New streets in Prague to honour famous women, including Madeleine Albright

Several streets in Prague’s new district of Smíchov City, which is currently under construction, are to be named after women who contributed to freedom, democracy and the fight against totalitarianism.

Madeleine Albright | Photo: Tomáš Adamec,  Czech Radio

The main pedestrian boulevard that will run through the 20-hectare neighbourhood will bear the name of Madeleine Albright, the former US secretary of state, who was born in Smíchov.

There are currently around 7,500 streets in the Czech capital, with roughly a quarter being named after historical figures, but only around a tenth of those are women.

To improve the gender balance, the developer Sekyra group, along with the Václav Havel Library, proposed to name the streets in the newly created district after notable women.

Apart from Madeleine Albright, whose name should also appear on the newly built elementary school, other famous women to get their own streets include the surrealist painter Toyen, sociologist and feminist Jiřina Šiklová, art collector Meda Mládková, German philosopher Hannah Arendt and the resistance fighter Růžena Vacková, as well as Alice and Anna Masaryk, daughter and granddaughter of the first Czechoslovak president.

Photo: MČ Praha 5

The new residential and commercial complex, which is said to be the largest development project in Prague’s modern history, is built on the site of a former industrial freight station in the district of Smíchov. Its construction started in 2020 and should be completed in 2032.

However, not all the street names in the new district will be feminine. The street leading to the new school will be named after the writer Josef Škvorecký, while the one running towards the Smíchov railway station will bear the name of writer František Langer.

One of the newly created parks should also include a “Speakers’ Corner”, inspired by the spot in London's Hyde Park.