Karlín celebrates 200th anniversary

The former barracks and United Islands both offer celebrations

The Karlín district was established in 1817 as a separate city and named after the fourth wife of Emperor Francis I of Austria, Caroline Augusta of Bavaria. It didn't actually become a part of the city until 1922.

The district will be celebrating its 200th anniversary with a series of events starting June 23.

A main part of the celebration will be the United Islands of Prague music festival, which will take place in and around Karlínské náměstí on June 23 and 24. Local celebrities on Friday include Ivan Hlas and Jiří Burian a projekt Bohemia will be among the Czech and international acts. Roma music will be featured at Přístav 18600, near the Vltava river.

The festival continues Saturday with a parade of historical Praga cars, events for children plus more concerts and theater presentations all day long. The history of Karlín will also be told throughout the day. The festival is free.

Also helping to celebrate the anniversary is Kasárna Karlín, a former barracks that is opening to the public for the first time on June 23 at 5 pm, with the evening featuring a film screening and an afterparty. The barracks is located at Křižíkova 176/27, not far from the Florenc metro station.

Following the opening the space will be open to the public from noon to midnight, serving as an outdoor cinema, a bar and a cultural space. Eventually, though, the space will be turned over to the Ministry of Justice for offices so people should enjoy it while they can.

The Karlín Barracks were built in the 1840s due to a lack of suitable housing for soldiers, and it is now protected cultural heritage. It was designed to house 2,000 soldiers, and was used by the military in various capacities until 2008.

Other news for the neighborhood is that it may soon get its own brewery, according to daily Pražský deník. Štěpán Kubišta, a Karlín enthusiast and the operator of Přístav 18600, is looking for a place in the district to set up a brewery as so far Karlín has never had one.

Karlín had long been a factory district with lot of working class housing. It was heavily affected but the flooding in 2002 and since than has rebuilt with modern housing, new offices and businesses, trendy restaurants and cultural centers such as Forum Karlín, making it popular again for a large variety of people. 

For more on United Islands visit unitedislands.cz or www.praha8.cz (CZ)

For more on Kasárna Karlín visit www.facebook.com/events

Karlin 200 www.karlin200.cz

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