Giant Christmas tree heads to Prague’s Old Town Square

The beautiful spruce will take center-stage on the square, but will it be the same without the traditional Christmas market?

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 23.11.2020 15:58:00 (updated on 23.11.2020) Reading time: 2 minutes

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This year’s Christmas tree for Prague’s Old Town Square is on its way. The 18-meter-tall spruce had been growing on private land in the village of Kamenný Přívoz for 40 years. The tree will be decorated in the Czech national colors.

This time, the tree’s felling, transport and decoration will be handled by the Municipal Company Technology of Prague (THMP). The tree will arrive in the capital Monday night, Nov. 23, and its decoration will last until the end of this week.

Normally, the technical details of selecting, transporting and decorating the tree are handled by Taiko, the firm that staged the Christmas markets at Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square in the past. This year, the markets have been canceled.

The tree was destined to come down soon

Prague's Christmas tree is loaded onto a truck. (photo: Praha.EU)
Prague's Christmas tree is loaded onto a truck. (photo: Praha.EU)

“As in previous years, this year people offered us their trees, which they would have to cut down for other reasons anyway. It is partly a question of prestige; every year it becomes the most famous Christmas tree in the Czech Republic,” City Councilor Jan Chabr (United Force for Prague) said.

“This year, the tree comes from about 30 kilometers south of Old Town Square, and will stand decorated until the beginning of January,” he said, adding that despite the markets being canceled, the city did not want to miss out on having a decorated tree as its most distinctive symbol.

The tree is ready to go to Prague. (photo: Praha.EU)
The tree is ready to go to Prague. (photo: Praha.EU)

Tomáš Jílek, board chairman of THMP, said the felling of the tree on Nov. 22 lasted about four hours and was taken care of by the Czech lumberjack champion.

“First, the tree was hung on a crane rope so that it would not break, as well as for safety reasons. After about half past nine we started cutting. It took the longest time to cut the lower part of the trunk, about two meters around, to prepare it for placement in an anchor shaft in Old Town Square. Then all that was left was to prepare the tree for transport,” Jílek said.

Overnight, the tree was transported as far as in Modletice. Tonight, accompanied by the police, it will set off to make its way down Prague’s Pařížská Street to Old Town Square. There it will be set in place and secured with six ropes and several crane weights.

The tree will be decorated with six kilometers of light lights

THMP employees will decorate the tree from Nov. 24 to Nov. 27. “This year's decorations will represent a return to the traditional Czech Christmas tree, and will be in the three colors of the Czech flag. The tree will be decorated with six kilometers of light strings, several hundred Christmas balls in blue, white and red, 40 light stars and the decoration at the top will be three meters high,” Jílek said.

There is no official tree lighting this year due to restrictions.

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