Prague's most iconic department store is closing its doors on Feb. 1

The brutalist communist-era Kotva building will be reconstructed and renovated, opening again to the public in 2027.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 31.01.2024 10:19:00 (updated on 31.01.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

The iconic Kotva department store in Prague 1 will close its doors tomorrow, Feb. 1, for a three-year reconstruction. Built on Náměstí Republiky in the 1970s, the building will undergo extensive transformation to restore its prestige as a top shopping destination in the center of Prague.

According to Prague 1 councilor Karel Grabein Procházka, the store will remain a combination of shops and offices, with a restaurant on the upper floors, when it reopens sometime in 2027.

Generali Real Estate, the department store owner, officially announced Wednesday. The reconstruction will begin in the middle of the year, with a new circular entrance planned for the underground floor of Kotva. This will include closing the current entrance to Albert supermarket from Náměstí Republiky.


Construction of the Kotva department store began around 1970 by Swedish company Siab, with the center officially opening in 1975. With a unique hexagonal layout, it boasts five floors in total. In its heyday, it served around 75,000 daily customers. However, after the fall of communism, Kotva saw a decline in interest, with other competing department stores emerging in the central Prague area.

“Our main interest is that the public spaces around the building are significantly improved compared to the current state,” said Marek Vácha, spokesperson for the City of Prague’s Institute of Planning and Development.

Shops inside Kotva, such as Baker Street, FANN parfumerie, and Pierre Cardin have recently been offering large discounts – some as great as 50 percent. Other shops have already closed their doors in preparation for tomorrow.

Prague 1 councilor Karel Grabein Procházka noted that Kotva was once one of the best shopping centers in communist Czechoslovakia. “However, times have moved on, and you can find better areas,” he noted.

Despite the planned changes, Procházka assures that Kotva will maintain its iconic look, closely monitored by the successors of the original architects. 

While the company has not shared the details of the reconstruction, Kotva is likely to include luxurious shops, similar to the high-end Pařížská Street in Prague 1.

The company has remained tight-lipped about the reconstruction, with communications director Lorenzo Simoncelli stating: “At the moment, we do not comment on the reconstruction of Kotva and cannot share any details.” The store also underwent a closure and renovation between 2020 and 2021.

The news has sparked interest among the public, with the Institute of Planning and Development planning a participatory meeting in the first or second quarter of this year to discuss the public space around the building.

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