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THE FOOT-BRIDGE OF NOVOTNY

Old town - Prague 1

GPS: 50°5'7.08"N, 14°24'46.08"E

   There is an interesting view of complex of buildings on the Foot-Bridge of Novotný, which adjoin the dominant Old-Town water tower in both sides. Perhaps out of respect to the tradition, these buildings have been still called Old-Town Mills, although the mill staff had gone and clap of the mill-wheels had faded away long time ago. And the Old-Town water tower or the last house by the river Vltava no. 201, the former Old-Town water plant, has not been used for their purposes, either. In 1883 a neo-renaissance building rose in this site with use of the older walling during the reconstruction and extension of the water plant, based on designs by arch. Antonín Wiehl. Its facade has been markedly enriched with an artistic component – black and white sgraffito. Ornamental part of the decoration was designed by arch. Jan Koula, figural painters František Ženíšek and Mikoláš Aleš. Abolishment of the pumping water plant occurred in 1913; water plant offices were removed in 1935. The house no. 201 was then received by Association of Bedřich Smetana, which established the Museum of the master there, after large adaptation work.
  The tower, which is not open to the public, and the adjacent buildings underwent great reconstruction and renovation in the eighties of the last century. And so did the Foot-Bridge of Novotný, which has been called like that since 1885, in the honour of a member of an old mill family, which had settled there as early as in the 17th century, Karel Novotný (1827-1900).
   In the end of the Foot-Bridge of Novotný, close to the Old-Town weir, there was constructed a separate iron structure with a concrete platform, on which a memorial to the musical composer Bedřich Smetana was placed (1824-1884). The sculpture of the sitting Master, weighing a ton and 235 cm high, was cast of bronze. Unveiling the memorial happened on 4th June 1984 within activities realized on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of death of Bedřich Smetana.