Žofín/ Zofin Island (Slovanský Ostrov)
Walking on the riverside of the New Town of Prague, right behind the Czech National Theatre, you’ll find a small island known by locals as Žofín Island, even though the official name is Slovanský Ostrov (English: Slavic Island).
The history of this island dates back to the 17th century, when deposits of soil formed new, relatively solid ground behind the already existing water tower. Things moved rapidly after the great floods of 1784, when the riverbanks were reinforced with walls and a lot of new trees were planted to make the island’s base more solid.
In the beginning of the 18th century this island was owned by leather dyer Josef Ignác Saenger.
The Island received a brand new name in 1840, when it was renamed after archduchess Sophie of Bavaria. Just a decade later this island hosted a unique Prague Slavic Congress. Congress was an extraordinary event, that attempted to connect all Slavs living within Austro-Hungarian Empire and demonstrate their resistance to German and Hungarian nationalism.
The most famous building of this island, Žofín Palace, was originally built between 1835-37. In 1884 the whole island was purchased by Prague’s Municipal Council, which rebuilt the palace into its current neo-renaissance style. Nowadays it’s used as a cultural hall, which hosts some of the most important events in the city, such as balls, concerts, weddings etc.
The nearby park is beloved by locals for its calm atmosphere and a chance to rent a pedal boat (which is super-popular in the summertime). So if you have any extra time during your visit, you should put this place on your list, it is already on ours as part of several of our bike tours.
Žofín / Zofin Island Info:
Address: Slovanský ostrov 226/8, Prague
Map. Ref.: 50.0795417, 14.4127294