Náměstí 14. r̆íjna 83/15: Smíchov market hall

The market hall of Smíchov — the industrial suburb on the left bank of the Vltava — was built between 1906 and 1909, along with the adjacent town hall. Both buildings are by the architect Alois Čenský, but in the market hall he dispenses with the heavy historicism of the larger building, favouring instead a light industrial space with iron-framed construction and expansive glazing much after the fashion of Antonín Turek’s Vinohrady market hall of 1902.

Art nouveau decoration is delicately applied to the facade, with the coat-of-arms of Smíchov appearing in the gable. Superimposed on the arms of Prague are two small inscutcheons: one shows the double-tailed lion of Bohemia, the other a silver tower on a black mountain. The latter is a rebus – or visual pun – on the name of the family Schwarzenberg, who owned the district in the 17th century.

The market hall still contains a small supermarket, but the main interior space has been inventively reclaimed as a branch of the city library.