Petrohradská 141/52: Vila Jitřenka
This villa by the banks of the Botič – currently home to the Prague Gentlemen’s Fly Fishing Club – dates from 1738, and is therefore only slightly younger than the nearby Church of St Nicholas, the oldest extant building in the southern suburb of Vršovice.
The house was originally a hunting lodge built among the extensive forested land which had once belonged to the estate of the Silesian nobleman Jan of Vrbno. In 1880 it became the property of a certain Baron Popper, a great Prague benefactor, who undertook its repair and that of the neighbouring streets.
With its low-hipped roof and neo-classical detailing, it’s a remarkable survival of domestic architecture – particularly when you see it nestled among the more modern (and far less colourful) suburban housing that has since sprung up around it.
The Vila Jitřenka, or ‘Villa Aurora’ (from ‘jitro’=’morning’) has been restored appear as it would have done in the nineteenth century, with an appropriately sunny colour-scheme pointing up delightful architectural features such as the pilasters which divide the bays of the first floor.
The text of this article first appeared in my earlier ‘Vršovice Photo Diary’