Old factories, utility buildings, production halls, breweries, abattoirs, sugar refineries, hydroelectric stations, reservoirs, mills, waterworks, railway stations, smelting works, limeworks, and mining towers: these industrial buildings and sites are as much a part of the landscape of Bohemia and Moravia and of the image of Czech cities as any historical monument.

This publication presents a selection of such sites in the Czech Republic photographed between 2003 and 2006. It highlights the uniqueness of industrial architecture and introduces readers to a typology of industrial buildings. It captures what we remember of the industrial age, but also suggests directions for the post-industrial use of industrial heritage today, from structural conversions to sites as alternative artistic inspiration. The book is published on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the founding of technical education in the Czech lands. It is the outcome of many years of research and work by heritage professionals and architectural historians and theorists centred around the Research Centre for Industrial Heritage at the Czech Technical University in Prague.


Eva Dvořáková – Benjamin Fragner – Tomáš Šenberger, Industry_Memory_Perception, Prague 2007.

243 pages; Czech, English summary; ISBN 978-80-86652-33-7 / photos Pavel Frič / graphic design Miroslav Kloss / published by the Titanic in conjunction with the Technical Monuments Committee of the Czech Chamber of Certified Engineers and Technicians and the Czech Union of Civil Engineer


Waterwork in the Landscape

The interdisciplinary conference, organised by VCPD, had been held on the board of the ship Malše on her cruise from Poděbrady to Mělník on 21 June 2006 through ten lock chambers. Its proceedings are accompanied by the itinerary for the cruise, along with period writings about hydraulic structures and the landscape, descriptions of relevant people and firms, and various synopses, tables and maps.

The objective of the conference was to try and shed new light on this long-ignored topic. The earliest hydraulic structures to emerge on the Vltava and Elbe rivers date back to the late 19th century, a time when bold technical projects were being developed for the construction of canals, railways, bridges and tunnels. Regulation was intended to ensure the navigability of the rivers, to make use of hydro energy to supply industry and agriculture in the surrounding regions, and to protect the area from flooding. The papers presented at this conference offer a range of different perspectives on this topic: from a chronological overview of how the legal and financial requirements for the river’s navigation were set up, to a look at the founding of the field of hydraulic engineering at the Prague Technical University, along with other related fields that facilitated the rapid development of electrification, to a look at the technological transformation of the equipment used in waterworks (turbines, control mechanisms), which had an impact on the practical aspects of their design and their appearance. From a geologist’s perspective the river is perceived as an awe-inspiring and dynamic part of the landscape. An art historian examines the symbolic sub-text and visionary outlook of the architects involved, against the background of the technical pragmatism behind the objective assessment of the effect (corridor effect) waterworks have on the surrounding landscape.


Lukáš Beran ­– Vladislava Valchářová (edd.), Waterwork in the Landscape, Prague 2006.

170 pages; Czech, English summary; ISBN 80-01-03510-7 / contributing editorial work Jan Čábelka, Libor Doležal, Zuzana Drahotušská, Benjamin Fragner, Václav Jandáček, Linda Mašková, Jakub Potůček, Zlata Šámalová, Tomáš Šenberger, Jaroslav Šnajdr, Silvie Tučková, Jan Vojta, Petr Vorlík, Michal Zlámaný / translation Robin Cassling / graphic design Milota Schusterová / print Astron print s. r. o. / published by the Research Centre for Industrial Heritage CTU Prague

download (pdf, 6,4 MB)

3rd Biennal Vestiges of Industry 2005 (DVD)

Research Centre for Industrial Heritage CTU Prague (VCPD) is introducing digital proceedings from conference Vestiges of Industry and 3rd international biennial on DVD medium. That collection contains informations about conference, biennial and all other actions, as abstracts and audio recordings from conference, photos and videos from actions or electronical copies of publications.


3rd Biennal Vestiges of Industry 2005 (digital conference proceedings – DVD)

Czech / contributing editorial work Lukáš Beran, Lenka Popelová, Michal Zlámaný (VCPD CTU Prague), Michal Klodner, Václav Ondroušek, Eva Fuxová a Jan Dufek (CAS FAMU) / published by the Research Centre for Industrial Heritage CTU Prague

Industrial Trails Through the Bohemian Mid-West

The Czech Republic’s industrial heritage, the traces and vestiges of technology and production work of the industrial age, and especially the century between 1850 and 1950, is present at almost every step through the country. Although this heritage has been unjustly ignored in the past, it is representative of the ingenuity and hard work of our ancestors.

The objective of this somewhat untypical guidebook is to present the fading history of important technological and production sites in western central Bohemia and specifically the regions of Kladno, Slaný, Rakovník and Beroun. It is also hoped that this will help link the region to the established European approach to industrial culture.

Despite the similarly romantic character of the landscapes, each of the regions presented in the guidebook has a unique industrial history, largely derived from and characterised by its particular natural environment. The presence of coal beds in the Kladno region led to the development of mines and ironworks, while the Beroun region is traditionally linked to the processes of extraction and processing limestone, and the Rakovník region is connected with agricultural production and hops growing.

Technical monuments differ distinctly from the cultural monuments people are used, primarily owing to their original technological or production-based functions, which are what influence their structural designs. Factory chimneys, head frames, or massive production halls are structural elements that clearly help determining the shape of an industrial site. On the other hand, sometimes all that is left of a site are the barely discernible traces of industrial activity in the landscape. Many industrial-era structures have undergone reconstruction, and many are now used for other functions, while others have been abandoned and are now dilapidated and falling to ruin. But even these structures and buildings have the capacity to evoke a unique, inimitable atmosphere, analogous to the sensation that is awakened when one visits the ruins of an ancient castle. The vast fortification system that runs through the region dates from the 1930s and represents a special category of industrial heritage and evidence of the level of the region’s technological progress.

The industrial heritage sites presented are often built into the landscape, frequently touching on a river or on a channel of water for use as an energy source to power the first industrial machines. But there are also industrial sites in towns, and they often occupied a very significant role in the development of settlements.

Industrial progress ushered in the need for the development of transportation, and this is evident in the very dense and largely still functioning railway network that evolved with it, which not only connected production and manufacturing sites and villages and towns, but also facilitated the export of goods abroad. It should be recalled that it was in this part of central western Bohemia where the second horse railway in the country began service in 1830.

Not all the sites presented in the guidebook are open to the public. On the contrary, some are still functional and used for production. Others may be closed, owing to ownership settlements, the presence of natural obstacles in the surroundings, or poor structural condition. We do not recommend that visitors set out to explore any such sites in the field on their own, especially in the case of the abandoned mines. Nowadays much more can be learned about the history of the mining of coal, ore, and stone from the open-air museums that enthusiasts have set up directly on the sites of abandoned mines and quarries, where the original machines, many of which are unique examples of technology and engineering, can be admired in their genuine environment.

The guidebook includes a list of open-air and indoor museums in the regions, along with addresses and opening hours. It also contains a map of the entire region (it is advisable to also have a standard tourist map on hand when visiting the sites) and a smaller more detailed map marked to indicate where the sites are located. All of the sites presented in the guidebook do still exist, though finding them may require some detective work. There are none of the typical signs providing directions to them, and often even local people no nothing of them. So any trip to visit the sites will in some way require exploration, and visitors will easily be able to imagine that they are among the first to trace the footprints of industrial heritage in the region. The rewards for the bit of suffering this may involve are a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside, a pleasant stop by a river or mill race, and also the satisfaction of knowing that by expressing an interest in industrial heritage visitors are contributing to the protection and conservation of what to date has been a much overlooked part of our history.


Eva Dvořáková – Tomáš Šenberger, Industrial Trails Through the Bohemian Mid-West, Prague 2005.

86 pages; Czech/English; ISBN 80-85377-96-9 / contributing editorial work Olga Groszová, Šárka Jiroušková, Linda Mašková, Michal Zlámaný, Libor Doležal, Zuzana Drahotušská, Tomáš Voldráb / proofreading Olga Grozsová, Eva Příhodová / translation Robin Cassling / graphic design Zuzana a Milena Burgerovy / print DTPress Rakovník / published by the City Kladno in conjunction with the Research Centre for Industrial Heritage CTU Prague and the ASCO Publishing, spol. s r. o.

Industrial Prague

The book is an alternative guide to transport, technical, and industrial structures in Prague. It contains 325 articles, 506 photographs, and 17 detailed maps. It was prepared by the Research Centre for Industrial Heritage (VCPD) of the Czech Technical University in Prague, in cooperation with Prague City Hall as a part of Industrial Heritage Register project.

The buildings and structures presented in the book are arranged within the chapters according to their date of origin, and each chapter corresponds to a section of land demarcated and defined in the land register. The order in which these topographical sections of land are presented follows the pattern of growth and development ofPrague during the city’s history. The book includes buildings and structures from the fields of technology and transportation that have already been studied by experts at specialised museums, and industrial buildings whose value and potential for conversion to use in new functions are currently the subject of attention at the VCPD.

The VCPD primarily studies and focuses on the material remains and evidence of industrialisation, but contemporary trends and developments have a tendency to eliminate evidence of the past, which means that mention is also made of some structures that no longer exist. While contemporary production in the field of construction is impersonal in nature, the VCPD at all times endeavours in its research to determine who the entrepreneurs, builders, and architects behind each structure or building were, and the hundreds or perhaps even thousands of their employees are present in this text via the results of their work. This book is intended to serve as an alternative guide to Prague, a guide to the places where until now one would only have strayed by accident.

In 2007 was published full English version Prague Industrial, and a year later a second, expanded and updated edition Prague Industrial.


Lukáš Beran – Vladislava Valchářová (edd.), Industrial Prague. Technical Buildings and Industrial Architecture in Prague, Prague 2005.

280 pages; Czech, English introduction; 556 images; ISBN 80-239-6198-5 / na contributing editorial work Jana Absolonová, Lukáš Beran, Milan Blažej, Zuzana Drahotušská, Eva Dvořáková, Václav Dvořák, Benjamin Fragner, Jiří Grosz, Jaroslav Jásek, Šárka Jiroušková, Dana Kazdová, Zdeněk Kovařík, Matouš Králíček, Veronika Maňasová, Linda Mašková, Michal Novotný, Martin Patera, Lenka Popelová, Martin Šenberger, Tomáš Šenberger, Vladislava Valchářová, Petra Vinařová, Petr Vorlík, Jitka Zamrzlová, Michal Zlámaný / proofreading Marie Platovská, Eva Příhodová / index of names Marie Platovská / translation Robin Cassling / graphic design Jan Forejt / typesetting and print Studio Element / published by the Research Centre for Industrial Heritage CTU Prague in conjunction with the Prague City Council