Náměstí Winstona Churchilla
In 1999, a statue of the British statesman and wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill was unveiled by Margaret Thatcher in the square in Prague that has borne his name since the Velvet Revolution. Hunched and broad-shouldered, it captures all the brooding power of the man whose command of military affairs played such a major role in saving this part of Europe from Nazism. The work is perhaps more familiar to British visitors as an exact copy of the original 1976 statue by Ivor Roberts-Jones in London’s Parliament Square.
The square itself was first conceived in 1934 as the home of the Institute of Pensions, the building which today (as Trade Union House) still dominates its eastern side. Constructed on the site of a former gasworks, this functionalist block was considered one of the most cutting-edge buildings of its time, its reinforced concrete core lightened by the use of exterior white ceramic tiling, and the interior fitted out with the latest technologies including air-conditioning. It is particularly noteworthy that the architects Karel Honzík and Josef Havlíček – both members of the avant-garde ‘Devětsil’ group – were both in their early thirties at the time.