Bata Shoe Store and Prague Pavements
Prague is made for walking. But Prague is made for walking only in comfortable shoes. Prague sidewalks are paved with black and white small cobblestones which are notorious heel pinchers. If you haven’t brought the right footwear, don’t despair. Almost every fourth shop in Prague’s Nove Mesto district is a shoe store. However, this makes a difficult choice where to get your walking shoes or snow boots when you have forgotten to pack these. Remember; a thick pack of snow in winter is very usual. One of the best shops to go to is a Bata store.
Bata Flagship Store
Prague is dotted with Bata stores, both in the historic center and in the shopping malls in the suburbs – head straight for the Bata shop on Wenceslas Square. This is by far the largest shoe shop in Prague and offers five floors of sheer shopping pleasure, from ankle strap pumps to court shoes, from mules to sexy boots and from slippers to stiletto heels and also fashionable shoes that survive Prague’s pavements.
Address: Bata Shoe Shop, Wenceslas Square 6, Nove Mesto, Prague
Opening hours: daily 10.00-21.00
Prime example of functionalist building
If you are not interested in shoes or don’t need them, visit the Bata Store anyway. The building is a striking example of functionalist architecture. At the time it was one of the most advanced department stores in Europe and one of the most important examples of the Czech functionalism. Take the escalator to the top floor for a sweeping view of Wenceslas Square.
Bata Shoes: a household name
Bata shoes is a household name not only in the Czech Republic but all over the world. They are the brainchild of Tomas Bata descendent of a shoemaker family of the town of Zlin in the south-east of the country. Not only was he a brilliant entrepreneur, he was also a devoted city developer who initiated the social infrastructure of the town of Zlin; social housing, employment and better working conditions.
Bata Shoe Factory
In 1893, Tomas Bata put up a shoe factory in Zlin. His mission statement was to provide affordable shoes for everyone. His factory flourished during the First World War when the military needed large quantities of sturdy boots and shoes. His shoes were so popular that all men in the Austrian-Hungarian army wore them.
Bata Shoes had become famous the world over and in 1930 the first shoe factories opened outside former Czechoslovakia. Tomas Bata became known as ‘the Henry Ford of Eastern Europe’. Today, Tomas Bata’s grandson continues the family tradition. Bata is still one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of shoes and accessories worldwide.
When Tomas Bata died in a plane crash in 1932, his half-brother Jan Antonin Bata took over the Bata firm which at that time comprised more than twenty factories and 1600 stores. Today, Bata shoes are still very popular worldwide because of their excellent quality and price.