Náměstí Českých bratří / Czech Brethren Square

(Plzeň) Plzeň Jižní Předměstí
GPS: 49.738702N, 13.366369E

Náměstí Českých bratří is one of the foci of the housing development of the one-time Říšské, present-day Jižní Předměstí / Southern Suburb. It is located along the north-south line of Koperníkova, Němejcova and Mánesova Streets near the train station Plzeň – Jižní Předměstí. The irregular trapezium shape of this public space is the result of the differing urbanism and architectural attitudes and concepts applied during its development. 

Náměstí Českých bratří appears on the city plan for the first time in 1895 as a rather small and nameless green space triangular in shape. Based on a plan conceived around the year 1910, where the simple block housing development was re-evaluated and replaced by a system of streets converging radially in variously composed public spaces, the square (then denoted as Schwarzovo) was conceived as one of the foci of this arrangement. Four streets from the south and south-west were to cross at the beginning of present-day Němejcova Street. Another two streets – present-day Zámečnická and Thámova (earlier Kotlářská) – then reached the square from the east side. However, the originally designed complex was not realised as a whole. In the inter-war period, only the north side, a part of the west side and a block between Mánesova and Schwarzova Street in the south of the square were realised. In this development the pair of Modernist apartment houses (C3–1999 and C3–2052) flanking the mouth of Mánesova Street stand out, constructed by the Špalek family.

During the Second World War, the square, like many other public spaces in Pilsen, served as the location of a water tank for firefighting, established because of Allied air raids directed at the arms manufacturing of the nearby Škoda Works. In the post-war plan, a high-density road along the north-west thoroughfare and a traffic roundabout were situated in this space. However, instead of this road network, the long undeveloped south-west part was closed up by the administrative building of the Škoda Works general management and a ten-storey hotel building consisting of high-rise accommodation and a ground-floor horizontal section with a restaurant. This building, completed in the year 1967 as Hotel Škoda according to the design of Václav Kubeš, has been serving as a dormitory for almost a decade now. 

The park modification of the square from the 1950s was revitalised in the first half of the 1990s, corresponding with the design by Václav Štěpán, while other public spaces in the immediate surroundings were adapted too. Roads were reinforced, new greenery was planted and street furniture was exchanged during this project.

JČ – MK – PK


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