Until the mid-19th century, the area of modern Holešovice borough was sparsely-settled agrarian countryside featuring two villages dating from the Middle Ages, called Holešovice and Bubny. Both were low-income fishing settlements of a few hundred inhabitants each. This changed with the Industrial Revolution: The first factory in the area was built in 1823 (a textile factory owned by a Max Dormitzer), bringing a sizeable contingent of workers and their families.
The Negrelli Viaduct was completed in 1850 and one of its branch railways bisected the peninsula. As in so many other places, rail was a major determinant and catalyst of further development in the area. Holešovice, that same year joined with neighboring Bubny, became much more accessible and therefore more attractive to industrial investment. Before long, almost the entire peninsula was developed. The majority of the construction was industrial; there was also a worker colony.
The meander of the Vltava whose frequent floods had determined the economic lifecycle of the area for centuries underwent radical changes. In the early 20th century, the shores of the islands between Holešovice and Libeň boroughs were regulated (given stone embankments to prevent flooding) and the Hlávka and Libeň Bridges and Holešovice Port were built. The original rural character of the area thus eventually changed into a fully urbanized one.
The Holešovice-Bubny neighborhood was incorporated as part of Prague in 1884, and from 1960 onwards only the name Holešovice is used. 2002 saw a particularly destructive flood that reminded local residents of their neighborhood’s original status as a floodplain. A large number of historical industrial buildings are found in Holešovice; for example, the Holešovice-Bubny train station, the Holešovice brewery, port, the Electrical Works building, and the Prague Farmer’s Market (formerly the municipal slaughterhouse).
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