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Notes on the Geography of The Czech Republic: Prague: Photo 1

world pictures The Czech Republic: Prague

This wasn't Prague's first burst of glory. In 1900, when the city had 600,000 residents, Baedeker described it as the "capital of the kingdom of Bohemia, the headquarters of the 8th Army Corps, and residence of a prince-archbishop and an imperial governor...." A decade later and in an exuberant expression of optimism, the city opened a new municipal hall. The site was an odd one, because the street the building fronted followed the alignment of the city's old moat. The new city hall in addition was a multi-purpose affair, with offices, exhibition spaces, a concert hall, and commercial space. None of this inhibited the architects, Osvald Polivka and Antonin Balsanek, who "followed the "hero of all Czech architects of the nineteenth century, Charles Garnier." A century later, the building was brilliantly lit at night as a symbol of a freshly exuberant city. (SeePrague, in French, by Marketa Theinhardt and others, 2005, p. 39.)

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