New riverfront park opens in Prague’s Malá Strana district

The run-down area next to Mánes Bridge now has new trees, benches, paths, and a stairway where people can sit and watch the river. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 01.03.2023 15:00:00 (updated on 01.03.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

A new waterfront park has opened in Prague’s Malá Strana district, offering a relaxing view of Charles Bridge.

Cihelná Park, long a run-down and uninspiring space, has been revitalized with new lawns; new cycle and pedestrian paths; 13 new trees; shrubs and roses; new benches, a staircase leading down to the water, and retaining walls.

Prague 1 Mayor Terezie Radoměřská said in a press release that despite a few delays, the project is a success.

“I believe that with the coming of spring we will appreciate it even more,” she said, adding that it can now serve the public of all generations.

The revitalization of Cihelná Park – launched last year – ended in January, but some shortcomings in the new surfaces had to be fixed and a few finishing touches added.

Graffiti free – so far

The newly planted areas also had to be fenced off at least until the first mowing to avoid permanent damage. Graffiti was removed from the park’s border walls as the district considered it “a complete paradox” to open a new park that would be marred by old graffiti. “Now we just need to make it last,” Prague 1 Deputy Mayor Kateřina Klasnová said.

The total revitalized area is 6,133 square meters, with greenery on 3,292 square meters and the rest divided among pathways, benches, and the shoreline.

The park area is bordered by the Mánes Bridge (Mánesův most) in the north, the Vltava river bank in the east, the paved area by the Vltava river adjacent to Cihelná Street in the south, and the buildings and gardens along U Lužického semináře Street in the west, the most prominent of which is the former armory and penitentiary.

Neglected land at the edge of the district

Historically, the site has always been located next to the transport link between the Old Town and Malá Strana. First, there was a ford, later a chain bridge, and since 1914 the Mánes Bridge. The chain bridge, called the Crown Prince Rudolf Footbridge, was torn down when the Mánes Bridge was built, though a small house used by the bridge keepers still remains.

In the 1800s up to the early 1900s, the land that is now Cihelná Park was used to store lumber from a nearby sawmill and was fenced off. The area also included a brick factory (cihelna), which gives the park its name, and a meat rendering plant.

In the late 1800s, the area started to become more gentrified, with the Rudolfinum and schools appearing on the Old Town side. Once the Mánes Bridge opened, the factories on the Malá Strana side began to be replaced by residential buildings, and the brickworks was used as a warehouse for historical carriages. The area that is now the park, though, remained mostly neglected.

Prague ranks as one of the greenest cities based on how much urban land is covered with grass, trees, and other foliage. 

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