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St. Claire Vineyard
Pavilon in Vinohrady

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).

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 Theater, 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 in Vinohrady Cemetery.

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 was 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 was 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.


Vinohrady Parks

There are several parks in Vinohrady. Havlíčkovy sady (Havlíček's Orchards) is Prague's second-largest park. Villa Gröbe served as summerhouse 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. The vineyards and the house detoriated towards the end of the 20th century, but were renewed. The vineyards now have an area of 1.7 ha and annually produce 4000 liters of wine. There are grown varieties of Müller Thurgau, Rhine Riesling, Dornfelder, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, and since 1997 there are annual "Vinohrady vintage celebrations", usually in September.

In the north-west part of Vinohrady, near Italská street, are the Riegrovy sady (Rieger's Orchards) with a great view over Prague, Vinohrady Sokol House and a large beer garden. Folimanka Park is situated at the Vinohrady side of Nusle Valley under the 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.


Vinohrady Tram Depot

Vinohrady tram depot (Czech: Vozovna Královské Vinohrady) is a former tram and trolleybus depot at Vinohrady that was part of the Prague tram network from 1897. The last Prague trolley bus left from here in 1972.

The trams started in Prague with the horse drawn network extending to Vinohrady in 1883. In 1891 electrification was gradually introduced. The line from Vinohrady to Prague had 15 stations in a route that was less than six kilometers long. The unification of the trams into one company was not complete until the twentieth century and electrification was complete in 1905.

A memorial plaque and sculpture were installed in 2010 to record the place where the last trolleybus in Prague left for its final journey on 15 October 1972. The buildings were part of the tram system until 1933 but it was then used for temporary storage since then. The building was opened as part of European Heritage Days in 2012 where visitors can see the buildings which still date from 1897.

Just outside the depot is a sculpture designed by Michal Gabriel which includes the message Orionka and a preservation of part of the turning circle used by Prague trolley buses until 1972. The tramlines can still be seen in the cobbled entrance to the depot.


Šaloun Villa

Šaloun Villa or Šalounova vila is a studio in Prague designed by and for the sculptor Ladislav Šaloun. The villa was designed and built to construct the Jan Hus Memorial but it was also a meeting place for the Czech intelligentsia. Today the building has been restored and is owned by the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and it is used as a teaching space by visiting academics.

Ladislav Šaloun had the studio built when he won the commission for the gigantic Jan Hus Memorial as he needed a large space to create the asymmetrical memorial that now stands in Old Town Square in Prague. The memorial that became a symbol of Czech self-government was dedicated to Jan Hus who was burned as a heretic in 1415 after refusing to recant his independent views. Šaloun part designed the Art Nouveau villa and there he enjoyed visits from the Czech intelligensia. Visitors included the painter Alphonse Mucha, the soprano Emmy Destinn, Karel and Josef Čapek, the violinist Jan Kubelík and his son Rafael Kubelík the conductor and Otokar Brezina the poet.

The building was reported to be in a very poor state at the end of the communist rule in the country. At the end of that period the villa was occupied by a sculptor supported by commissions for busts of leading politicians like the Czechoslovakian prime minister Klement Gottwald. The villa received a long period of restoration overseen by the architect Michal Bartosek between 2006 and 2007.

The Art Nouveau design was developed by Saloun and includes the inscription "The Sea! the Sea!" which is thought to be a reference to the statement reported by the historian Xenophon of an army whose retreat from Persia took them to the security of the Black Sea coast. Another inscription on the villa is a verse by Saloun's friend Otokar Brezina who also suggested the villa's wall relief entitled "Greeting to the Sun". There is another design which is based on the sign's of the zodiac. (Saloun's friend, the print maker Josef Vachal, said in his many writings said that there were "occult practices" that took place in the villa's basement.)

The villa stands out from its surrounding buildings because the design is seen as "modern" even though the design is about 100 years old. Inside the villa there is a room inspired by Moravian folklore as well as an exhibition room and the parlour that hosted Saloun's guests.


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