Štefánikovo náměstí / Štefánik Square

(Plzeň) Plzeň Jižní Předměstí
GPS: 49.736796N, 13.378599E

Štefánikovo náměstí (called Cattle Market according to its then function until the 1920s, Conrad of Hötzendorf Square during Nazi occupation, and Koněv Square in the years 1945–1989) spreads along Doudlevecká Street, which also demarcates its eastern boundary. The north side of the square is framed by the large building of the Home Guard barracks, built in the last decade of the 19th century. The west and north side of the present day space is formed by the complex of buildings of the ice hockey arena.

The present look of the square was formed through gradual development of a vacant area, whose pentagonal shape in the south-west was staked out by a road connecting Doudlevecká Street with a brickyard complex located in the place where present-day Radobyčická Street meets the square. The natural western border of the broader area was the railway track Pilsen – Klatovy – Železná Ruda at a higher elevation. In the city’s local development and expansion plans from the 1990s, the surrounding development as well as the square itself were subjected to an orthogonal urbanistic grid, yet the space still waited for a rectangular shape for a long time afterwards. Nevertheless, its south side was defined in the indicated trail by a complex of buildings of the city gas works as early as before the beginning of the 20th century. As is evident from the city plan from the year 1895, the triangular space between the square and the railway track was transformed into a park. Later, in the years 1926–1927, the dispatch building of the Pilsen–Hospital station (C5–1761) was built on the railway route. 

Besides its original purpose, the space of the square also served as a drill-ground in connection with the adjacent barracks. Part of the area above the square – roughly where the smaller ice-hockey arena stands today – was bought by the Pilsen Sokol Union in 1929, which established its summer sports ground here in the year 1931. An indoor skittle-alley with a pub was completed two years later. In the year 1949, an open-air ice-hockey arena with synthetic ice was constructed in the north-west wing of the square. The stadium was ceremonially opened by a Pilsen–Prešov match on the 11th of February 1950. In the years 1966–1970, an indoor stadium was built to the design of Vladimír Urbanec, Pavel Janeček and Ladislav Švábek. This structurally noteworthy building was continued by a glassed-in circular restaurant which, together with the rear facilities, formed the new look of the square’s south side. The set of buildings for the Pilsen ice-hockey club was complemented by the themed statue of an ice-hockey forward and a goalkeeper by the sculptor Vítězslav Eibl, probably from the year 1970. 

At the turn of the 1970s and 1980s, an outdoor ice-rink was established in the place of the former drill-ground. It wasn’t roofed until after the year 2000, with the project by Oldřich Kodeda. The ice-hockey stadium was modernised and the square on Doudlevecká Street was adapted at the same time – new trees were planted and parking established, while the ice-hockey sculpture was moved to the south part of the square.

JČ – MK – PK


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