CESKY ENGLISH

The A Line


The stations tiled with anodized aluminum

The stations tiled with anodized aluminum

The stations tiled with anodized aluminum

The stations tiled with anodized aluminum

The stations tiled with anodized aluminum

The stations tiled with anodized aluminum

The stations tiled with anodized aluminum

The stations tiled with anodized aluminum

The stations tiled with anodized aluminum

Chronologically, the A line is the second line of the Prague Metro. At present, it consists of four segments. The first one, opened in 1978, runs between Dejvická and Náměstí Míru, the second segment from 1980 is to be found between Náměstí Míru and Želivského, its third segment, built in 1985, connects the Želivského station to the Hostivař depot (the Strašnická, Skalka and Depo Hostivař stations were added later), and the fifth (chronologically fourth) and last segment was put into operation in 2015, extending the A line from Dejvická to Nemocnice Motol.

Those stations on this line that were built before 1985 have an almost identical design. The characteristic feature of these three-bore stations are the anodized aluminum panels by architect Jaroslav Otruba. Based on Jiří Rathouský’s idea, one characteristic color was picked for each station and was used for the horizontal stripe behind the tracks, sometimes for the ceiling as well. In some cases, the color comes in various shades, creating a natural transition between the dominant color of the station and the champagne color, which is used at all stations for the visual unification of the line. The use of various color shades can be found chiefly on the line’s first segment. In addition to that, an atypical tiling arrangement can be found at the Můstek and Staroměstská stations, where the horizontal stripe is interrupted at several places by vertical champagne stripes. Furthermore, the aluminum placed on the walls behind the tracks is formed into concave and convex shapes. The Želivského station is an exception, its aluminum panels being flat.

The original escalator tunnel at Želivského

Another interesting feature of the A line stations is the rather dim built-in lighting, which, together with the bright-colored aluminum panels and their concave/convex structure, is meant to evoke the mysterious and magic atmosphere of medieval cellars. The Middle Ages are the main theme of the A line, the design of the stations reminding the passengers of the medieval city with a rich history, beneath which they are traveling. From an aesthetic point of view, the stations are in good taste, even the escalator tunnels were originally tiled with aluminum laths, which were the typical champagne color, the original Soviet escalators adopting the dominant color of the station.

This design concept, which appeared at all A line stations, has been, however, recently disrupted by removing the original built-in lighting from almost all stations (except the Flora and Želivského stations) and renovating the escalator tunnels. These renovations involved the removal of the aluminum laths and the new escalators gaining the neutral silver color without respect to the design of each particular station. Nevertheless, these changes have not been applied to the Flora, Želivského and Jiřího z Poděbrad stations, where the original escalators and the aluminum laths are still to be found. The most authentic station on this line is Želivského, which has not undergone a single renovation, as a consequence of which, all its design features have been kept in their original state, i.e. the lighting inside the station, the original escalators, the aluminum laths in the escalator tunnel, and even the original lighting above the escalators, which has already been removed from all other stations.

On the one hand, the artistic and thematic concept of the stations was very well chosen, as thanks to preferring the topic of the Middle Ages to communist propaganda, most of the art on the A line has been kept in its original state. The medieval theme can therefore be found in almost all stations, and furthermore, there was no need to change the names of the stations, since these carried no communist ideology. The only exception to this rule is Leninova literal translation: Lenin Station (now Dejvická), which stands out from the system of the three-bore aluminum stations.

The Dejvická station, tiled with ceramics

On the other hand, even on the A line can one name art pieces that were removed due to the commercialization of the vestibules and the elimination of the communist ideology. For instance, these removals regarded an absolutely unique light installation by Václav Cígler, located at the Náměstí Míru station, which changed its light intensity with the number of people in the vestibule, a bronze sculpture of Lenin at Dejvická, and a Victorious February mosaic at Staroměstská. As a proof of the commercial use of the stations having been preferred in the decision to remove or cover these artworks to the mere reduction of the communist ideology serves the fact that for example, at the Hradčanská station, a relief representing the coronation of King Vratislaus was replaced with stores, whereas the reliefs reminding of the Bolshevik Revolution and the inscription “All power in the CSSR belongs to the working people” were kept.

Apart from the stations tiled with aluminum panels, also the Skalka, Strašnická and Dejvická monolithic stations are to be found on the A line, built using the cut-and-cover method and tiled with glazed ceramic panels. The Dejvická station is unique, being, together with Můstek, one of the two stations on the A line to have more than one vestibule. Skalka, the last “old” station on the A line, still has an artistic concept, containing two art pieces, while Depo Hostivař is the only “new” station on this end of the line. On the other end, though, the line was extended to Motol in 2015. The stations on this extension, however, do not have large aesthetic value and do not contain a single artwork.

In the following two charts, one can find the list of artworks on the A line. As far as the removed or inaccessible artworks are concerned, the list is only exemplative, as it was not possible to create a complete list.

The existing artworks

Station Name of artwork Type of artwork Author
Depo Hostivař
(originally at Flora)
Rodina
(The Family ) This is a literal translation.
bronze sculpture ak. soch. Vladimír Navrátil,
ak. soch. Bohumil Teplý
Skalka Přírodní motivy
(Nature Motifs ) This is a literal translation.
mosaic ak. mal. Jan Grimm
Skalka (fountain) The work does not have an official name or the name is unknown. fountain ak. soch. Martin Zet
Želivského Husitství
(The Hussites ) This is a literal translation.
bronze relief nár. umělec Jan Simota
Želivského Jan Želivský a jeho doba
(Jan Želivský and His Age ) This is a literal translation.
mosaic ak. mal. Jiřina Adamcová
Želivského Kalich
(The Chalice ) This is a literal translation.
fountain ak. soch. František Pašek
Flora Rostlinné motivy
(Plant Motifs ) This is a literal translation.
ceramic relief ak. soch. Petr Svoboda
Jiřího z Poděbrad Jiří z Poděbrad
(George of Poděbrady ) This is a literal translation.
relief sculpture ak. soch. Jiří Dušek
Jiřího z Poděbrad (Hussites) The work does not have an official name or the name is unknown. ceramic reliefs ak. soch. Lubomír Šilar
Jiřího z Poděbrad Sjednocená Evropa
(A Unified Europe ) This is a literal translation.
fountain ak. soch. Petr Šedivý
Náměstí Míru Alegorie míru
(The Allegory of Peace ) This is a literal translation.
bronze sculpture ak. soch. Jan Kryštůfek
Muzeum (busts of List & Belada) The work does not have an official name or the name is unknown. busts ak. soch. Josef Kadlčík
ak. soch. Jan Bartoš
Můstek Můstek
(Little Bridge ) This is a literal translation.
archaeological discovery
Můstek The work does not have an official name or the name is unknown. wall sculpture Ladislav Dydek,
František Bílek
Můstek (A, B, C panels) The work does not have an official name or the name is unknown. aluminum panels Josef Buňka
Malostranská (fountain) The work does not have an official name or the name is unknown. fountain ing. arch. Zdeněk Drobný,
Ladislav Jiránek
Malostranská (drinking fountain) The work does not have an official name or the name is unknown. drinking fountain ak. soch. Miroslav Vystrčil
Malostranská (gate at the entrance) The work does not have an official name or the name is unknown. gate ak. soch. Jan Smrž
Malostranská (gate at the gardens) The work does not have an official name or the name is unknown. gate ak. soch. Vojtěch Kobylka,
Eduard Řepka
Malostranská (gate at Waldstein Riding School) The work does not have an official name or the name is unknown. gate dílna Jaromíra Brudhause
Malostranská (gate in the garden) The work does not have an official name or the name is unknown. gate ak. soch. Zbyněk Runczik
Malostranská (Baroque sculptures) The work does not have an official name or the name is unknown. copies of sculptures by A. Braun, M. B. Braun
Malostranská (corner bollard) The work does not have an official name or the name is unknown. bollard doc. ak. soch. Lubomír Růžička
Hradčanská (hands) The work does not have an official name or the name is unknown. relief sculptures ak. soch. Slavoj Nejdl
Hradčanská (coat of arms) The work does not have an official name or the name is unknown. relief sculpture ak. soch. Slavoj Nejdl
Hradčanská (inscription) The work does not have an official name or the name is unknown. relief sculpture ak. soch. Slavoj Nejdl
Hradčanská (crown) The work does not have an official name or the name is unknown. relief sculpture Jiří Prádler
Dejvická Plameny revoluce
(The Flames of the Revolution ) This is a literal translation.
mosaic ak. mal. Martin Sladký

The removed or inaccessible artworks

Station Name of artwork Type of artwork Author
Strašnická The work does not have an official name or the name is unknown. glass relief ak. mal. Karel Vaňura
Náměstí Míru (light installation) The work does not have an official name or the name is unknown. light installation ak. soch. Václav Cígler
Můstek The work does not have an official name or the name is unknown. glass relief ak. soch. Stanislav Kostka
Staroměstská Vítězný únor
(The Victorious February ) This is a literal translation.
mosaic ak. mal. Martin Sladký
Hradčanská (Vratislaus' coronation) The work does not have an official name or the name is unknown. relief sculpture ak. soch. Slavoj Nejdl
Dejvická (red banner) The work does not have an official name or the name is unknown. glass relief Vilém Veselý,
Pavel Werner,
Josef Kochrda
Dejvická (Lenin) The work does not have an official name or the name is unknown. bronze relief Vendelín Zdrůbecký,
ing. arch. Milan Míšek
Dejvická Dynamika revoluce
(The Dynamics of the Revolution ) This is a literal translation.
mosaic ak. mal. Martin Sladký

Sources:

  1. REJDAL, Tomáš. Metroweb.cz [online]. [cit. 2018-02-21]. Dostupné z: https://www.metroweb.cz/
  2. A (linka metra v Praze). In: Wikipedie: otevřená encyklopedie [online]. San Francisco (CA): Wikimedia Foundation, 2001- [cit. 2018-02-21]. Dostupné z: https://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_(linka_metra_v_Praze)
  3. LAUB, Mikuláš. Světelný objekt. Vetřelci a volavky [online]. [cit. 2018-02-21]. Dostupné z: http://www.vetrelciavolavky.cz/sochy/svetelny-objekt
  4. HORÁK, Ondřej. Umění v metru. In: um! [internetový pořad]. Stream.cz, 24. 6. 2016. Dostupné z: https://www.stream.cz/um/10011041-umeni-v-metru

  5. The sources of information about artworks are listed on the webpages dealing with individual stations.