On our stroll in Plzen we passed many interesting places. Whether it was a building that inspired us or a monument or art in public space – we would like to present some of the places and thus encourage you to take a stroll through the city.
Plzen Train Station
Travellers coming to Plzen by train arrive at Plzeň hlavní nádraží, the main railway station. We saw the station building on our visit to the cathedral tower and were curious about the construction.
The train station is close to the city centre and it is easy to reach on foot.
In 1862 the first railway ran from Plzen to Prague and the station was the end of the railway line. The present building opened in 1907. Rudolf Štech designed the Art Nouveau building and was one of the financiers of the construction. In 1908 he committed suicide because of the high personal debts.
The US Army damaged the station building during its bombing raids in the Second World War; fortunately, it was possible to reconstruct it after the war.
The building has been part of the Czech cultural heritage since 2000.
From the outside, the building looks quite large, but you only notice the actual dimensions when you step into the large entrance hall. What a high hall, here you feel really small as a visitor. If you take a closer look, you notice that time has taken its toll on the station building. It’s a good thing that a renovation is planned for the next few years.
Monuments in Plzen
Every city has countless monuments and Plzen is no exception. Here we show just a few works of art, but there are so many more!
A large late Gothic tower on Pražská ulice catches our eye during our stroll in Plzen. The tower was part of the old city fortifications at the former Prague Gate. It served as a water tower/reservoir and is considered the oldest waterworks in Plzen. In 1822 the tower was raised by one storey and in 1912 the Gothic portal, which came from a demolished house, was added to the tower. Today there is a gallery in the building.
Art in Plzen
In the public spaces of Plzen you will find not only monuments, but also works of art. From street art to modern art, you can discover varied art.
One mural in particular inspired me. At first glance it seems full, confused and incomprehensible. If you look a little closer, you will see numerous references to the history of Plzen. For example, you can see: a camel, a greyhound, angels, beer, puppets, monks…. A real hidden object picture!
Stroll in Plzen: Millrace
On the eastern side of the former city wall is a canal. This originally supplied a mill with water. Today, the area invites you to take a short rest while walking in Plzen. A park with a small artificial lake has been created, along which small cafés are located.
Unfortunately, we could admire the Great Synagogue in Plzen only from the outside. When we were in the city, it was being renovated.
The Great Synagogue in Plzen is the second largest synagogue in Europe. In 1893 the building designed in Moorish-Romanesque style was completed and the Jewish community of the city moved from the Old Synagogue to the Great Synagogue.
During the Second World War the building was used as a warehouse, the Jewish community of Plzen received the building back afterwards. In 1973 the last service was held there, the building was too dilapidated and had to be closed.
It was not until 1995/96 that the building was renovated and opened for cultural events. In the meantime, the small Jewish community of the city used the Old Synagogue.
When there is no construction work going on in the Great Synagogue, it is also possible to visit the house of worship. Unfortunately, we had to be content with the beautiful evening view.