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The Bubny railway station in Prague will be transformed into a Holocaust memorial

The Bubny railway station in Prague will be transformed into a Holocaust memorial
photo: Památník ticha Bubny press materials/The Bubny railway station in Prague will be transformed into a Holocaust memorial
12 / 04 / 2022

The memorial at Prague's Bubny Railway Station intends to provide a place for modern education and history discussion. As the project is named, the Memorial of Silence points to the dangerous silence of the silent majority. The Jewish population was deported from the railway station Bubny to extermination camps during World War two. After its end, the Germans from Prague moved out of Czechoslovakia from this station. With a modern concept, the Memorial of Silence will commemorate the shadowy events of the twentieth century.

This project began with the idea of ​​transforming the Prague railway station into a memorial. However, it soon became clear that the dilapidated railway station was one of the least suitable facilities for implementing this project. It underwent a property transformation from a semi-state institution to a state one. The first steps were aimed at designing the usability of the station for the future memorial, which was temporarily lent by Czech Railways. The building was subsequently handed over to the Railway Infrastructure Administration. The administration already counted on the building as a space for a memorial, which opened up opportunities for more generous plans for the transformation.

The competition for the architectural design of the building was announced under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic. The facility entered the competition as an "exhibit" to protect it with modern architecture and for future exhibitions. The building has retained the original character, patina, and touch of the past in some parts. These parts have been declared inviolable for their preservation.

Ing. Zdeněk Zavřela headed the expert commission, which chose during a two-round procedure from the winning processing of project documentation to the implementation documentation. The commission selected the study's design from the ARN studio in Hradec Králové and believes Prague will acquire a quality architectural object that will add new meaning to the place thanks to this step. Within two years of the competition, three project phases were set up, a new building permit was obtained, and everything needed to start the project was prepared. In 2019, however, development at the administrative level slowed down through trial on the pooling of financial contributions from multiple sources. In January 2020, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš commissioned the Minister of Culture Lubomír Zaorálek to establish a state-subsidized organization and guaranteed the acquisition of funds for the completion and operation of the institution.

In 2021, the non-profit company was transformed into a state organization, the investment process was restarted, and the station's project and surroundings were coordinated. Due to the decay of the historical elements of the building, the renovation of the visible parts of the original premises and facade began.

In 2022, after years of stagnation and decline of Bubny railway station, the implementation of the Holocaust Memorial project will finally begin. A competition for a new philharmonic building in the vicinity of the station was announced too, which will lead to an overall uplift of the area. 

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