gothic Revival Saint Ludmila Church (Josef Mocker, 1892) and a station of A metro line. In the central part of Vinohrady near Vinohradská street, there lies "náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad" (George of Poděbrady Square) with a modern "Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord" by Jože Plečnik built in 1932.
Famous Czech artists such as Jakub Schikaneder, Otto Gutfreund, Hugo Boettinger and Karel Špillar are buried here.
There are several parks in Vinohrady. Havlíčkovy sady (literally Havlíček's Orchards) are the Prague's second-largest park. There is the Villa Gröbe that served as summer house of the nobility, it is inspired by Italian Renaissance suburban villas and is surrounded by vineyards still in production founded by Charles IV. in the second half of the 14th century. Vineyards and Vineyard summerhouse were at the end of the 20th century started to deteriorate, but were renewed and now has an area of 1.7 hectares and annually produces 4,000 liters of wine. There are grown varieties of Müller Thurgau, Rhine Riesling, Dornfelder, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, and since 1997 there annually happen "Vinohrady vintage celebrations" (usually in September). In the north-west part of Vinohrady, near Italská street, there is Riegrovy sady (Rieger's Orchards) with Vinohrady Sokol House and a large outdoor restaurant. Folimanka Park is situated at the Vinohrady side of Nusle Valley under large Nusle Bridge. Smaller parks are situated in central Vinohrady: sady Svatopluka Čecha (Svatopluk Čech's Orchards) near Vinohradská street, Bezručovy sady (Petr Bezruč's Orchards) between Slezská and Francouzská street) and parks at all main Vinohrady squares. 

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