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Main (Wilson’s) Railway Station

Vinohrady - Prague 1

GPS: 50°4'59.16"N, 14°26'7.0800000000002"E

 

The railway station building, constructed in 1870-1871 in between the so called Horse Gate and New Gate, was designed by Antonín Barvitius and Vojtěch Ignác Ullmann. The main condition for the realization of this construction was to build a tunnel under the Vinohrady area. And so it happened and the first train would arrive on 14th December 1871. The train was going from Vienna and brought 9 passengers.

The railway station, called at the beginning after emperor France Joseph II., became insufficient after some time in terms of its capacity and so in 1899 a competition by tender was organized for the architectural design of the new station building including a radical extension of the railway area and the platforms. The winner of the tender was a proposal by Josef Fanta. The railway station was completely redone using his project plan in 1901-1909. The construction was made in a modern architectural Secession style. The centre of the whole massive construction was created with a departure hall, cupola roof, with two side wings of the construction utilized as operational premises, was two storied and was crowned by a taller tower-like constructions.

We can say that the railway station building has together four towers. The most significant towers are obviously those two situated on the sides of the main vestibule. Their top parts are supported by the Titans. The sculptures of the Titans together with other art motives of the interior were bare without the famous fig leaf. Some of the moralists marked this building as immoral.

A less well known fact is that one of the station buildings used to be occupied by the Czech Astronomical Society. However observation of the sky was understandably not possible due to the smoke from the locomotives and so the astronomers soon left.

In 1972-1977 the historical building (called “Fantova”) of the railway station was adjusted with a modern three-storied terminal hall designed by Josef Danda.