Prague street named after Soviet marshal has been officially rebranded

As of today, the three-kilometer Koněvova Street in Prague 3 has officially become Hartigova Street, named after the first mayor of Žižkov.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 01.10.2023 15:54:00 (updated on 14.10.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

As of today, Prague's lengthy Koněvova Street, a name that has long stirred mixed emotions, has now officially become Hartigova Street. The shift pays homage to Karl Hartig, the first mayor of the independent Žižkov district and a pivotal figure in the history of the still-vibrant neighborhood.

The change officially went into effect as of October 1. As today is a Sunday, street signs featuring the new name will begin to appear on Hartigova Street from tomorrow morning.

Residents of Prague 3 who live on the new Hartigova Street, of which there are approximately 5,000, will now be able to change their official documents to match the new name. The process is free over the next six months, with instructions on how to update documents at the website of Prague 3.

The plan to rename Koněvova Street has been a subject of fervent debate for years. It gained momentum following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, as anti-Russian sentiment surged across the region.

Despite initial resistance, with 70% of respondents opposing the idea in a pre-February 2022 survey, the change reflects the evolving socio-political landscape and a deeper connection to the area's history.

This transformation carries with it various practical implications, affecting approximately 5,000 residents. Business owners, too, will have to make the necessary adjustments for their establishments. Maps, having become outdated, will need to be reissued to reflect the new street name accurately.

Koněvova Street's transformation into Hartigova Street marks a step towards embracing a different historical narrative. The street's former namesake, Ivan Koněv, was a Marshal of the Soviet Union, celebrated for his role in defeating Nazi Germany during World War II.

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However, his legacy in Czechoslovakia is tarnished by his involvement in maintaining the communist regime and suppressing the anti-communist Hungarian Revolution in 1956, as well as facilitating the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

Karl Hartig, on the other hand, was a Czech patriot who became the first mayor of Žižkov in 1876. Then an independent municipality named Královské Vinohrady I, the area was renamed Žižkov after 15th century Czech general Jan Žižka a year later at Hartig's suggestion.

The transition from Koněvova to Hartigova Street encapsulates not only a change in nomenclature but also a symbolic shift in Prague's identity, aligning with the evolving values and sentiments of its residents. As the new street signs adorn Žižkov's landscape, they symbolize a fresh chapter in this vibrant neighborhood's rich history.

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