There is a Christmas tree on the Old Town Square in Prague
Update: 22/11/2022 05:45
Issued by: 22/11/2022, 05:45
Prague – From today, a Christmas tree originally from northern Bohemia stands on Prague’s Old Town Square. Employees of the municipal company Technology of the City of Prague (THMP) brought her to a traditional place at night from the company’s premises near Prague, where they transported her from the village of Kytlice in the Ústí Region on Sunday. It took a few hours to set up, it will be decorated in the following days. The traditional tree is an integral part of the Christmas markets, which this year will start on Saturday in the square.
The company Taiko, which runs the markets, chose a tree for the Old Town Square for the 22nd time this year from tips sent to it by people. This year, 26 of them arrived, and the company evaluated a roughly 25-meter-tall and 58-year-old spruce from Kytlice as suitable, which had to be cut down for safety reasons. The tree is traditionally transported to the square at night so that the transport does not complicate traffic in the metropolis.
The tree’s journey to Prague was approximately 150 kilometers long. “It is one of the longest routes that a tree in Old Town Square has ever had to take,” said THMP board chairman Tomáš Jílek. “At the same time, it is necessary to plan the exact route in advance. The set is 29 meters long, six meters wide and weighs around 35 tons,” he added. However, according to him, the transport was without complications thanks to the tolerance of the other drivers.
The tree will be decorated by THMP staff until about Friday. “Based on experience from previous years, we know that the entire decorating process takes about a dozen of our electricians several days. Just imagine: a six-kilometer long chain of LED lights, 80 poinsettias in two sizes, plus 170 red and gold balls that they will symbolize the colors of the capital, and a two-meter-high light spire at the top,” described the shape of the tree, vice-chairman of the board of THMP Tomáš Novotný. LED lighting with minimal electricity consumption was chosen, and in order to save energy, the lighting of the tree will also be limited between 4:00 PM and midnight.
The tree will be lit until the beginning of January. After disarming, it will then be cut up. The branches will go to the Prague Zoo and the trunk to the Prague Vocational High School, where it will be made into furniture, for example.
The tree for Old Town Square grew together with another smaller spruce on the municipal property and was entered into the competition by the owner of the neighboring house, Petr Kubica, who is from Prague. During Sunday’s felling, he said that he already tried it last year, but it didn’t work until this year. The neighboring smaller spruce will also decorate Prague’s Christmas markets this year, on Wenceslas Square. “Both trees were felled this year, taking into account the fact that there was a road, a railway line and high voltage poles in their vicinity, so the owner had to remove them anyway. As every year, this is a sustainable approach that saves the normal trees growing in the forest, ” said Jan Chabr, Prague councilor for property (TOP 09).
Last year, 35 tips arrived in the competition, from which the Taiko company selected a 21.5-meter tall spruce from the Jizera Mountains. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the traditional tree lighting ceremony did not take place last year, and the markets were eventually canceled due to the government ban, which was criticized by the Taiko company and representatives of the city management. This year, the markets will be held in normal mode, and Prague residents and visitors to the metropolis can also look forward to the festive lighting.