Euroregion Elbe/Labe

Weekly review no. 18

Overburden excavator near Most should become an attraction - The path to the Grundmühle is partially closed - The legendary Kotva department store is being renovated - The largest battery storage facility in the Czech Republic is in operation

02.02.2024

Overburden excavator near Most should be an attraction

Excavator RK 5000.0 near Most
Overburden excavator RK 5000 in the pit near Most (© Karelj; cropped; CC BY-SA 4.0 )

In a few years, all that will be left of the huge ČSA open-cast brown coal mine near Most (Brüx) will be a large lake. Next year, coal mining will end there and recultivation will begin. If everything goes well, there could still be a witness to coal mining. The Ústí district is negotiating with the owner, the mining company Sev.en, about the preservation of the RK 5000 overburden excavator. It is the largest of its kind in northern Bohemia. It was still in operation until 2016. However, to preserve it, it would have to be moved around one kilometer. Its current location will be underwater in the future. The crucial thing is to agree on who will cover the costs of the transport. These are estimated at around 3 million euros.
The bucket chain excavator is almost 160 meters long and almost 40 meters high. The giant, weighing 15,000 tons, was used from 1983. At that time, its purchase cost almost 250 million crowns, which corresponds to 160 million euros in today's prices.

The path to the Grundmühle is partly closed

Die Ruine der Grundmühle in der Böhmischen Schweiz
The ruins of the Grundmühle in Bohemian Switzerland (© Steffen Neumann)

Due to the removal of unstable trees, there will be restrictions on the yellow-marked hiking trail from Jetřichovice (Dittersbach) towards Dolský mlýn (Grundmühle) in the next few weeks. As the Bohemian Switzerland National Park informs, the work on the one kilometer long section will last until the end of March and only during the week. The path is open on weekends.

The basic mill is not affected by the felling and remains accessible. The national park recommends the blue marked trail from Vysoká Lípa and the green marked trail from Srbská Kamenice. Both are for pedestrians. The third option is the blue marked trail from Kamenická Stráň, which cyclists can also use.

Legendary Kotva department store is being renovated

Das Prager Kaufhaus Kotva
The Kotva department store in Prague (© Steffen Neumann)

After 49 years, the Kotva department store in Prague is over. The largest department store in Czechoslovakia at the time was open for the last time on Wednesday. Now one of the brutalist icons in the Czech Republic is to be renovated. If everything goes well, the department store could reopen in three years.

The owner, the real estate subsidiary of the Italian insurance company Generali, wants to preserve 100 percent of the facade. The department store is probably the most famous work of the architect couple Věra and Vladimír Machonin. The two architects created a striking counterpoint to the surrounding older architecture in an attractive location on Republic Square (náměstí Republiky). The Kotva has been a listed building since 2019.

Changes are planned inside the department store and on the outside areas. There will be office space on the upper floors and a new restaurant at the top. The lower floors are intended for well-known brand stores. The investor would like to involve the public in the design of the outdoor facilities.

The Kotva is a legend of shopping culture. When it opened in 1975, army units had to ensure that the building was not stormed by the arriving crowds. In recent decades, like other department stores, it has struggled with a changing sales strategy that was more focused on so-called galleries or shopping centers. One of these modern consumer temples was created in 2007 with the Palladium in the former George of Poděbrady barracks directly opposite the Kotva.

Of the three most famous department stores in Prague before 1989, the Máj was the first to be transformed into a Tesco department store. The shopping center, which is now called "My" in English, now belongs to the Czech company Amadeus Real Estate. The third, much smaller functionalist-style department store Bílá Labuť, which opened in 1939, is now a kind of shopping gallery with various shops, but its popularity has declined sharply. It is located not far from Kotva on Na Poříčí Street. Renovation is also planned here.

Largest battery storage facility in the Czech Republic in operation

The Czech Republic's largest battery storage facility to date has gone into operation in Ostrava-Vítkovice. The battery is used to compensate for network fluctuations. At the same time, the system with a capacity of 10 megawatts can buy electrical energy at a reasonable price during the night and supply it during peak times. The same is possible with strong energy production from photovoltaic systems.

The investor and operator is the majority state-owned energy company ČEZ, which is already preparing other such projects. By 2030, ČEZ plans to commission 6,000 megawatts of renewable energy storage.


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The creation of this newsletter is co-financed by tax revenue based on the budget approved by the Saxon state parliament.

(This is an automatic translation by Google Translator.)

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