Prague’s Old Town Market (Staroměstská tržnice) is one of the city’s most historic indoor marketplaces, currently housing a supermarket and shoe repair shop it gives a rather underwhelming impression.
“We calculated that repairs should cost CZK 300 million, but it is already clear that the actual price will be about 100 million higher,” said Prague Councillor Jan Chabr.
The renovation of Prague’s Old Town Market would see the premises return to its original function as a farmers’ market. Some 50 stalls on the lower would sell fresh produce and seasonal goods and could be rented on either a short or long-term basis.
While farmers’ markets have become an increasingly popular destination throughout Prague, the city center lacks its own version.
Who specifically will reconstruct and run the location is set to be decided in a public tender that the city will announce later this year. Both local players (like Manifesto) and foreign companies are interested in Prague’s Old Town Market.
One of those interested in revamping the location is Ondřej Kobza, who already runs a web of public spaces in Prague including several cafes as well as the iconic Lucerna Palace’s rooftop area.
He says he would like to make Staroměstská Tržnice a multipurpose space that would draw locals into an area normally frequented mainly by tourists.
Similar markets were built throughout Europe: in Paris, Brussels, Ljubljana, Dublin, and Stockholm. Evoking the original market hall is an excellent project that provides benefits both in terms of heritage, aesthetics and in business networking in the center of Prague.
“It should not be just a place where you go to buy tomatoes, apples or pastries. We would like to take inspiration from other metropolises. Interesting examples are in Bratislava, Madrid, London, and New York. However, we do not want a carbon copy. There will be markets there, but also options for cultural activities and eateries,” says Chabr.
The original marketplace was built in the late 19th century and is located in the building between Perlová, Rytířská, Na Můstku and 28. října streets.
The complex will open up previously inaccessible spaces to the public. Renovation of the courtyard between Wenceslas Square and Na Prikope, Jindrisska and Panska streets has been under preparation for 10 years, but it was started by another developer.