Deserted in Prague - May 2003
Prague is quickly becoming just another Western city. The communist past is fading. But there are still little islands of neglect that recall the soothing grey atmosphere of the past.
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The Valdstejn gardens are being renovated, and while not deserted, they look like a maze from the "Myst" computer game. Some buildings are empty and full of weird nooks and crannies. Definitely worth a visit. (Valdstejnská)
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prague_d121.jpg The rail line is still in use but station Vysehrad is completely deserted. I didn't have time to explore; I was looking for the Botic drain. (Svobodova, Na Stupi)
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An old factory in Smíchov. It was totally deserted. A homeless person had made his bed under the intricate woodwork. In December 2003 it was gone. It will be replaced by a block of luxurious apartments. (Mrázovka)
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A tiny and deserted chapel. The door was open. (Svédská)
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Prague castle is full of deserted military installations. Some are modern... ...and some date from the previous century. All look quite inaccessible. (Hladová Zed')
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Deserted buildings under the castle. Strange, this should be a prime development area. But at the moment the grass is growing on the roof. (Strahovská)
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Karlín is an area of Prague that was devastated by the floods of 2002. You can see how high the water stood by the height of the peeled plaster. Most of the houses are being renovated and the cellars and lower floors are empty. Not much traffic, the area has a "ghost town" feeling. (Pernerova)
prague_d329.jpg I visited this place several times. It still has that dreary and soothing communist era atmosphere. I like it - I grew up in those days. My wife hates the atmosphere - she says it makes her feel depressed. (Pernerova, Masarykovo Nádrazí)
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You wouldn't guess ... ... but the place is still very much in use.
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Old car factories... ... with weird watchtowers on their roofs. (Pernerova)
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A pedestrian tunnel. Going under the hill. (Thámova)
prague_d340.jpg This looks like the periphery, but it deep inside the town. A collection of weird workshops and old factories. The factories are now used as warehouses and parking garages. (Pernerova)
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prague_d344.jpg One beautiful old factory was completely deserted. I was tempted to go inside but the I noticed one lonely workman who was collecting the rubble and wheeling it outside in a wheelbarrow. A monumental task for one man! (Pernerova)
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prague_d371.jpg Nice industrial archaeology and beautifully decayed signs. It says: "Maximum number of gas cylinders, oxygen: 30 carbon dioxide: 20". (Na Spitálsku)
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prague_d385.jpg Then if you go right and up the hill there's a wonderful walk over decayed walkways and you end up in an urban park on the hill with a wonderful atmosphere. During the climb you hear the sounds of the city all around you.
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Finally some modern, but deserted railway buildings. They were probably deserted because of the floods. (Husitská) There must be a lot of interesting places to explore in Prague. But it's difficult to do a thorough survey in just a few days. We need more time, or more Czech explorers.
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© Petr Kazil

March 2004