A new season of events is coming to Prague's river embankments in 2022

Emphasis will be put on providing quality cultural events, including a new fest for families, while limiting noise and rowdy crowds.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 12.01.2022 16:42:00 (updated on 13.01.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

Prague is preparing an extensive 2022 season for Náplavka and Smíchovská náplavka, the embankments on both banks of the Vltava river in the city center.

Ever since the embankments were revitalized with renovated cubicles and new infrastructure, they have become one of the city’s most popular social centers. At the same time, noise and late-night revelers have been an ongoing issue for people living nearby. In 2022, the city aims to achieve a lively program of events while keeping the neighbors happy.

“In the past period, we managed to complete a major part of the revitalization of both sides of Prague's embankments. We opened Čapadlo Hollar to the public, connected the two banks with the Šemík ferry, launched the Books in the Cubicle series of author readings in community cubicle No. 17, and also closed all the sales outlets outside the edge of the shore at the end of the year,” City Councilor Jan Chabr said.

Čapadlo Hollar is a waterfront space on the newly accessible via a short tunnel at Smetanovo nábřeží. Closing some sales outlets means that vendors will no longer be blocking the path of residents and tourists in busy places along the embankment.

Čapadlo Hollar. Photo: Prague.EU
Čapadlo Hollar. Photo: Prague.EU

The main goal for the coming season is to continue to create a connected, quieter, safer, and more cultural waterfront. “The results of a public opinion survey we commissioned [says] this change is noticeable and more than two-thirds of visitors welcome it,” Chabr said.

Efforts to make the embankments quieter and safer include continued restrictions on alcohol, something that began last season. “Consumption of alcohol will be banned from midnight to 9 am, and we will check compliance in cooperation with security forces,” Chabr said.

The program for the coming year should be more extensive than last year’s, which was hit with many restrictions.

“We are planning both open workshops and a new season of the Arena theater festival. We are also planning two big events for children,” Petr Hozman, the curator of Prague's embankments, said.

“One of them is an event to celebrate Children’s Day, under the working title Náplavka dětem (Náplavka for Children), on which we hope to cooperate with Prague 2 and Prague 5. This will be preceded by the Ratolestfest festival in May, which will take over both waterfronts with a children's program,” Hozman said. Children’s Day falls on June 1.

The Arena theater festival is a project by the Forman Brothers to bring mostly family-friendly Czech and international acts to boats and temporary tents along the waterfront.

Smíchovská náplavka. Photo: Scope Productions.
Smíchovská náplavka. Photo: Scope Productions.

There will also be the traditional food fests at Hořejší nábřeží every second Saturday in the season and the farmers market on Rašínová nábřeží every Saturday, as well as a number of other events.

“In addition to the traditional ones, such as the 109th annual boat race Pražské primátorky, we are preparing two exhibitions in cooperation with the Prague City Gallery (GMPH) and a site-specific project with the Prague Biennale,” Hozman said, adding that in cooperation with GMPH, there would also be several surprises for visitors.

“Most of the boats and cubicles on both waterfronts are also preparing their own cultural events. … The 2022 season will be truly diverse and people have a lot to look forward to," he added.

The program for events will be available online, newly with an interactive map.

As part of the ongoing revitalization, Dvořákovo nábřeží and Rašínovo nábřeží will get an improved infrastructure network, the sanitary facilities on the Rašínovo nábřeží are to be modified, and the furnishings and cubicles on Dvořákovo nábřeží are to be completed.

Náplavka. Photo: Scope Productions.
Náplavka. Photo: Scope Productions.

"The new infrastructure networks will ensure smooth use of the embankment edge, including connections to utility networks. At the same time, sufficient electricity capacity will be ensured in view of the increasingly urgent process of motorization and electrification of Prague’s fleet,” embankment manager Dušan Sahula said.

“In 2022, the sanitary facilities on the Rašínovo nábřeží embankment will be modified, which will improve the quality of services provided,” Sahula said.

Efforts to revitalize Náplavka began in 2018, with the renovation to make long-neglected cubicles in the stone retaining walls usable. New benches and trash cans have been installed and new infrastructure such as an improved water supply and electricity was also added.

The renovation of the cubicles won an honorary finalist award in the fifth annual Czech Architecture Prizes, given out at the end of 2020.

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