Na Poříčí

(Plzeň) Plzeň Severní Předměstí
GPS: 49.7512650N, 13.3777803E

The areas surrounding Na Poříčí Street (also locally called Za navážkou) are located on the left bank of the Mže River in the floodplain separating the city centre from the Northern Suburb with the districts of Roudná, Lochotín, Vinice and others. The whole area underwent extensive changes in the last century, in connection with the construction of transport structures and modifications of the river bed. However, some parts of the locality still remind us of the former appearance and more lively shape of the previously unregulated river bed.

It was right in the area of ​​today's Na Poříčí Street where the Mže River branched out ­– its side arm, known as Soukenická valcha (valcha = washboard), ran approximately in the track of today's four-lane road in Tyršova Street, where it joined the Mlýnská strouha (Mill Drain), which subsequently flowed back into the Mže. Both the Mže River and Soukenická valcha used to be spanned by two smaller bridges, across which a road over the river led from the Saská brána gate to the north.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, suburban farm buildings and summer houses called “lusthauses” appeared in the area, the most important of which was the Lusthaus of the Tuschner Brothers in Lochotínská Street, which included an exceptionally large and opulent garden with fountains, sculptures and a building with a mirror hall. After 1850, the garden was split up by the newly established Keřová Street; a distillery with the production of pressed yeast (C8­–1217) was built in 1865 in the north western part, and residential houses along Keřová Street. The summerhouse was adapted to the U Zeleného Stromu Inn.

In 1848–1851 the Na Poříčí neighbourhood was transformed by the construction of the Saský (today’s Roosevelt) Bridge at the level of the historical city centre. It replaced the bridging of the Soukenická valcha as well as the stone bridge over the Mže River. During its construction the Saská brána gate was torn down and part of the continuous housing development on the left bank of the river removed. After the completion of the bridge, with a length of 290 m and a width of 10 m, which was remarkable for its curved shape, most of the houses in the block between Na Poříčí and Lochotínská streets were built during the third quarter of the 19th century. At the same time, the Soukenická valcha was filled in. In 1883, a steel truss structure of the Lochotín footbridge, connecting the historical centre with Keřová Street and Na Poříčí Park, was laid about 150 m west of the Saský Bridge over the Mže River.

After severe floods in 1890, Professor Karel Vosyka prepared a project for the Mže River regulation between the confluence with the Radbuza and the mouth of the Mlýnská strouha. Later, the Municipal Building Authority extended the regulation up to the Saský Bridge. In 1911, the Provincial Committee for River Regulation included this section of the river Mže, along with other parts of the Mže and Radbuza river beds in the vicinity of the historical centre of Pilsen, among planned regulations. The implementation of the plan started in 1912 but was delayed by the outbreak of the First World War. The regulation from the former mouth of the Mlýnská strouha to the confluence with the Radbuza was not realised until 1923–1926. In 1927, work began on another section, near the Peklo Club House.

The regulatory adjustments also involved a dam and a retaining wall, which were built on the left bank of the river between the Lochotín footbridge and the edge of the built-up parts of Rychtářka and Roudná. The original meanders were straightened and the bank of the Mže, which previously reached close to the houses in Na Poříčí Street, was moved to a distance of fifty meters from them. In 1930 the Lochotín footbridge was extended up to the new protective embankment; until then, the height difference on the left bank had been overcome by means of a wooden ramp. At the same time, a small hydrological station kiosk was built at the footbridge entrance on the right bank, which recorded the height of the Mže level up to 1979.

The same period as the Mže regulation plans saw the emergence of the idea to make the Berounka River navigable for larger ships, including a part of the Mže above the confluence with the Radbuza. A number of projects were prepared on this topic after 1911, including the planned construction of a port in the Na Poříčí area. This was to ensure that Pilsen’s industry wouldn’t find itself in transport isolation after the emergence of other waterways in the Czech Republic and abroad. Given the rising cost of rail transport, travel by water seemed more cost-effective. However, it was not only a matter of making the Berounka River navigable from Prague to Pilsen, but also of creating a waterway from Pilsen via the Všerubský Pass to Regensburg, where the canal would connect to the Danube, or the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal. However, the bold vision of connecting Prague to the Danube never materialised.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the Na Poříčí area was greatly affected by the construction of high-capacity expressways in the city centre which contributed significantly to the transformation of the wider surroundings in the inner periphery of the city. The interchange crossing of the four-lane east-west "through road" on Tyršova Street and Karlovarská Street, connecting the city centre with the then emerging large housing estates in the Northern Suburbs led along the new Antonín Zápotocký Bridge (General Patton Bridge today), degraded the character of the Mže right bank, a great part of the Na Poříčí and Lochotínská streets and the importance of the Lochotín footbridge, which was widely used until then. The low reinforced concrete arches of the bridge as well as the bridge deck with a width of 31.5 meters were situated high enough for the planned motorway on the Prague – Nuremberg route to pass underneath them (the motorway route was moved to the district of Roudná in the 1980s). The new bridge was also to make the river navigable by larger ships. River freight transport was to become a more efficient form of transporting large components from the Škoda Works. The only remnant of this plan is an unfinished lock on a shutter weir built on the Mže in 1983, less than 500 m above the confluence with the Radbuza.

In April 2016 the space between the river and the block of houses delimited by Lochotínská and Na Poříčí streets was modified. The revitalisation of the area on the site of the former Mže meander included the construction of solid footpaths and installation of benches in busy places; the whole area was then transformed into a recreation area with a playground, bike racks and other street furniture. However, the adjoining part of the waterfront – the eastern part of the former Tuschner Garden – is still used as a parking lot.


JČ – MK – PK

Sources

  • Veřejná debata nad návrhem řešení lokality Na Poříčí, Správa veřejného statku města Plzně, http://www.svsmp.cz/archiv/2014/verejna-debata-nad-navrhem-reseni-lokality-na-porici.aspx, vyhledáno 26. 1. 2016.
  • Jana Pechová, Nový parčík v ulici Na Poříčí na Roudné, Správa veřejného statku města Plzně, http://www.svsmp.cz/mestska-zelen/realizovane-akce-1/novy-parcik-v-ulici-na-porici-na-roudne.aspx, vyhledáno 19. 2. 2018.
  • Berounka, Útvar koncepce a rozvoje města Plzně, https://ukr.plzen.eu/cz/zivotni-prostredi/revitalizace-nabrezi-plzenskych-rek/berounka/berounka.aspx, vyhledáno 25. 1. 2019.
 
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