The main railway station, the largest, busiest and probably the dirtiest in the Czech Republic, used to be a thing of beauty. The Art Nouveau building with its station and ticket hall was designed by the Czech architect Josef Fanta and built between 1901 and 1909. The building had a grand, ornate Art Nouveau entrance and ticket hall complete with a small, decorated ceiling dome, customers would head for their trains in intricate style. Unfortunately during the Communist regime, some unattractive additions were made and the exterior grandeur of the original ticket hall and building was swallowed by the massive highway built directly in front of Wilsonova building, destroying the park in front and causing the old gem great dirt and structural damage. The Wilsonova Building, named after former U.S. president Woodrow Wilson, was once a beautiful example of Art Nouveau architecture, however, the building is now in a total state of disrepair. The original ticket hall is now a dingy and faded, though beautiful cafe, named Fantova Kavarna after the architect Josef Fanta, and is just waiting with breath that is bated for a renovation. Tickets are now purchased underneath the cafe, in the Communist designed terminal, basically located underground; have a look around, it looks very similar to the Metro. Luckily the main train station in Prague is undergoing a massive renovation by Grandistazioni, an Italian company. Let us hope they restore the Art Nouveau grandeur that once so highly impressed passengers arriving to Prague for the first time.
Address: Wilsonova 8, Praha 2, +420-221-111-122.
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