Manifesto Market will reopen for holidays

The shopping and eating zone will have heated bubbles and products from local designers

The Manifesto Market, located between Masarykovo nádraží and the Florenc bus station, will be reopening for the holiday season.

The market, which launched in June, is made of shipping containers with mostly outdoor seating. It is temporarily closed until Nov. 22 when it will reopen on Thursdays through Sundays from 11 am to 8 pm with what is billed as “an alternative Christmas market in the heart of Prague.”

This will actually be a little ahead of many of the traditional holiday markets, which will open Dec. 1.

One thing that makes the Manifesto Market different is that vendors do not take cash. All of the transactions are made electronically. The organizers of the market see this as the wave of the future.

The winter market is aimed at lovers of design and artisanal products, and will also offer top cuisine and beverages. To get rid of the wintry chills, the market will have heaters, fireplaces and heated bubbles. Entry to the market is free of charge.

In contrast to other outdoor markets, the food is more than chestnuts and funnel cakes. Several well-known local restaurants such as Ryba je Ryba and Gran Fierro will be there. In total, there will be 20 restaurants and 50 design brands.

“The architects are refurnishing Manifesto with heated igloos of the type that Londoners or New Yorkers know from rooftop cafes. Heaters and grills will be installed so visitors can roast hot dogs and marshmallows, and chefs will prepare hearty soups and grilled food,” spokeswoman Radka Ondráčková said.

The idea for creating the temporary market out of containers came from Martin Barry of the urban planning group reSite. The idea was also supported by the financial group Penta, which owns the land and is preparing to build an office complex here.

“The Manifesto Winter Market cooperates with LeMarket, which made a careful selection of Czech designers, brands and independent artisans for the pre-Christmas weeks, and expanded the offer in Manifesto to include jewelry, toys, handicrafts and artwork,” Barry said.

Vendors who have been there since it opened are looking forward to the special holiday events.

“For Christmas it will be very cool with a magical atmosphere. The winter market will bring artists and their creations. Food stands will offer more refined option. The best thing I feel in Manifesto is that even though you are in the center, you feel you are in an oasis of relaxation. I always disconnect from the city and relax,” chef Matteo de Carli from Ryba je Ryba said. The fish restaurant will have lobster among its offerings.

He has also been pleased with the electronic payment only system. “There is no cash to count at the end of the day, and it also safer as there is no cash around. Most people like it and only a few people have been surprised by the system,” he said.

He added that people without credit or debit cards can make a “quick card” at the Harley Davidson shop at Manifesto.

“I think the best will come once we will be able to pay with our phones,” de Carli added.

The market has been more popular with locals than with tourists, as it is a bit hidden. “There is s a great mixture a lot of people from  20 to 50 years old, and some older people, with families coming on weekends. I would say the most visitors are Czech or expats with a few tourists,” he said.

The area where Manifesto sits had been largely abandoned land near railway tracks. Turning it into a market made of upgraded shipping containers has helped to bring temporary life back to the area.

In the long run, the area will be redeveloped as part of a large mixed-use project designed by the architectural studio of the late Zaha Hadid Architects. It is one of the last projects she oversaw before passing away in 2016. 

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