Prague Concert Life, 1850-1881


Name: Žofín Island

Venue rooms (type): Žofín Theatre (Theatres), Žofín Hall (Public Halls), Žofín Gardens (Gardens and Outdoor venues)

Žofín Island. Prague Island on the east bank of the River Vltava. Site of gardens and public hall (briefly becoming a theatre), which were used throughout the second half of the nineteenth century as a venue for concerts, dances and other musical entertainments. The hall constituted the largest and most suitable public venue for large-scale musical entertainments in the city with the exception of the open-air New Town Theatre.

By the 1860s such was its popularity and importance to the city’s annual musical life that the facilities on-site for the public were run as a lucrative enterprise catering for an essentially captive audience. Národní listy 8/2/1863 published a humorously sarcastic poem by an anonymous individual attacking the cost of food and drink at the venue. This related that for ‘3 zlatky [...] one could buy nothing, for 50[kr] the smell of ham, two anchovies for 30[kr], and a cup of coffee for 20[kr].’ Beer was said to be so expensive that soon one has had enough. Perhaps responding to such criticism the management of this facility published a substantial advertisement, entitled ‘Otevření letního hostince na Žofínském ostrově’ [Opening of the Summer Inn on Žofín Island], in Národní listy 26/4/1863 drawing attention to the facilities on offer when the Island’s business opened to cater for summer events. On 24/7/1863 Prager Morgenpost published an effusive notice of thanks by a higher-ranking state official [k.k. Bezirksvorsteher], J.D. Widimsky, to the then Restauranteur of the Žofín Island Josef Beranek [Beránek] for his services and the excellent table [i.e. banquet] provided at the wedding of his daughter that was celebrated at the venue.

Žofín Island - Žofínský ostrov / Na Žofínském ostrově / Sophieninsel / Sofieninsel / Sophie Island
Žofín Hall - Žofínský sál / V sále na Žofíně / Sophieninselsaal / Sofieninselsaal /
Sophie Hall
Žofín Theatre - Žofínské divadlo / Sophieninsel Theater / Sofieninsel Theater / Sophie Theatre

See also:

Events taking place at this venue (631)