Today, 19th September 2011, is the third anniversary of our arrival in Prague. Ever since then, Sybille and I have almost constantly lived next to, or very adjacent to, major building and construction work. In many respects, this should not be surprising as the Czech Republic bounces back from over forty years of Communist era stagnation, to now being the most economically prosperous of all the former Warsaw Pact countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
For nearly two years from our arrival, we had the fourth and final stage of ‘Residence Podbaba’ being constructed in front and to the side of our Chaplaincy Flat. As I mentioned in a July 2010 post, the dust and noise that building work constantly generated, was at times quite irritating and frustrating. More recently, at the beginning of 2011, the work on extending our tram line commenced and was only completed at the end of last month. And around the same time, work began on creating a large new supermarket on the site of a former bus depot that lies between the Residence Podbaba estate and the new Podbaba tram stop.
As you can see from the accompanying photograph, our new supermarket will be part of the German owned Kaufland retail group, who already have numerous supermarkets in Prague and elsewhere in the Czech Republic. The billboard proclaims that “Kaufland arrives” but does not yet tell us exactly when it will!
These first two photographs were taken in mid-February this year and show the early stages of this new development. Whilst the main building with its curved roof is being retained, some rather ugly concrete flat-roofed extensions were demolished.
These next two pictures were taken in May. They show how the site surrounding the main building was completely cleared. Also, if you look closely, you will see that all of the glass in the triangular shaped roof-lights has been completely removed.
These two pictures were taken earlier this month. As you can see, as well as the roof-lights having been re-glazed, the exterior walls have been insulated, then cement rendered and painted. Work on insulating the lower section of wall at the far end of the building was in progress at the time I took the first photograph, as it was on the higher part of the side of the building which can be seen in the second photograph. Beyond that, the framework of a new extension to the former bus depot was in the process of being erected.
Here you can see that new extension under construction, this picture being obviously taken from a different vantage point to the previous six! Work continues and I promise to write an update with new photographs in due course.
To have this new supermarket right on our doorstep, will be a great boon. But we do wonder some times whether we will ever cease to have construction work going on around us or whether it will only all come to completion just as we are about leave and move on!