The pace of renovations at Prague’s Výstaviště Holešovice has sped up, thanks to the area being empty of people due to coronavirus restrictions. A new food pavilion has just opened and barbecue grills will soon will be available for the public. A large parkour playground is also almost completed.
The city has been also been building new sports grounds, and revitalizing greenery and public areas to make the area more useful for Prague residents. Decades of neglect at Výstaviště had led the decay of several buildings and public spaces. During the last two years, Výstaviště has undergone a major renovation to revitalize it.
“In the current crisis, we are all even more aware of how much Praguers need places to rest — areas such as Výstaviště, where they can stay in the fresh air and gain strength. We also expect to welcome a number of domestic tourists to Prague this year, who will be looking for places other than Charles Bridge and the Astronomical Clock. That is why I am glad that Výstaviště is constantly changing for the better,” Prague Deputy Mayor Pavel Vyhnánek (Praha sobě), responsible for finance and budget, said on the City Hall website.
“We do not want to slow down our investments in Výstaviště because we perceive them as one of the best tools to support the economy during the coronavirus crisis,” he added.
On Facebook, he said that the administration was keeping its promise to change the space, and decades of neglect were being fixed at a rapid pace.
Due to the absence of visitors in the area caused by the coronavirus restrictions, the city managed to complete several revitalization and reconstruction projects of public spaces, sidewalks and greenery that were started last year. The area is becoming a multifunctional space that offers a wide range of leisure opportunities.
“We still have a lot of work to do. In the next few weeks, we will start renovating the former Bohemia restaurant, and the renovation of the Křižík Pavilion and the Spiral Theater (divadlo Spirála) are also planned for this year. At the same time, modifications to the outdoor areas, including new furniture and lighting, will continue. We are pleased that the renovation of Výstaviště is one of the priorities for the city management,” Výstaviště board chairman Tomáš Hübl said.
This week, a new cuisine pavilion opened in the lower part of the complex at the newly built gate to Stromovka, and from next week it will be possible to use a public barbecue. People need to make a reservation online.
“The new food pavilion was one of the key projects with which we want to make the newly revitalized lower part of the complex more attractive, and offer not only sports activities, but also the opportunity to spend free time with friends or family. At the same time, we want to attract visitors to Stromovka,” Hübl said.
Investments in the complex in 2019 exceeded 130 million CZK, of which the revitalization of the outdoor area in the lower part of the complex, which included the renewal of grass areas, construction of playgrounds, game elements and a new gastronomic pavilion, reached 53.8 million CZK. The missing connection with Stromovka was supplemented, and more than 2 kilometers of roads and sidewalks were repaired, including the revitalization of 12,000 square meters of grassy areas.
In the first four months of 2020, another 11 million CZK was invested in the revitalization of the lower part of the complex. A boulder wall, children’s rope playground, fitness and workout zone, which opened last year, will be joined by the largest parkour playground in the Czech Republic next week, and a giant sandpit for the youngest will be opened by the end of May.
For refreshments, visitors to Výstaviště can use the Artyčok bistro, the Pražan restaurant and also the food pavilion with the new Bistro No. 2, where, among other things, it will be possible to rent picnic baskets and also buy ingredients for grilling on public electric grills.
Many of the renovations were approved and started by the previous City Hall administration. In 2017, the investment was said to be 48 million CZK .
Other planned projects for Výstaviště, in the long run, include reconstruction of the burned-out wing of the Industrial Palace (Průmyslový palác), which had a fire in 2008.
Výstaviště was built for the Jubilee Exhibition of 1891, also called the General Land Centennial Exhibition. There was a large renovation of the area in 1991. During the communist era, party congresses were held at the Industrial Palace.
Stromovka park, adjacent to Výstaviště, has also seen a lot of renovation in recent years, especially in rebuilding its paths and waterways. The Šlechtova restaurant is also undergoing renovation and should reopen this year.