A historic gas lamp brought back to life
In spite of the torrential rain on Tuesday evening, a small crowd gathered outside the gates of Prague Castle to witness the reactivation of a newly-restored Prague landmark: the historic five-armed candelabrum on Hradcanske Namesti, the cobbled square in front of the castle.
The return to gas-powered lighting in some historic districts is just one part of the city's ongoing attempt to recreate the romantic atmosphere of Old Prague. At its peak, gas fueled 600 such lamps throughout the city; however, today, the lamp on Hradcanske Namesti is one of only two of its kind remaining in the Czech capital.
Radio Prague spoke to a representative of RWE Transgas, Martin Chalupsky, about the importance of restoring this public monument.
The restoration process proved especially difficult not only because of the lamp's state of decay, but also because of its sheer size. The candelabrum weighs in at an impressive 5 tonnes, making its dismantling, cleaning, and reassembly a complicated affair indeed.
The lamp on Hradcanske Namesti was the most difficult to restore, and accordingly, was the last to be turned back on. The relighting ceremony marked the completion of the gas lamp project launched by town hall in 2005. So, after a 21-year absence, a soft flickering glow will illuminate the square once again, bringing renewed ambience and charm to the square.