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THE SQUARE OF ORTEN

Holesovice - Prague 7

GPS: 50°6'29.16"N, 14°26'52.08"E

The Square of Orten in Holešovice belongs among those which had changed several names during its existence. After its foundation in 1903-1925 it was called U Uranie. Theatre Uranie, which stood in the garden of the Town brewery in Holešovice, has had its specific place in the history of Prague theatrical world. The theatre building was wooden, on a sustaining wall, covered, with glass skylight above the auditorium. It had 750 seats and 140 standing places. The theatre, which had been designed by arch. Osvald Polívka, was originally standing in the Exhibition site near the Royal Park. It was dismounted and re-assembled; approval of the building took place in January 1903. Black day and date of destruction of the theatre was 2nd January 1946, when the theatre was burnt to ashes.

Next name was Holešovické Square in 1925-1940. During the German occupation it was officially called the Square of Myslbek, after famous Czech sculptor Josef Václav Myslbek ((1848-1922). During 1945-1948 the Name of Holešovické Square was returned. The crucial re-naming of the square occurred in 1948, when it was called the Square of Dimitrov until 1991. Georgi Dimitrov (1882-1949) was a Bulgarian politician and statesman, involved in international communist and labour movement. He went down in history as he was accused of burning the Bundestag in 1933. He was acquitted after his own defence. On 17th December there was ceremoniously unveiled a memorial to him, a piece of art by sculptor V. Koštoval, in this square in Holešovice.

After change of the political situation the memorial disappeared in 1991 as well as the previous name of the square. The present name is the Square of Orten, in the honour of Czech poet Jiří Orten (1919-1941), Jiří Ohrenstein in his own name.

Substantial part of northern side of the square is taken by a building of Masaryk school no. 1257 together with children’s playground. The western and southern parts are formed by housing development. Centre of the square is modified like a park.