Slavia stadium on Letná was burned down exactly 75 years ago
Slavia won 13 league titles and 3 doubles at their old Letná stadium before it was burned down after German shelling during Prague uprising in the evening of 6 May 1945. The total damage cost was 2,83 million Czech crowns and Slavia had to wait 3 more years before the stadium was rebuilt. For this period Slavia used Sparta stadium which stood literally just across the street, several dozen metres from the old Slavia pitch.
Remains of the main stand of Slavia stadium after the end of Prague uprising in May 1945.
On Thursday, 7 April 1948 Slavia played their opening game on the new stadium. It stood on Letná hill on the same place as the old one and took pride in the new wooden stand worth 3 million Czech crowns. But Slavia could use their new pitch only for 2 and a half years. On 3 December 1950 the stadium witnessed its last game between Slavia and OD Prague.
Letná hill rising above the Prague Old Town has been chosen as ideal place for giant memorial of Joseph Stalin - the biggest group sculpture in Europe - and all constructions on the southern side of the plain - including Slavia stadium - had to be demolished. Stalin memorial was finished in 1955, two years after his death, and just 7 years later it was taken down with 800 kilograms of explosives as part of the de-Stalinization process in the Soviet bloc.
Stalin memorial on the site of former Slavia stadium. Source: Czech TV (ceskatelevize.cz)
From 1950 Slavia had to use other stadiums (Bohemians Stadium, Sparta Stadium or Army Stadium at Strahov hill) for 3 more years. In 1953 the red and whites finally moved to Eden - part of Vršovice neighbourhood on the southeast of Prague - where they could start using newly built stadium with capacity over 38,000 fans. The wooden stand from Letná stadium was dismantled and put together again in Eden. It stood there until 2004 when it made way to the construction of current Sinobo Stadium. It was completed in 2008.
Newly built stadion Eden with original wooden stand from Letná in 1953.