Denisovo nábřeží / Denis Embankment

(Plzeň) Plzeň Východní Předměstí
GPS: 49.744721N, 13.381721E

Denisovo nábřeží spreads along the right bank of the Radbuza River, between a set of three railway bridges in the south and a bridge complex with road and tram transport at the crossroads U Jána in the north. The three railway bridges were constructed one after another at the location of a one-time ferry. The first bridge on the Smíchov – Pilsen – Furth im Wald route was opened in the year 1862; the next bridge north of it on the route Pilsen–Cheb followed in the years 1871–1872. The third bridge, belonging to the Pilsen – Klatovy – Železná Ruda line, was constructed in 1876. This group of bridges was complemented by another pair of bridges in the late 1990s – the Millennium Road Bridge. 

The bridge U Jána, first mentioned in the year 1520 and also called the Second Prague Bridge, was the only connection between the historical centre and the Pražské Předměstí / Prague Suburb. It was replaced by a steel truss in 1889 and a reinforced concrete construction in 1942. At the turn of the 1970s and 1980s, a triple bridge was constructed north of this one as part of the east-west thoroughfare through Pilsen. Roughly in the middle of Denisovo nábřeží, Wilson Bridge (originally Emperor and King Franz Joseph I. Bridge) is situated, realised in the years 1912–1913 and connecting anew the historical city centre and the Central Railway Station building, which had previously only been accessible from the centre by the bridge U Jána. 

Regulation of Denisovo nábřeží and the directly opposite Anglické nábřeží / English Embankment took place in stages between the years 1897 and 1923. Together with the regulation, a weir was constructed at Wilson Bridge in 1911, replacing the Královský jez / Royal Weir in front of the museum building which was removed when Mlýnská strouha / Mill Drain was filled in. Regulation prevented the extensive flooding which had previously troubled the historical centre of Pilsen, while opening up an opportunity for housing developments in the large area of the right bank of the Radbuza. 

Building activities commenced here simultaneously with completion of the regulation in the early 1920s. The first building to be constructed was the complex of the County Sickness Institution in Pilsen (C1–1000) and Masaryk Student House (C1–1150) in the years 1925–1929. The author of both was Bohumil Chvojka, who designed other public buildings for Denisovo nábřeží intended to immediately continue this new complex in the direction of Americká Avenue – these were the Apprentice House and a building for the Summer Camp Puppet Theatre in the 1920s, and the district health centre in the second half of the 1940s which was supposed to form part of the northern edge of Americká Avenue. Neither of these plans was realised; the same went for the competition designs of the building of the Hus People’s University (1932) which originally was to have been built on the corner of Denisovo nábřeží and Americká Avenue. 

Simultaneously with the construction of the insurance company and the student house, the premises of the Municipal Spa were built in the years 1926–1932, based on the design by Bedřich Bendelmayer and adapted by Ladislav Fiala (C1–1217). After serious damage by Allied air raids, the spa building was reconstructed to acquire its present look by the architect Václav Neckář. In the year 1983, the row of monumental buildings was complemented by the building of the National Security Corps Directorate situated at the crossroads U Jána, designed by Jaroslava Gloserová and Miloslav Sýkora.

Development south of Americká Avenue was also commenced in the 1920s. It was to have been brought all the way up to the railway line by a grand complex of trade schools. Based on a competition from the early 1930s, Bohumil Chvojka, Václav Neckář and, in the beginning, Jaroslav Čada collaborated on the project. The plan was, however, abandoned after a few years. The street front was not extended towards the set of three railway bridges until the 1970s, when the administrative building of the Vltava River Basin Directorate was realised.

The Culture House from the mid-1980s was built according to the design by Miloslav Hrubec, Pavel Němeček and Jaroslav Holler near the intersection of the embankment of Denisovo nábřeží and Americká Avenue. The object was torn down in the year 2012 despite the protests of experts and the general public alike because of the planned construction of a new shopping mall, Corso. This plan provoked a wave of resentment among the citizens of Pilsen, who rejected the building early in 2013. At present, the future of the vacant area is uncertain.

JČ – MK – PK