On the shores of the manmade Kampa Island on the Lesser Side in Prague 1, there stands the reconstructed Sovovy mlýny (Sova’s Mills) building, which now houses the Museum Kampa Channel. Come with us for a peek into the history of this facility that is popular with tourists and locals alike.
The former wooden mill was already standing in this location as early as the end of the 14th century. It brought water to the mill races, fountains and even pushed it uphill. Throughout its history, though, it had to brave several fires. In the 15th century, at the instigation of Václav Sova of Liběves, the mill was rebuilt following the first destructive fire. This is where its present-day name comes from.
In the 16th century, another fire broke out, and a stone mill was built. Originally, it was built in the Gothic style, but was later rebuilt in the Renaissance style. In the 1860s, a courtyard and Neo-gothic two-story wing were built in the Neo-gothic style. František Odkolek, who reconstructed the mill into a steam mill, became the new owner, and a high smokestack was built. To this day the courtyard garden is called the Odkolek garden, named after the baker’s family.
Reconstructions of the mill after the year 1867 included the work of renowned architects, such as Josef Schulz and Josef Zítek. In the year 1896 the mill burned down once again, and its original purpose was never renewed. From 1998, major reconstruction works were carried out, which were to turn the building into a luxury gallery of modern art. This is how the Museum Kampa Channel came about.
In 2012, Meda Mládková, who along with her husband, Jan Mládek, provided lifelong support to Czechoslovak artists and amassed an extensive art collection, became the founder of the Museum Kampa Channel. Currently, you can visit the gallery to admire the luxurious artworks of František Kupka, cubist sculptor Otta Gutfreund and other artists from all over Europe, through short-term exhibitions. The gallery has featured, for example, the works of Yoko Ono, Theodore Pištěk, Andy Warhol and Frank Malina.
Through April 24, the museum is putting on an exhibition of Czech and Slovak art of the 1960s from the Zlatá Husa Gallery and Museum Kampa Channel collections. Come and enjoy a luxurious experience!