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THE SQUARE OF ARBES

Smichov - Prague 5

GPS: 50°4'35.04"N, 14°24'18"E

The Square of Arbes spreads along Štefánikova Street between the Square of Kinský and the Square of 14th October. Since the sixties of 19th century it was called Church Square, during 1895-1920 it was Jacob Square, and since 1920 till now it has been called the Square of Arbes. The first two names of the square were related to the fact that there was standing one of the biggest monuments in Smíchov, previous parish church of St Philip and Jacob. Initially a Romanesque building rose in the second half of 12th century, probably thanks to St George’s sisters. In 1749 the church was rebuilt and then its front was decorated with a baroque gable with alcove, where a sculpture of Christ blessing was standing. Until 1831 it had been surrounded by a cemetery, which was not working at that time, as burying in this place was ended by Joseph’ reforms. The last mess in the church, which was not satisfying the capacity any more, took place on 12th October 1891 and fourteen days later demolishing work started, which wiped this monument out of the town’s face. The parish office was removed to the newly founded church of St Wenceslas in Smíchov.

Area of the square, which is surrounded by high apartment blocks, has been modified with parks. In 1964 there was unveiled a memorial in its eastern side, to the honour writer and journalist Jakub Arbes (1840-1914), in the honour of whom the square is named. The aforementioned was a patriot of Smíchov. He was born in Smíchov, lived his life there and died there as well. He was dealing with social discrepancies and social injustice in his various literary works.

Standing figure of Arbes is made of bronze, he has his coat slang over his right arm and he is holding a hat in the same arm. The staggered pedestal is of square ground plan. Author of the sculpture is academic sculptor Jan Černý, author of the memorial architecture is ing. arch. Jaroslav Koreček. Ceremonious unveiling took place on 8th April 1964, on the day of 50th anniversary of the writer’s death.