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THE SQUARE OF JIRÁSEK

New town - Prague 2

GPS: 50°4'33.96"N, 14°24'51.84"E

The Square of Jirásek takes the area between Resslova Street and the Bridge of Jirásek. During 1905-1940 it was called the Square of Rieger, in the honour of Czech politician and patriot František Ladislav Rieger (1818-1903), during German occupation it was the Square of Mácha, after Czech poet Karel Hynek Mácha (1810-1836). Then the name of the Square of Rieger was returned and in 1947 it was renamed to the Square of Jirásek which has been valid till now.

It occurred due to the fact that the classic of Czech historical novels and dramatist Alois Jirásek (1851-1930) had lived and written for a long time in neo-renaissance house no. 1775, which dominates the corner of the Square of Jirásek and Resslova Street. The writer used a bookcase of more than 6 000 volumes in his workroom, which had windows towards Resslova Street as well as towards the square. A big inscription tablet on the house, which had been placed there in 1933, gives notice of his stay, too. The text says: „Alois Jirásek lived and died in this house 1903-1930. Inserted by Society of Al. Jirásek.“

Not only the bridge leading to Smíchov was named in the honour of Master Jirásek; but there was also placed a memorial in the middle of the lawn in the square in 1960. Sitting figure of the writer is made of bronze, in slightly larger-than-life size on a high pedestal. The sculptural work by Karel Pokorný was completed in the architectonic way by Jaroslav Fragner.

Focus of the attention is the so-called Dancing house, which „danced“ to opening in June 1996. The following authors participated in the extraordinary work; architect of Slovene origin, living in Prague for years, Vlado Milunič (*1941) and one of the most reputed architects and designers all over the world, American Frank O. Gehry (*1929). The building acquired the prestigious award of the American magazine Time - it has won the category of design of year 1996.