Prague Market celebrates 125 years with an all-day festival on September 12

Anniversary celebrations for the market space in Prague 7 have been delayed since March

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 11.09.2020 08:12 (updated on 11.09.2020)

Prague Market on September 12 will celebrate 125 years since its opening with a program for the whole family. An educational trail with 14 stops will acquaint visitors with the history of the former city slaughterhouse.

During the day there will be theater performances, circus shows, sports and music, along with stands for small breweries and street food, The all-day program will culminate in the lighting of Michal Škapa’s light installation.

“The area of Prague Market, like Výstaviště in Holešovice, has the advantage that it is largely located in the open air. Thanks to this, events such as Saturday’s celebrations of the establishment of the complex can take place here, despite the tightening of coronavirus measures,” Deputy Mayor Pavel Vyhnánek (Praha sobě), who is in charge of Prague Market (Pražská tržnice) and its development, said.

prague market historical
Prague Market when it was the city’s slaughterhouse / via Praha.EU

The varied program for all generations will offer cultural and culinary experiences, and I look forward to enjoying the beginning of the ‘grandma summer’ together,” he said.

The program features cultural entities operating in the area — Burza #4, Jatka 78, Trafo Gallery —as well as the Ministry of Agriculture, which will offer its mobile museum and a cow milking parlor for children in front of the popular vegetable market in Hall 22.

On the same day, a festival of small breweries will take place in the complex. The special beers Holešovický beyk and Holešovická APA, among others, will be available on tap.

In front of the Jatka 78 theater, a children’s performance About a Rooster and a Hen (O kohoutkovi a slepičce) will take place during the day, as well as a circus show by the Cirk La Putyka ensemble. An exhibition by painter Martin Salajka will be on display in the Trafo Gallery. Community space H40 offers a ceramic workshop and a tour of spaces focused on virtual reality and 3D printing.

prague market tower
Tower in Prague Market / via Raymond Johnston

The program culminates with the festive lighting of a neon work by the artist Michal Škapa, which was created for the celebration in cooperation with the Signal Festival.

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The original plans for the celebrations were thwarted by the corona virus epidemic. In addition to Saturday’s event, the celebrations of 125 years of the Market will continue in the autumn, if the situation allows.

At the beginning of October, divadlo Pomezí is preparing a special audio performance tailored to the complex, and at the end of October, the Forman Brothers Theater (Divadlo Bratří Formanů) will stage the performance Deadtown in the complex. There will also be a reconstruction of the Forum ’88 exhibition, which took place in the complex in 1988 and featured artistic works by Kurt Gebauer, Jiří Sozanský, Hugo Demartini and Karel Nepraš.

As part of the autumn celebrations, Jatka 78 prepared a reprise of the performance Mass for Souls (Mše za duše), which began its operation in the Prague Market Square in 2014.

Statue at the entry to Prague Market / via Raymond Johnston

Prague Market, formerly the Central Slaughterhouse of the Royal City of Prague (Ústřední jatka královského města Prahy), was built in 1983 and inaugurated in 1895. Since 1993 it has been protected as a cultural monument. The area of 103,060 square meters consists of 40 buildings with Art Nouveau and Neo-Renaissance design elements. The architect was Josef Srdínek. The two bull statues at the entrance to the complex are by Czech sculptors Bohuslav Schnirch and Čeněk Vosmík.

People often call it the Holešovice Market (Holešovická tržnice) to avoid confusion with other open-air markets in Prague. In the long term, Prague Market will be renovated into a cultural and arts center for the city.

The complete program of celebrations is available on the Prague Market website, and on Facebook.