The Strahov Stadion

First built in the 1920s, the Great Strahov Stadion is the second largest sports arena in the world, reputedly holding 220,000 people, although the days when crowds of that size came along to the historic venue seem long gone. Now a throwback to the Communist era of Prague's history, it is clearly showing its age, and seemingly of little use now as a spectator facility.

Whilst on a break in Prague, it was one of the key attractions for me, so after a long hike up to the stadium, which sits on top of a hill overlooking the city, I finally reached it and got to see the old ground. I hadn't really known what to expect before I arrived, but was a little shocked to see it in such a poor condition. From the outside, other than a newer addition in the South-West corner, it is a large, crumbling concrete design more reminiscent of inner-city housing estates as opposed world-class sporting arenas. Just for the sheer scale that it's been built on, it must have been a sight to behold in its day, but it has to be said that time hasn't been kind to the venue and it now looks a sad sight, almost forgotten in a quiet corner of Prague which borders the more busy tourist attractions.

Once going inside, it is much the same. The stands themselves are crumbling, yet within it seems life has gone on regardless. The stadium is now home to Sparta Prague's training ground, and hosts a car park and modern building built right in the middle where pitches once stood. There is no vast playing surfaces any more, instead little pitches split into sections for what seems various parts of the club (a number of junior games were going on when I went in).

It's a shame to see the ground in its current state, and talks are ongoing as to what will happen in the future, but that seems unresolved at the moment, with demolition costs proving prohibitive. What will happen remains to be seen, but whilst it still stands, then it's worth a trip along to. 

Rear of the East Stand

Entrances to the East Stand

Rear of the North Stand

Rear of the North West Corner

Rear of the West Stand

Rear of the West Stand

Rear of the South Stand

Sparta Prague's Training HQ

The East Stand

Seating in the East Stand

The East Stand

The South Stand

The South Stand

The West Stand

The North Stand

The North-East Corner

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