Stromovka renovations nearing end

The park has been being upgraded for two years

Renovations to Stromovka park are almost finished. The changes took two years and saw remodeling of the artificial lakes in the park, new routes for paths and new benches.

The Šlechtovka restaurant is also being fixed up. It had been almost in ruins, but after years of delays, work will begin later this month. Šlechtovka was built in the 17th century as a Baroque palace. Interior frescoes and a faux cave in the palace will be restored, along with structural work. The total cost of the building restoration is to exceed Kč 100 million.

Stromovka, also called Královská obora, was established as a royal deer park in 1268 by Přemysl Otakar II and expanded by several rulers since then with lakes, imported trees and vegetation, and buildings. It opened to the public in 1804, and was the destination of the city's first electric tram in 1908.

Stromovka connects to Prague Zoo and Troja Chateau on the other side of the Vltava river. The park covers some 95 hectares and is adjacent to the Výstaviště Exhibition grounds.

Much of the recent work focused on cleaning the existing lakes and adding new ones, including rebuilding a lake from Emperor Rudolf II's era.

A pier and footbridges have been added to the lakes. In the future, lighting will be installed around the Rudolfine lake.

In the coming weeks new benches will be put in place as the pathways are repaired. Putting the benches in sooner would not have made sense, as they would have been in the way of the other repair work taking place.

After the paths and roads are finished, new trees and shrubs will be planted and lawns will be regenerated. More decorative benches and trash cans will be installed in the last phase in the fall.

The Kaštánek playground at the edge of the park is being renovated with original objects by sculptor Olbram Zoubek being restored. The 91-year-old artist is known for his Memorial to the Victims of Communism.

Other work set for the future is upgrading the path near the Kaštánek playground and the Místodržitelský letohrádek summer palace, which was built in the 15th century.

Pedestrian paths are being separated from those used by cyclists and skaters in an effort to increase safety. Cyclists and skaters will also be separated in different terrains, and the separation of skaters, cyclists and pedestrians will be better enforced next year.

The park underwent a large renovation in the 19th century when some of the earlier artificial lakes were filled in. In more modern times, a planetarium was added to the park in 1960. Stromovka suffered flood damage in both 2002 and 2013.

The current renovations are expected to cover the next 20 years, with only minor upkeep needed during that time.

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