Visit Máj in May: Iconic Prague department store to reopen this spring

The historic building on Prague’s Národní třída closed in mid-2022 for extensive reconstruction work. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 09.11.2023 10:26:00 (updated on 09.11.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

The developer reconstructing Prague 1's famous Máj department store has announced that renovation work will be finished by May of next year. 

Metrostav announced plans this week to complete the project by May 2023. The iconic building closed its doors in mid-2022 to allow for major construction work on the structures built in the 1970s.

Lead architect for the project Milan Mlada told the media that the company is on track to complete all work on schedule. 

Preserving the style of the past

The company is currently installing escalators and window panes. In an effort to preserve the historical significance of the building, only two escalators will now lead to Tesco, maintaining the original layout.

According to Mlada, the development work incorporates neo-functionalist accents from the building’s original architects; the interior and façade of the building pay tribute to a style that was described as “atypical” when the building was erected 50 years ago.

A large Tesco, pharmacies, cafes, and more

With an area size of almost 17,000 square meters, the department store's revamped offerings include the return of a Tesco supermarket – people passing by the building before its earlier closure will remember seeing the large chain – pharmacies, drugstores, cafes, a cosmetics store, an ice cream shop, a wine outlet, and more.

The third and fourth floors will house a multifunctional entertainment area for children over 12 years old, while the fifth floor will cater to parents with small children. The sixth floor will be open for schools and kindergartens to visit to learn more about the history of Prague.

Like 'an elephant in porcelain'

The department store, situated on the corner of Spálená Street and Národní třída, was built on the site of the neo-Gothic Šlik Palace building in 1975. 

Designated a protected national landmark by the Czech Republic's National Heritage Institute in 2006, the department store originally housed jewelry and clothes stores, supermarkets, and cafes. 

Writing for in 2006, journalist Pavel Panoch compared the department store’s appearance on the cityscape to that of an “elephant in porcelain,” an outlier in the context of the New Town's architecture. Máj was renamed KMart in 1992, Tesco in 1996, and finally My Národní in 2009. When it reopens next year, it will be Máj once again.

With the final touches being applied, the revamped Máj department store is poised to offer a blend of modern amenities while paying homage to its rich heritage.

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