Výstaviště in Prague’s Holešovice district is starting its summer season with some changes. There are new attractions for children, sports facilities, a swimming area, and, from the middle of July, picnic places with electric grills in the lower part.
Restaurace Pražan’s summer garden and a new bistro has also opened. In the long run there will be beer made on site, and a cuisine pavilion.
Prague residents can now enter the lower part of Výstaviště straight from Stromovka, which better integrates the two areas. Broken and potholed paths have been fixed, and work in redeveloping the long-neglected area is ongoing.
“We will continue to transform Výstaviště into a modern socio-cultural area with a wide range of leisure and sports activities. For the summer, we have prepared for Praguers several innovations ranging from a rope obstacle course in the middle of trees to a fitness and a workout area to a new bistro with refreshments right next to Stromovka. Also in July, Prague residents can cool down in a swimming area,” Tomáš Hübl, chairman of the board of directors of the company Výstaviště Praha Holešovice, said.
Deputy Mayor Pavel Vyhnánek (Praha Sobě) said he appreciated that the new board of directors has been able to revive the complex this summer. “At Výstaviště, you can find families with children, sportsmen, seniors and friends who are going to sit in the evening. This is exactly what the modern leisure area should look like,” he said.
“For refreshment we are also preparing new drinking fountains, and other outdoor water attractions. At the same time, we will try to conserve drinking water, so we will irrigate and use rainwater from retention reservoirs and water from newly repaired local wells to fill ponds,” he added.
Athletes can use a modern climbing wall right next to the swimming area and children can use a bike park. Summer sports will be complemented by the swimming area, which be open in all of July and for part of August,. Then it must be maintained before the new season.
Already for this season the summer garden will open at the restaurant Pražan, which offers pleasant shade under the trees during the summer and a rich cultural program including a summer cinema. And a new Italian-style bistro called Artyčok is next to the Marold Panorama.
Work on the area will continue, and in the middle of July a new café and patisserie will open next to the children’s playground and a new culinary pavilon is being readied for the fall.
In the future people will be able to buy meat, cheese and barbecue equipment to use in the public barbecue area. During the summer, the foundations and remains of the already demolished buildings will also be removed and roads and sidewalks will be repaired, including the Brussels Road.
From September, Restaurace Pražan should start making its own its own lager beer.
The changes were approved by the previous City Hall administration. In 2017, the investment was said to be CZK 48 million, with the bulk going toward the swimming area.
Other planned projects for Výstaviště in the long run include reconstruction of the burned-out wing of the Industrial Palace (Průmyslový palác), repairs to the Křižík Fountain (Křižíkova fontána) and the renovation of some of the culturally protected buildings. A new entry gate should also be built. The Industrial Palace 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. But despite years of talk, the Šlechtova restaurant, located in a former summer hunting lodge, still has not reopened. The most recent date announced is April or May 2020, but dates have been pushed back previously so there is no guarantee.
The bridge linking Stromovka to Troja, which collapsed in December 2017, also has not been rebuilt and no target date has been announced.