The Ring Road

Trail Starts Here: Divišova 757
First object: Josef Jihlavec’s House II
Bohumil Waigant, 1928
Public transport: Muzeum (11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 3, 7), Adalbertinum (5, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 23, 2, 6)
GPS: 50.2124469N, 15.8300897E, stáhnout GPX nebo KML
Lenght of trail: 2,5 KM, 45 min

After 1895, when former fortress land was transferred to the city of Hradec Králové, the concept of a ring road arose and was designed, to be lined with major public institutions and cultural buildings such as a theatre or churches. Later, blocks of tenement houses were added. The Ring Road Trail starts at the intersection of V Kopečku, Palackého and ČSA Streets, with a view of the functionalist savings bank designed by František Dus, the Grand Hotel with a palm garden designed by Jan Kotěra in 1911, and, across the road, the converted tenement house designed by Josef Gočár. The block of houses in ČSA, Palackého, Kotěrova and Divišova Streets includes many tenement houses, documenting the development of modern architecture. The District House designed by Jan Kotěra between 1903 and 1904 and Ladislav Tvrzký’s corner house designed by Rudolf Němec has Art Deco ornamentation, while Václav Rejchl Jr.’s house, the District Youth Welfare building and the Palace of the First Mutual Insurance Company, designed by Jindřich Freiwald and Jaroslav Böhm, are examples of the architectural trends in the 19120s; František Steinfeld’s house designed by the architect František Bartoš between 1932 and 1933, however, shows the new avant-garde approach to urban living. At the end of the block of houses on the other side of ČSA Street, there are two pre-war houses designed by Bohumil Waigant, illustrating different tastes of owners. If we go towards Žižkovy sady Park, the next stop is a monumental building of the former military headquarters designed by Jan Rejchl before WWII. Next, there is the constructivist District and Tax Office designed by Josef Gočár with a central view of green vegetation and the corner synagogue and Jewish school in the next block. The synagogue with a cupola and a corner tower represents the pinnacle of the emancipation of the Jews and the Jewish concept of sanctuary in the spirit of oriental symbolism. An example of interwar monumental architecture is the building of the Regional Court designed by Václav Rejchl, Jr. An illustration of the religiously liberal atmosphere in the modern city of Hradec Králové is the nearby sanctuary of the Evangelical Church designed by Oldřich Liska. The villa across the road, designed by František Janda for Emília Waldeková-Kmochová, is another example of modern luxurious housing, manifested in concise architecture of the early 1930s that preferred function and comfort. Examples of purely functional architecture that introduced the beauty of reinforced concrete as a material included the staircase leading from the ring road to the Church of the Assumption in the old town. The staircase was designed by Josef Gočár in 1909 and its superior appearance met with a critical response. The last building on the ring road is the building of the telegraph and telephone exchange from the post-war period, designed by Jan Rejchl. Its project proves that Rejchl and many other local architects tried to build on the quality of the inter-war years even after WWII.