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THE SQUARE NA STRÁŽI

Liben - Prague 8

GPS: 50°6'59.04"N, 14°28'5.8799999999999"E

The Square Na Stráži in Libeň is situated along Zenklova Street, opposite to the hospital Na Bulovce. The area of the square is not clear as it is divided by motor roads. A patriot of Libeň and a famous writer, Bohumil Hrabal, regretted at his time that there was not standing a round art-nouveau urinal in the square park. It was blacktopped inside and the men were standing next to each other there, man-to-man. There used to be a lantern in the small cupola and at nightfall or in the dark it spread miscellaneous pictures on the ground all around through the cut ornaments in the metal roof. Even famous architect Le Corbusier admired the tiny construction during his visit to Prague.

Origin of name of the square name, which was founded in 1904, is quaint. There was a rockery in the place of the present house no. 85 and there was standing a small castle on it. When the Prussians fast retreated from Prague in 1757, they forgot a soldier there, who was on the watch there. In the memory of this event the local citizens placed a plate figure of the Prussian guardian under arms there. Then the place started to be called Na Stráži (On the watch).

Later on director of the Estates Theatre, Jan Karel Liebich, native of Pasov, settled in the two-storied small castle, which had been looking down into the greenery Libeň. And he was the man who, for the first time in the Prague territory, at Christmas 1812 showed his amazed guests a custom, which he had brought from his homeland, a Christmas tree with lighted candles and decorating paper chains. The castle was ruined in the end of 19th century and then the rockery was taken down as well.