I.northwest trail



The Town Hall was built in 1911 by Vysocany architect Vaclav
Haas. The east wing was not built at that time, because the landowner
Bedrich Frey-Strohmayer refused to turn over part of the originally promised
property to the city. Construction was completed and the building was used
in its original form by councillors, officials and the public for ninety years,
until September 2002. In
that year a modern extension to the Town Hall was added, designed by architect
Dan Mrkos and two years later the interior of the original was rebuilt
according to his designs. On the second floor of the historic Town Hall is
a ceremonial hall used for wedding ceremonies and important social events and
on the ground floor is Gallery 9, where the works of contemporary artists,
painters and graphic artists are displayed.


In the pillared hall in front of Gallery 9 is a panoramic
image of Vysocany in 1911 painted by local teacher and later headmaster, Jan
Divis for the tenth anniversary of Vysocany becoming a town.


This hall is also decorated with a statue of St. John
of Nepomuk, originally located in the pub ‘U Lipy’ on the corner of
Sokolovska  and Kratkeho.


THE EMBLEM OF THE TOWN OF VYSOCANY (on the front of the Town
Hall under the balcony on the first floor) was granted by Emperor Franz Josephy
I on the occasion of Vysocany’s promotion from village to town in 1902. The
symbols in the emblem – a gear wheel, vines with grapes and sugar cane – recall
the life of the village in the early 20th century: initially viticulture and
then the sugar refinery of the Frey family, who contributed significantly to
the development of Vysocany and its growth into a town, and finally the
engineering industry (the factory Kolben and co.).


2. Vysocany Train Station


Vysocany Train Station was originally built on the
Turnov-Kralupy-Prague line (Czech noethern line) and its construction in 1872
was connected with the growth of industry in Vysocany.  A year later the station was used also for
the Austrian northwestern line, which had bypassed it from the other
direction.  This had made it the only
‘island’ station in Prague.  Its other
point of interest is that the middle of the building forms part of the boundary
between Vysocany and Liben.


The station was of great benefit for the establishment of
industrial enterprises in Vysocany (for example the Kolben and co. factory, the
Frey sugar refinery, and the Tauber Brothers, wholesaler and bottler of wine),
because the village was now connected to the whole country and with most of
Europe (in Olomouc it was connected to the Emperor Ferdinand’s northern line
linking Vienna and Berlin).  At the same
time – along with the station in Liben – this became a motive for setting up
other businesses.


In the subway tunnel providing access to the tracks and the
station, which is between the tracks on the north side, is the oldest preserved
pavement in outer Prague.


3.  Flajsnerka

At the beginning of the 19th century, the village of
Vysocany consisted of several farms quite far away from each other which were
largely self-sufficient.  One such farm
was Flajsnerka.  The entrance to the
farmhouse was on the south side.  The
current version of the former farmhouse dates back to the 1880s when a
residential building of the farmhouse was converted into a two-story villa (the
building was shifted several metres north due to the construction of the
railway embankment) in the renaissance style. 
Only a balcony with a bay window survived from the original
building.  The courtyard and the land
above it up the hill were converted into a terrace garden with an imperial-style
greenhouse, summerhouse and a temple surrounded by an English-syle park.  The change in character of the building
reflected changes in the lifestyle of its inhabitants: they were no longer
dependent on tillage and work in the fields was certainly not the only source
of income.


The building stands at the foot of the elevated road built
in the 1960s, in grand style connecting the new Prosek housing estates with


4. Prosek Pond

The path from the subway under Vysocany station passes
between Flajsnerka and the grounds of the former homestead Jetelka and ends at
Prosek pond. The pond has a small and weak spring but it flows into two wells
by the bank of the northwestern shore. 
That point is called ‘U studanek’ (“At the springs”.   For centuries the pond was the sole source
of water for Prosek, which is built on a sandy plateau low in water content.

The pond was used by two local soldiers who went to serve in
the Alps.  They transported water from
its source in the valley to the mountains in water pots hanging from the backs
of their donkeys.  Because of this, in
the same way, water was carried to Prosek from the pond to supply the official
buildings  and houses by donkey.  It is for this reason that the inhabitants of
Prosek are said to be baptized with donkey’s water.

5. Jetelka

While the Flajsnerka homestead stood on Vysocany soil,  Jetelka was separated from it only by the
narrow path to Prosek Pond, on Liben soil. 
The path was bordered on the west by a stone wall made from slate from
local quarries.

At the entrance to the Jetelka homestead are classic arched
gates typical of farm yards – its profile looks lke a wagon loaded with grain
at harvest.   Either side of the main
gates there are two more gates, only one of which was used.  The second was arranged for a chapel with
images of Mary.  In the final years
before the demolition of the building, to make way for the construction of the
elevated road, local artist Nina Smrckova was responsible for the interior
decoration of the chapel.

6) Prosek Village Green

 The area lined with
rows of acacia was enclosed by the main street of Prosek.  It had no name but was called ‚V alejickach‘
(‚in the rows‘).  Only the area in front
of the tavern ‚U Brabcu‘ is considered as the vilalge green, which later was
considered as a town square.  The tavern
‚U Brabcu‘ was the biggest in Prosek, with a theatre inside.  It was particularly used by amateur players
from Josef Kajetan Tyl’s company.  After
the second world war a cinema was installed in the hall.

Since 1889 there has been an old Prosek school on the other
side, adorned with the bust of Comenius. 
After the establishment of a new school – today a basic arts school
below the village green on the street ‚U Prosecke Skoly‘ – the old school buildings
were taken over by various institutions – the municipal office, the post
office, fire department, veterinary service etc.  Opposite the tavern there used to stand a
wooden cross with a cast-iron corpus, which was cast in the Kolběnova factory
as a monument to their first casting. The cross was moved during the socialist
era moved to the now disused cemetery at the St. Wenceslas church.

Today´s restaurant “Zlaté sele” (Golden Piglet) was
originally a tavern “U Kristů” (‘With Christ’), which was often used as a
clubroom for many social and cultural associations based in Prosek.

Opposite the restaurant is a monument to participants in the
resistance in the Second World War who were from Prosek and were executed on
the 13th of January 1943.

In the middle of the lower part of the square, there is a
replica of a vineyard column. The original column, 1st half of the 17th
century, stood on the boundary between Prosek and Libeň along the road leading
to the vineyards Michalka.  Opposite the
column used to stand a statue of Piety, which was for the same reason as the
vineyards – construction of roads in 1905 -moved away to the upper end of the
village green. 

7) St. Wenceslas Church, Vicarage, Cemetery

According to legend in the Czech chronicles of Vaclav Hajek
from Libocany, it was founded by Prince Boleslav II in 970 A.D., but the original
three-nave Romanesque basilica was probably built in the second half of the 11th

In 1421
in the Hussite Wars the church was burned down.  Another disaster for the church occurred when
Sweden invaded at the end of the Thirty Years War.  The current church building was established
in 1931.  Its rich baroque interior
decorations were removed in 1965 according to the Second Vatican Council’s
changes to Holy Mass and Catholic rituals.

There is one vicarage attached with the St. Wenceslas Church
– an early classical building – with a statue of St. John of Nepomuk adorning
its façade.  The vicarage includes a
garden with a baroque granary with a staircase and gallery.

Around the church is a disused cemetery.  Amid the thick ivy obscuring the remnants of
the cemetery stand a number of gravestones and sculptures from the workshop of
Postranecky.   The tombstones bear the
names of some prominent local figures – Honorata Zapova (writer and
translator), Věnceslav Dünebierr (Choirmaster of the choral ensemble), the
tombs of the Frey family, the mayor of Liben Svet, Jana Pravoslav Pribik
(Vysocany teacher and national revivalist) and Czech teacher and philosopher
Frantisek Cupr.

In 1757 General Daun was housed in the parish, with the
commanders of the Prussian Army of Frederick the Great, which fought with the
Austrian Army of Frantisek Lotrinsky at Sterboholy.  During the battle, even the 73 year-old
Prussian Marshal Schwerin, stood to lead the fight for Frederick.  The battle ended after five hours with the
defeat of the emperor at Mount Tabor u Hrdlorez.  During the battle 125,000 foot soldiers
fought, along with 250 cavalry squadrons and nearly 400 light and heavy
artillery.  Around 14, 000 were counted
as killed, wounded or missing on each side.

8) Sokolovna

A few steps from the church of St. Wenceslas in a what was
originally a barn is the still in-use Sokol gym U Malych.  During the inter-war years the gym
occasionally served as a cinema for Prosek. 
The gym played an important role in 1942, when it was used as a shelter
for the parachute squad ‘Anthropoid’, which was sent to the country from
England to assassinate the Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich.  Both perpetrators of the assassination, Jozef
Gabcik and Jan Kubis, found shelter there on occasion.

From the beginning of the Second World War the Vysocany
Sokol, like all Sokols, was incorporated into the national resistance, which
culminated in the attempt to rescue the paratroopers.  The Vysocany Sokol resistance was led by
Brother Jaroslav Piskacek, Mayor Hynek Pavlik, and trainers Jaroslav Smrz, his
sister Ema Khodlova, Josef Pospisil and Josef Novy.  Under martial law, which followed after the
assassination, Smrz, Khodlova and the whole family were executed.

9) Friendship Park

The park is located at an altitude of 288-295m above sea
level and was designed by architect Otakar Kuca between 1976 and 1983.  The system of ponds, streams, with a
waterfall and fountain at the highest point of the park has a length of 450m
and a total volume of 1600-1800m3 of water.

In 2004, one-third of the park’s ground surface was taken in
the construction of the tunnel for the metro line to Letnany.  Extensive construction was required and rows
of lime trees were planted alongside the mound of earth.

After completion of the metro the earth was restored to its
place.  The renovation, including overall
reconstruction and revitalization of the streams and the park, began in January
2008 and was financed by the Town Hall of Prague 9 and European Union
funding.  The revitalization was carried
out according to designs, again from the architect Kuca and architects from the
studio „a05 ateliér zahradní a krajinářské architektury“.

Among the species of trees are primarily small linden trees,
oak , horse chestnut, maple, hornbeam and rowan.  Of particular interest are the honey locust
trees.  Willow trees are around the
water, especially the goat willow.

10) Statue of Jiří Wolker

Jiří Karel Wolker (29.3.1900-3.1.1924) was a Czech left wing
poet who wrote proletarian poetry. His work, in the beginning, was full of love
for people and things as well as a humanised relationship with everyday
reality. His collection of poems ‚Host do domu‘ (1921) is an image of the ideal
world which is full of love, understanding and pure interpersonal
relationships. There is no way of getting away from the problems of the world,
human evil exists, but a person must believe in its correction and realize the
greatness of nature, before which we should bow with humility.

The economic depression after the First World War and in
particular the dire social conditions of workers led him to join the newly
founded KSČ (Communist Party), partly to begin a new artistic style (along with
Devětsil), which was to become proletarian art. From Walker’s social ballads in
the collection ‚Těžká hodina‘ the best known are Balada o očích topičových
(Ballad of the stoker’s eye), Balada o nenarozeném dítěti (Ballad of the unborn
child) and Balada o snu (Ballad of dreams).

The third collection of poems – Svatý kopeček (a pilgrim
destination near Olomouc)- is a multi-thematic poem with autobiographic
elements in which the poet dreams his childhood dream about changing the world.

The bronze statue of Jiří Wolker, a piece by Miloslav Šonka
and Stanislav Hanzal, was placed in Park Přátelství (Friendship Park) in 1984.

11) Strizkov

Until 1922, Strizkov was a small farm village with 35
houses.  In the 13th century it belonged
to nuns from the monastary of St. George at Prague Castle.  From the 16th century Strizkov belonged to
Liben, just like other villages which comprise modern day Prague 8 and 9.  This is reflected in the name of the street
‚Trojmezni‘, where three districts meet: Prosek, Liben and Strizkov.

On the edge of south-west Strizkov stood the villa Silboch
(Ztracena varta).  In the 19th century it
belonged to the intendant of Stavovske Theare, J.K. Liebich, who surprised his
guests at Christmas with a decorated fir tree, something very rare in Bohemia at
the time.

MADLINA (bus stop)

Madlina was the name of the archivist of the public
transport company, who looked after the bus drivers.  It was at the drivers‘ request that the stop
was named after her, an exceptional occurrence as she was still alive at the
time that the stop was named.


12) PŘIBÍKOVA VYHLÍDKA (Pribik’s Outlook)

Jan Pravoslav Pribik (4.4.1811-19.10.1843) was the first
teacher in the oldest school in Vysocany (est. 1854).  He graduated from the German Pedagogical
School in Prague but because of his patriotism and attempts to teach children
in their mother tongue, he was refused a job at schools in Prague.  Because of this, he became a tutor for
several important families.  He also
became a chronicler and town official in Beroun, where he worked for 20
years.  This job gave him the opportunity
to meet and later work with the austro-slavic cultural elite of the Czech
nation, for example Jungmann, Palacky, Safarik, and other national reformers.

After the opening of a new school in Vysocany, he became its
headmaster (1st of December 1854).  The
two class school was first located in a newly finished one-story building at
Hlavni, later moved to Kralovske and the building now stands on
Sokolovska.  In Vysocany, Jan Pravoslav
Pribik could now fulfil his educational 
ambitions, which gained him and the school publicity that silenced even
the Austrian authorities.

In recognition he recieved the royal decree of the
archbishop’s consistory and the ministry of education and was even awarded 30
gold for teaching  Sunday School.

After fourteen years in Vysocany, Jan Pravoslav Pribik was
respected highly as a teacher.  He was
extremely active in Vysocany and interested in both cultural and public
life.  He wrote and published some of his
teaching pieces and in later life was still interested in literature and
theatre arts.  Jan Pravoslav Pribik is
buried in Prosek Cemetery.

13) VYHLÍDKA EMY DESTINNOVÉ (Ema Destinnova’s Outlook)

Ema Destinnova (nee Kittlova, 26.2.1878 – 28.1.1930) was the
most famous Czech opera singer from the late 19th century until her death.  Her art was known through all of Europe and
the United States of America.  Although
her reputation was greater abroad than at home, she only felt at home in the
Czech Republic and was prepared to sacrifice her fame for this.  During the First World War she was even
victimised for her patriotism.  In her
last year of life (1929) she lived in the home of her brother-in-law, the
knight Bedrich Frey of Freyenfels and his sister Jindriska (in today’s Freyova
Street), founded a singing school there, and left her gramophone archive, which
was destroyed during an air raid on Vysocany at the end of World War II.

In recognition of her performance in hundreds  of Czech and world operas, this unique and
unusual outlook over the city is named after her.

14)   Prosek Cliffs

The Prosek cliffs are made by nature, but the quarry is the
work of man.  The solid sandstone was
mined and processed as a building material in brickyards, as it was
particularly weather-worn and friable, creating a very fine sand.

The weathered cliff area attracted many miners who came to
illegally mine for their own needs.  It
was built as a maze of tunnels, some of which eventually collapsed, while
others still exist.  The corridors are
generally 1-2m wide and up to 2m high. 
The complexity of the corridors is in places great that in places,
between the passages there are only wide supporting beams bearing the weight of
the sandstone.

During the crisis of the First Republic there were even
families of unemployed workers living in the tunnels, trying to adjust to their
lifestyle.  In World War II the caves
allegedly served as a bomb shelter. The arrows on the walls for orientation and
remnants of electric lighting probably are left from that time.

15) The Machalka Vineyard

The southern slopes of Prosek have a long history of wine-growing.  Grapes have been grown there for wine since
before Charles IV decided to establish vineyards around Prague.  This is evidenced very clearly in Vlasdislav
I’s deed of gift from the year 1115, which donated the vineyards below Prosek
to the Kladrubsky Monastery.  The land on
which today’s Machalka vineyard lies was probably part of a larger area of
vineyards.  The oldest known owner of the
vineyard was probably Dirix, and Pavelatz after him.  We know that in 1725 it was owned by Daniel
Antonin Petsch, whose name the vineyard borrowed for a long time.  Even on maps from 1910 it is still named as
Pecova.  Today the vineyard is named
after its last owner, Josef Machal: ’Machalka’’.

Today’s Machalka vineyard was recreated in 1996-2000 under
the care of the winery group Svaty Vaclav (St. Vaclav), whose aim is to
continue the tradition of Prague’s wineries. 
The first virgin harvest was in the year 2000.  The vineyard grows eight varieties of grape:
Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Muller Thurgau, Moravian Muscat (MOPR), St. Laurent,
Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Blue Portugal.

In 2005 the Machalka Vineyard was placed in the first class
of quality wines.


16A) Podviní Park

The Podviní Park is the second municipal park in the
district of Prague 9 (right after the Park of Friendship in Prosek).

Even though it occupies an area of only 4 hectares, it seems
quite spacious. It was created between the years 1997 – 1998 as a
reconstruction of an older park from 1960, which used to be a part of the green
belt spreading along the Rokytka River, from the Vysocany Railway Station to
the former manor Kolèavka.   The creators
of the landscaping project were Dr. S. Špoula and architect Miroslav Pacner.


They were inspired by one of the natural wonders of the
world, the Giant´s Causeway on the coast of County Antrim in Northern Ireland,
which is an example of surprising and unique symmetry in nature. Thus, with the
help of stone and oak beams, all of the following attractions found in the
Podviní Park were formed: Hradištì, Drací jezero, Velká vyhlídka (with an
imitation of the spine of a prehistoric lizard, halls, a tunnel and a lookout
with stairs).

The spine of the lizard stakes out the amphitheatre with the
front made of semi-worked stones.

The dominating feature is a large oak trunk planted upside
down, that is with the roots upwards. The oak tree is 10 – 12 metres high and weighs
around 12 tons.

The amphitheatre and the lizard spine are both parts of a
playground which looks like a model of a Celtic fort.


Water is a very important element of the park: in the form
of the Rokytka River bordering the park in its lower edge and separating it
from urban development, but also in the form of the little stream across the
park. Its banks are covered in water-loving vegetation, there are little wooden
bridges built across it and under the lizard statue, there is a small lake with
stepping stones over which you can walk.

There are not only various events for children, music
festivals and other social events during summer months, but also wedding
ceremonies. There is a wooden gazebo in the central part of the park where you
can relax.

There are mostly deciduous species of tree in the park, with
only a small proportion of coniferous species. The most precious trees (plane,
horse-chestnut, linden, maple) are in the original part of the park to the
north of the Rokytka River. The most common tree in the park is the Norway maple.

17) Weir and flume to the mill

The Rokytka river runs all across the territory of Prague 9
from east to west.  It comes from two
springs in the Ricany forest near the villages Tehov and Trhovec, which join
after a few hundred metres to become the river, and after about 36km it joins
the Vltava near the Liben docks.  The
riverbed was canalized from Hloubetin to Liben in the years 1905-1910.  From that time come the weirs which control
the flow of the river.  Until then, the
Rokytka river formed ponds and marshes with its white water, which sometimes
flooded the surrounding area, and occasionally broke through in different
directions from its original flow.  In
Hrdlorezy it lies on the path to Smetanka hill, at the base of which it creates
a wide arc, and at the next hill Tabor, the Rokytka turns to flow almost in the
opposite direction through a wide valley.

For many centuries, the Rokytka has been the only source of
water for the local agricultural and wine-growing industries.  Much of this revolved around the mill at
Podvini.  The length of the Rokytka in
Prague is 31.5km, and the total area of the catchment is 139.9km2


Until 1973, there was a distillery whose premises – a malt
house, a gasworks, a pit for molasses, a potash smelter, fridge, warehouse and
housing for employees, later a railway siding, office, refectory and canteen,
gatehouse and fencing – gave way to modern development.

The Libeň brewery at Podviní was a branch of F.X. Bronche
Sohn company – a chemical factory in Prague 1. The company was founded in 1817
by the Viennese trader F.X. Bronche and chemist V. Kablík from Sadská (the
inventor of a method for whitening paper and flax and cotton fabric with
chlorine). The original factory – very modern and famous in all of  Austria-Hungary – was built in 1832 in Sanytrová Street.
In year 1872 Brosche released the land for the building of the Rudolfinum and
moved to Podviní.  Pipelines were built
to supply water from the river, four ponds and canalization at Rokytka needed to
be constructed – the distillery concentrated on fermenting molasses for
ethanol, and the production of ethanol and potash only.

At the end of 19th Century 49 000 hectolitres of
waterless ethanol (99,7%), 700 tons of potash and 400 tons of soda water were being
produced annually. The manufactured ethanol had the best quality in the

19. The Mill in Podviní

Not only did the mill used to stand here, but also a
fortress and farmyard as well, which are both on a written report from the
period of Jan of Luxembourg – from the year 1318. These three buildings formed
the basis of the Podviní settlements. While the court, the mill and a few other
buildings survived the centuries, the fortress was abandoned at the beginning
of the 17th century. After the Thirty Years War, only the mill with the rest of
the estate remained from the settlement.

 According to
tradition, one of the pillars of the gateways was preserved as the only witness
of the existence of the Podvini fortress. Nowadays, the pillar is piously incorporated
in the area of new residential houses. The pillar survived the Hussite raids,
the siege of Prague by the Swedes and the artillery of the Prussian army in

The mill stood on a man-made island made by the flume from
the Rokytka River, which flowed around it. 
The start of the flume on the right side of the Rokytka is still able to
be seen. The mill was rebuilt many times. Its last known appearance is known
from photographs – it is a ground floor with four windows and an attic roof. In
the basement there were rooms with a cylindrical vault and a pointed
lunettes.  Rooms on the ground floor had
timber ceilings.  To the south of this
building stood a small barn with a cavetto cornice and to the west stood a
commercial building.


20) Kolcavka

The oldest report on the vineyard estate of Kolčavka only
dates back to the 18th century, when it was owned by Earl Millessimo, Margrave
of Savon. The vineyard’s story begins, however, probably several centuries
earlier. Owners were changed quite often. In the 19th century, Kolčavka was
rebuilt by Wenceslas Ubelli of Siegburg. He split the commercial buildings from
the residential part, from which he then established a pleasure house. That is
how a mere homestead became a noble residence. The vineyards produced burgundy
wine, which was considered to be the best wine in central Bohemia. Another
owner of Kolčavka was Earl Deym. He accomplished Ubelli’s idea of converting
the pleasure house to a manor and he also created a manor park in its garden.
Later on, an English general, Thomas Brady, bought Kolčavka and rebuilt it with
a delicate influence on the terrain around it. He also split the flow of
Rokytka into several smaller flows with beautiful lakes, so an English style
park was created.  After a family tragedy
Thomas Brady sold Kolčavka to a chance buyer, who had it destroyed.

Only in the 1830‘s did burgher of Prague Mr. Hlasivec
purchase Kolčavka and raise it to its former glory and leave it to his
children. Later, Hlasivec’s oldest daughter Ludmila married professor František
Čupr, an important teacher and philosopher, who bought Kolčavka at auction and
turned it not only into their home but also into a centre of patriotic cultural
society. After professor Čupr refused to give lectures in German he left the university
and established his own private school at Kolčavka.

Today a part of Kolčavka serves as a private fire-fighter

Remains of a railway bridge over the Rokytka built in 1875
can be found near Kolčavka. The bridge was a part of the Lysá nad Labem –Prague
line belonging to the Austrian North-western railway connecting Berlin with
Vienna.   Along the line from Lysánad
Labem to Prague, trains stopped first in Vysočany, then in Libeň – Lower Train
Station (near Palmovka) and continued through Invalidovna and Karlín to Prague
– Těšnov. In 1984, the line was discontinued.

21. Prumysl Statue

In the park in front of the bridge over the Rokytka near the
Vysocany hospital is a statue of Vincent Makovsky – Prumysl.  He was a renowned sculptor, decent  and clean-living, who celebrated workers in
the Vysocany and Liben factories.

To the right of the statue of Prumysl along the Rokytka
river is the sports complex TJ Praga Praha. 
It operates in the football division of the same name and was founded in
1909, originally as Sport Club Vysocany. 
In 2003, the original cinder pitch was replaced with grass and the rest
of the land was used to create a small sand training pitch.

There are 6 street bridges in total in the area of Prague 9,
including the one on Sokolovská street. Apart from street bridges there are
also 5 railway bridges (viaducts) and many smaller bridges used by pedestrians.
There used to be a ford crossing on Na Břehu street – on a spot where the
stream widened - until the canalization of the Rokytka Stream (1906). The
bridge in Freyova street is built approximately at the same place where there
used to be a ferry.

For a long time, the people living in Vysočany could check
their time by looking at a clock situated on a house on the corner of Na Břehu
and Sokolovská Streets. Nowadays, this clock has been replaced by a new clock,
which is built into the wall of the newly reconstructed town hall.