Karlín – the First Prague Suburb

Karlín as a Prague suburb was founded in 1817 and it was named in honor of Karolina Augusta, wife of emperor František I. Big Baroque object Invalidovna, which was inspired by the Les Invalides building in Paris, was built there in the fields behind the walls in 17th century by famous architect Killian Ignac Dientzenhoffer for veterans.

Big Invalidovna building – when walking around, take into account it is just 1 / 9 of the intended bulding (1 pane in 3 x 3 pattern)

Snake and fox building

Originally it was supposed to be a home for 4000 veterans with families, independent and self-sufficient, but due to lack of money the building remained unfinished. In 1870 the Prague ramparts were demolished and the grounds were soon alive with constructions of industrial plants and apartment buildings.

In 1922 Karlín became to be a part of bigger Prague, in fact it is very close to the city center, but even today it is seen as the quarter behind the viaduct, working-class district. In 1907 the first electric tram railway in Prague worked here.

One of former factory buildings

House decoration

Karlín was badly damaged by the big flood in August 2002, and it needed more that year to recover. But now the place is reconstructed, former factories were rebuilt to nice lofts or exhibition spaces, Karlín has posh restaurants and clubs as well as quiet places for reading a book or surfing on internet. Buidlings are nicely decorated in art nouveau, neo-renaisance or neo-gothic styles.

River side of the quarter is built up by modern administrative buildings for banking insurance, advisory, or IT companies.

Church of St. Cyril and Metoděj

Church main altar

Karlín’s main square (also called Central Park :-)) is a place where you can walk, sit, play ping pong. The dominant of the square is beautiful church of St. Cyril and Metoděj, who brought Christianity and Slavic mass to Grand Moravia – therefore to Bohemia – in 863, and it was canonized at the millenium celebrations in 1863. It is one of the biggest church buildings in Czech Republic and it ranks to most important architectonic landmarks from 19th century. It was built in late roman basilic style and Czech famous artists participated on the interiors. The church organs were built they were the biggest in Czech lands. Church suffered during the flood, but now it is restored ot its original beauty.

Mardi Grass at Karlín’s Central Park

So called “killing feast” – the killing apllies to the pig.


Different celebrations and feasts took place at the square around church, where you can taste typical Czech dishes and drinks, listen to Prague folk songs. Once a week the farmers markets took place there with chees, sausages, bio vegetable and all the stuff you look for at famers market :-).

Tunnel going from Karlín up to Žižkov, other working-class district starts not far from the hotel and leads up through the Vítkov hill, from where nice view to Prague Castle and Old Town is, see my post Unexpected views to Prague (1) from October 2011 at https://praguebykaty.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/unexpected-views-to-prague-1/.

My favorite place called Muj salek kavy (My cup of coffee) …

… and my cup of coffeee there


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures « PragueByKaty

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