Kaufland prichází! – Kaufland arrives!

Kaufland arrives! © Ricky Yates

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!

Demolition work around the former bus depot © Ricky Yates

The side of the former bus depot in February 2011 © Ricky Yates

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.

The cleared site around the former bus depot in May 2011 © Ricky Yates

The side of the former bus depot in May 2011 © Ricky Yates

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.

Insulation, cement rendering & new construction in September 2011© Ricky Yates

Insulation & cement rendering on the side of the building in September 2011© Ricky Yates

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.

The new extension under construction in September 2011© Ricky Yates

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!


7 comments to Kaufland prichází! – Kaufland arrives!

  • Three years wow! Happy Anniversary I’m sure there has been many changes even in such a short time and it is really great to see construction sites (a now alien concept to most here in N.Ireland) in Europe though I understand your wish to see the building finished!

    Congrats and I hope you get your new supermarket soon!

    • Ricky

      Hi Wandering Pilgrim,

      Yes – it is three years today that we arrived outside the Chaplaincy Flat that is now our home, having driven here from the UK over the two previous days. Two days later, on Sunday 21st September 2008, I celebrated the Eucharist for the first time in St. Clement’s, Prague.

      Thank you for being such a faithful visitor & commenter here. I apologise that my recent posts, such as this one, have purely been of a more practical & descriptive nature, rather than spiritual, unlike several excellent recent posts on your blog. Watch this space – I have a couple of more reflective posts in mind for the near future!

  • Sean

    ‘Kaufland prichazi’ is supposed to ring a bell with the audience – the song ‘Vanoce prichazeji’ (Christmas is coming) – so to create an anticipation of something good on the horizon.

    • Ricky

      Hi Sean,
      I’m sure your word association suggestion is correct. What we continue to wonder is whether it will be open by Christmas.

  • Sean

    Hi Ricky,
    I may help with that too – the building permit and environmental impact study say 10 months from start to finish. 4 stages in total of which the last two should be focused on the interior of the building. It looks like they are 5 months into the work with 5-7 more months depending on how much of stages 3 and 4 can be done consecutively (the plan was 12 months of labour in 10 months time). The original opening date was February of this year (work was to have started in April 2010 but did not). Based on your May photos of the demolition of the old building, my guess is March 2012.

    • Ricky

      Hi again Sean,
      Many thanks for this update. I guess it will partly depend on whether they can get all the outside work done before we have any severe winter weather.

  • I know the excitement of a new grocery store too. In the last six months, two new grocery stores opened up within a mile of me eliminating the need for a 15-minute ride to one farther away. The best part about Istanbul grocery stores is they pick you up and deliver you home with your purchases so you don’t need a car!