Kasárna Karlín launches public fundraiser amid uncertain future

The culture venue's founders are asking for help to 'keep this unique place alive' after Prague 8 banned its activities earlier this month.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 20.06.2024 10:08:00 (updated on 20.06.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Karlín Barracks area in Prague has been closed since the beginning of June after the Prague 8 Building Authority banned the operator’s activities. The Karlín Barracks operators are now asking the public for help, having organized a fundraiser to maintain its staff.

Due to the unapproved status of the former barracks space, the center is seeking temporary new premises, as it will likely not be able to reopen the popular area until next season.

Forced to close due to noise, structural issues

The building authority banned the cultural and social center’s activities because the interior spaces were not structurally intended for the operations that had been taking place there and lacked the necessary approvals.

“Despite the lack of revalidation, we have decided to continue operating, knowing that in terms of safety, hygiene, and operation, all regulations are met,” the Karlín Barracks management said in a statement. “We felt it was important to preserve and continue to develop such a unique social place, as the Karlín Barracks undoubtedly is, so that it could continue to serve the public."

According to the city, Prague 8 had been alerting the operator to the situation since 2021, but the operator did not respond. The barracks have been closed since the beginning of June.

The Karlín Barracks will not reopen as a whole this year. It is a partial reopening, and a petition was created to save the complex.

“The most likely scenario is that we won’t open until spring 2025. Until then, we are in an extremely complicated situation where we are looking for ways to keep this unique place alive,” the center’s representatives said on social media.

Funds to go toward recouping losses

The public fundraiser will help to maintain staff while seeking new temporary premises. The money will also pay invoices, energy deposits, security deposits, tax deposits, employee benefits, waste collection, and other expenses. The venue also had to dispose of perishable food and drinks.

The Ministry of Culture said it cannot intervene in the closure of the Karlín Barracks. In addition to the building issues, the operator also faced complaints from neighbors about noise from the beer garden and summer cinema operating late into the evening.

The premises are zoned for military use, and the city is now working to change the zoning plan, which could take at least six months. An online petition to save the Karlín Barracks has gathered over 23,000 signatures.

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