The Exhibition Grounds are especially interesting, with a long tradition and an attractive location near Stromovka Park. They were built for the Jubilee Exhibition of 1891. More than 50 exhibition projects, trade fairs and a wide variety of cultural and entertainment events take place here every year.
The General Global Exhibition was held in Prague in 1891 in honor of the centennial of the first industrial exhibition in 1791.
The exhibition had strong national and political undercurrents of significance – the industrial exhibition in 1791 had been held as part of the celebrations of Czech King Leopold II’s coronation.
In 1891, the regnant King Joseph II refused to be crowned Czech king. Therefore, the celebration of Leopold’s jubilee was a certain reminder of the Czech statehood, important at a time when Vienna and German nationalists were doing their utmost for it to be forgotten.
Though the exhibition was a global exhibition, German industrialists living in the Bohemian Kingdom boycotted it with some imperceptible exceptions. However, the exhibition, organized and furnished with exclusively Bohemian enterprises, had great success and gave testament to the skills of the Czech people.
Due to German obstructions, the fight for the exhibition was very hard from the very beginning. In 1888, the first preparatory committee was elected, at the head of which stood count Karel Max Zedtwitz, and František Křižík was elected one of the vice chairmen. Also, the elected members of the general committee demonstrated the significance of the event, because it consisted of: Count Bedřich Kinský, Count František Thun, Prince Jiří Lobkowicz and Prague Mayor Dr. Jindřich Šolc.
Upon the resolution of the People’s Congress, the part of exhibition grounds called Královské obory was chosen as the place for organizing the exhibition. The exhibition was opened May 15, 1891, and ended October 18, 1891. Hanavsky pavilion was one of the attractions of the exhibition, together with the balloon arena, where sightseeing flights were organized, both in captive and free balloons. The exhibition included also the second Sokol festival. The exhibition was attended by 2.5 million visitors, one of whom was even Francis Joseph II.
Here is the cover of the special brochure from which we scanned these rare and lovely images.
And of course, here is the building more recently…
It is located near the metro station on Metro line C Nádraží Holešovice. In the immediate area on the west side there is a large park Stromovka and a planetarium, on the eastern Tipsport Arena, home hall of the club HC Sparta Praha.
The dominant building on its premises is the Industrial Palace, also found here are the Křižík’s Light fountain, Lapidarium of the National Museum, World of the Oceans aquarium, Pyramid Theatre and panorama of the Battle of Lipany by Luděk Marold (the largest image in the Czech Republic). The Northern part of the area has an Amusement park (Lunapark), where St. Matthew’s Fair takes place in the spring.