Chodské náměstí / Chodské Square

(Plzeň) Plzeň Jižní Předměstí
GPS: 49.737565N, 13.371057E

Chodské Square is the middle one of three significant public spaces subdividing Klatovská Avenue south of the historical city centre. The square is located where Edvarda Beneše Street branches off from Klatovská Avenue, laid out in the track of the historical path to Štěnovice and further on to Klatovy. The space of the square (nameless at the time) appeared in the city plan for the first time in the year 1895. Thirteen years later, it already bore its current name, which was changed only for a few years during the Second World War when it was named after Antonín Švehla.

The western side of the square, consisting of residential city houses, was built up at the turn of the 19th and the 20th centuries. The remaining three sides of the square are lined by public buildings. The first of them – part of the complex of the present-day Faculty of Education of the University of West Bohemia on the south side of the square – appeared in the year 1897. The years 1907–1911 saw discontinuous construction of the Redemptorist church devoted to Saint John of Nepomuk, whose statue is integrated in the circular fountain located in front of the church. The church spires on the northern side of the square rise to a height of 63 metres, making it one of the dominant structures of the whole city. The eastern side of the square was closed off by the building of the Czech State Technical School in the years 1915–1920, nowadays the Secondary School of Civil Engineering (C3–1585).

Apart from the increase in traffic on Klatovská Avenue and the ensuing extension of the road in the 1970s, the square did not experience any significant changes in the post-war era. A memorial to the Second Infantry Division of the US Army, which liberated Pilsen at the end of the Second World War, was placed here in 1990. A black obelisk with the head of an American Indian, the symbol of this division, commemorates the military action which took place right on Chodské Square at the end of the war. Bullet marks were still visible until recently beneath the church spires. The memorial is the venue for annual commemorative events. The southern side of the square serves as a traditional place for fruit, vegetable and flower markets.