Žofín/ Zofin Island (Slovanský Ostrov)
An Introduction: Zofin Island
Walking on the riverside of the New Town of Prague, right behind the Czech National Theater, you’ll find a small island known by locals as Zofin Island. Actually, the official name is Slovanský Ostrov (English: Slavic Island).
The history of this island dates back to the 17th century. This is 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 river’s banks saw reinforcements with walls. In order to make the island’s base more solid, a lot of new trees were put in place.
Then ownership of the island in the beginning of the 18th century this island fell to a leather dyer, Josef Ignác Saenger.
A New Name
The Island had a brand new name in 1840, when it was renamed after Archduchess Sophie of Bavaria. Just a decade later this island was host to the unique Prague Slavic Congress. This Congress was an extraordinary event, an attempt to connect all Slavs living within Austro-Hungarian Empire and demonstrate their resistance to German and Hungarian nationalism.
The construction of the most famous building of this island, the Žofín Palace, was between 1835-37. Then in 1884 the whole island was to become the property of the Prague’s Municipal Council, which remodeled the palace into its current Neo-Renaissance style. Today it’s a cultural hall, which hosts some of the most important events in the city, such as balls, concerts, weddings etc.
The local people are fond of the nearby park because of its calm atmosphere. Also you have a chance to rent a pedal boat (which is very popular pastime in the Summer). So if you have any extra time during your visit, you should put this place on your list, as it’s is already on ours as part of several of our bike tours.
Žofín / Zofin Island Info:
Address: Slovanský ostrov 226/8, Prague