Velká and Malá hvězda / Big and Small Star

(Plzeň) Plzeň Jižní Předměstí
GPS: 49.734119N, 13.365628E

The names of Velká a Malá hvězda / Big and Small Star belong to two park squares situated not far from each other in the Bezovka villa neighbourhood in the Jižní Předměstí / Southern Suburb west of Klatovská Avenue. The noble character of this neighbourhood is the result of the development plan of 1911, where the rectangular block development, characteristic of Pilsen during the last quarter of the 19th century, was abandoned. This regular, rational structure was replaced by a dynamic system with radially arranged streets converging in several public spaces. However, this ambitious plan of a garden town, also including cooperative development, was only partially realised during the first half of the last century. 

The space of the square Na Hvězdě (known as Velká Hvězda) is circular in shape, with the axes of several streets pointing towards its centre: Schwarzova, Čermákova, Mírová and Hruškova. Pedestrian paths which divide the square into several wedges follow these lines as well. The park in the square surrounded by eleven villas was revitalised in the 1990s based on a project by Václav Štěpán. Besides renewal of the greenery, a paved path with new street furniture and playground facilities was arranged along the area’s perimeter.

Unlike the Velká Hvězda, laid out on a circular ground plan, the shape of Malá Hvězda is irregular – it is here that the rectangular structure of the development along Klatovská Avenue (represented by the corner of Mánesova and Hruškova Streets) encounters the radial system of the villa colony (Družstevní, U Svépomoci and the north-west shoulder of Hruškova Street). It is this short segment of Hruškova Street that connects both squares.