Prague has never won the title of the Historical City of the Year in the 28 years of the competition’s existence. The competition is organized annually by the Association of Historical Sites of Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture.
Reasons for this may be attributed to the competition’s criteria, as successful restoration of historical monuments is more visible in smaller cities with less competition. Moreover, Prague is considered a region, and only the winner of this region’s round can advance to the final round.
One of the tools that enable the development and prosperity of Czech cities is the Program for the Regeneration of Urban Monument Reserves, which has redistributed almost six billion Czech crowns since its creation in 1992. Cities also resort to European funds and budgets to renovate monuments, sometimes to great depths.
The South Bohemian region has been the most successful in the competition, with four winners: Třeboň, Prachatice, Jindřichův Hradec, and Slavonice. Four areas have had three successes: Pardubice, Ústí, Moravian-Silesian, and Vysočina. Two winners come from the Zlín, Central Bohemian, Karlovy Vary, and South Moravian regions, while one winner each can be found in the Pilsen, Olomouc, Liberec, and Hradec Králové regions.
Fourteen historical sites made it to the final round of the competition, presented at the Nostitz Palace’s stables, including Prague’s first district. Its mayor, Terezie Radoměřská (TOP 09), reminded attendees where the first district invested the most in monument care last year: “We succeeded in the reconstruction of a house on Truhlářská Street.
This reconstruction is positively perceived on all sides, which pleases us.” In addition, Radoměřská recalled the financially costly renovation of the school’s Art Nouveau building on Vojtěšská Street. “After the reconstruction, several new Art Nouveau details returned to the facade, which will illuminate the renovated building,” said Mayor Radoměřská, encouraging residents to visit the renovated sites.
Prague’s chances for historical success are further boosted by last year’s renovation of the Troja Palace Gardens, which included the restoration of a Baroque statue of Hercules. Prague’s first district is also planning to restore the Church of the Virgin Mary, the Helper, and turn the Ovocný trh Square into a public space.