Located in a whimsical part of Prague that many tourists do not venture to, is the abandoned Vyšehrad Train Station.
This Art Nouveau gem sits quietly in her old grandeur, a crumbling boarded up beauty laden with grafiti just waiting (like many other gorgeous structures in the city of Prague) for a new facelift. The neighborhood is beautiful as well as it is surrounded by the Cubist homes of Vyšehrad such as the Kovarovic Villa, the ancient Vyšehrad fortress, the fabled Vltava River and the Charles University Botanic Gardens.
As it is no longer in use as a train station it could more than likely be used for a social complex with cafes, kiosks and gallery space.
A bit of history…
The project to build a railway station in the Vysehrad district was set up in 1867 in connection with the proposal to build the Prague connecting line. It was to connect the Smichov railway station with the railway station of Franz Joseph (today the main railway station).
It was completed in 1870 and two years later, the operation on the intersection was commenced. In 1960, it was turned into a dump and since then the station building has been unused.
After 1989 the company Czech Railways decided to get rid of some unused assets. Vyšehrad station was one of them as it was used only very occasionally. The division of property business and privatisation of Czech Railways has a few times tried offering the building for rent. It succeeded in 2000 when the first contract was signed.
The first specific steps were taken in 2001. The company Nádraží wanted to build a small theatre, a cinema, space for exhibition, a restaurant and a coffee house. The renovation should have lasted two years. Czech Railways also aimed to renew the station that hadn’t been in use since the nineteen sixties. Soon was it revealed that even God’s forgotten station Vyšehrad can be useful.
During floods the train service became more important and there was more than 30 per cent increase in travelling by this means of transport. Vyšehrad station was in high demand. In the times of the floods, train was the only possible connection between both Vltava banks and in the peak time 386 trains in 24 hours passed through Vyšehrad. However, it was still expected that in 2003 the station will be turned into a culture centre. It didn’t come to that because Czech Railways split into different succession organisations.
So it happened that the station was acquired by Railway Infrastructure Organisation, they weren’t prepared to negotiate with the company Nádraží and didn’t want to renew the contract. Czech Railways also announced that its aim is to restore the train station. It should have been shifted because the original station was located in a bend of track and therefore didn’t comply with the regulations.
The company Nádraží was sold in 2007 for 42 million crowns, estimated price was 41 millions czc. Prague 2 didn’t succeed with its suggestion to convert the station into a city district, the same way as the company Nádraží didn’t managed to buy the property and it was announced that the sale is impossible.
Only time will tell the fate of this beautiful Art Nouveau structure.