Palladium: A Gigantic Shopping Mall on the Republic Square

Supermarkets are already seen as small and uncomfortable, hypermarkets are spreading around the capital and the whole Republic, but their focus on certain goods makes them a limited source. What Prague center lacked was a large shopping center with different kinds of shops, cafés- at least in this big a form. It’s a question whether the gap was needed to be filled or not (I personally don’t think so), but the fact remains it was.

The façade doesn’t look bad, it’s quite modest, the only attention- drawing element being the rich red color. Otherwise its pseudo- historical stylization may not be too sensitive, but it is more competent than the Kotva mall on the same square. It doesn’t look pompous, so to say, which is not necessarily saying it’s good, mostly resembling a Lego castle, it just could have been much worse.

There are tens of restaurants and cafes, many fashion shops, game shops, toys. Below these, there is a large market where you find mainly groceries. It would take long to make a list.

It is by no means insufficient, the problem is that it may be too much. I think the inside feels better than the older Prague malls, where each floor is separated from the rest, here you feel like the space is mostly open and playfully, asymmetrically constructed. The drawback is that your senses are constantly facing so many impulses that the experience may turn exhausting. No doubt you find what you need and you find it quite fast, but you find it in a sea of loud, aggressive market strategies, lights, colors and people, crowds of them, forced into relatively narrow corridors.

My intention is neither to promote the mall nor to condemn it. I think it is exactly what you may expect it to be: in the good sense and the bad. If you like peace you better avoid it, if you enjoy similar facilities you’re not likely to be disappointed.

By the way, there was a minor fire in Palladium in February, forcing it to be closed down for three weeks. Luckily nobody was hurt. I don’t wish to be cruel, but I think the case pretty much shows the disadvantages of the strategy of aggregating dozens of businesses in one place- for if the place must be closed down, they all lose a lot of money.

© 2008 |