Malvazinky Neighbourhood, Off the Beaten Tourist Track

Have you started liking the tiny, brightly coloured cottages in Golden Lane but do you find this part of Prague a bit too crowded and touristy and have you taken a fancy to unusual architecture? If so, head straight for the Malvazinky neighbourhood in the Smichov district. Miles away from Prague tourist attractions. You will find in this neighbourhood tranquility and picturesque single-family homes with a tiny garden – very atypical for Prague.

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Malvazinky Neighbourhood, Single-family Homes

The Malvazinky neighbourhood consists of five streets connected by alleys: Prima, Konecna, Xaveriova, U Smichovskeho hribitova and Mala Xaneriova, Xaneriova and Pravouhla Streets. The houses were built in the 1920s and intended for people with a low income. Today, it is a very popular neighborhood and the prices of the houses reflect this.

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Malvazinky Neighbourhood and Smichov Cemetery 

U Smichovskeho hribitova Street (Smichov Cemetery Street) leads past a churchyard overgrown with ivy which gives it an eerie feeling. This graveyard is located around a neo-Roman church dedicated to St.-Philip and St.-James and is full of beautiful monuments and chapels. When in 1788, the Jewish cemetery in Josefov had no more burial space, Smichov cemetery was the place for burials. The last known burial here was in 1937. Many tomb stones have inscriptions in German and show photos of those who were buried here. The Czech popular singer Karl Gott (1939-2019) is buried in this cemetery. He achieved great success in German-speaking countries. He sang the intro song of Maja the Bee, the German-Japanese cartoon made between 1975 and 1980. According to unofficial records, Gott has sold more than 30 million records.

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Atypical Houses in Malvazinky Neighbourhood and in Prague

Most people in Prague live in apartments. Prague centre is full of robust tenement blocks built in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The suburbs consist of a different type of residential blocks of flats, the so-called panelaky, panel building constructed of pre-fabricated concrete.

The houses in the Malvazinky district are completely different because they are of single-family homes with a small garden, very unusual in Prague. These houses here are like tiny doll houses. Each occupies a plot measuring 3.5 x 7 meters. The sitting room and kitchen are on the ground floor and two tiny bedrooms on the first. Some houses also have small cellars.

All houses are well maintained and most are painted in pastel shades. Many are in the original state and well-maintained. Several house owners have replaced the original wooden window frames by plastic ones and double glazing. This does not come as a surprise because until recently the municipality of Prague subsidized the insulation of old houses.

Wandering through this neighbourhood gives you the feeling as if you are in a small town. Hardly any tourists ventures this way. Malvazinky neighbourhood is definitely off the beaten tourist track.

How to get there

From Na Knizeci tram stop on Smichovske nadrazi (near metro Andel) take bus 134 to Malvazinky

 

photos Marianne Crone and Josef Balek

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