The Panelák

Discussion in 'Culture' started by TallElf, Nov 19, 2005.

  1. TallElf

    TallElf Member

    Just curious what the opinion is on The Panelák. I have always been fascinated by areas such as Jižní Město (Prague) and Petržalka (Bratislava). The town of Most is practically one big panelák housing estate. It stuns me the number of Westerners who visit Prague and never realize that such places exist. All they see is Prague 1 and 2, and fail to realize that those two areas are by and large playgrounds for tourists.

    Some pictures...

    Opinions or information would be greatly appreciated. :wink:
  2. evian

    evian Well-Known Member

    I would agree that viewing the monotony of such panel suburbs can be quite a fascination. In my opinion however, the somewhat "eye-sores" that you find within the transition zone and outer areas of Prague (CR) and Bratislava (SK) are considerably of better quality than what you may find in Eastern Bloc countries (Romania, Ukraine, Latvia...), or even in suburbs such as Wan Chai in Hong Kong. Density and congestion is also a lot higher in these places too. I find it quite depressing to see how people can live in such cramped, ugly, concrete laden, perfect rectangle monstrosities (ul. U novych domu - a prime example).
    I do enjoy viewing such buildings though, probably because it is essentially non-existent where I reside, but also because of the reminiscence of soviet-days that seem to infiltrate my mind.
  3. Ladis

    Ladis Well-Known Member

  4. TallElf

    TallElf Member

    Does anyone know if there is a database (register) that lists such communities? If not, I may try to build one myself. I would want to include the history of each community, population numbers, average size of residences, photos, and so forth.

    Yes, I would agree that the housing estates in CR and SK tend to be of a much higher quality than what you might find in many Eastern European countries. One exception might be some of the areas that the Gypsies have taken over. Some of these areas are beyond belief.

    I have never been to Hong Kong. It kinda surprises me to hear that there are such areas there. I have always thought of Hong Kong as being a wealthy area. I would be interested in seeing how much a residence there costs in comparison to a similar residence in CR or SK. I would suspect that the price would be much higher in Hong Kong. This brings up something else I am curious about. How much would a typical residence in one of these housing estates go for? Lets say something by the Haje Metro stop in Prague.

    I have been to Ukraine (a fantastic country in my opinion) and did spend a bit of time in some of their urban housing estates. It is important to remember that Ukraine is a very poor country ( comparison of average monthly salaries). This is especially so when you get out of Kiev and visit some of the smaller towns. Conditions are MUCH better in CR and even SK than they are in Ukraine. However, please don't let this stop anyone from visiting this fascinating country.

    Thanks for the picture. :wink: A pretty girl and paneláky. :) Do you mind telling me what area this is? If you have anymore pictures I would love to see them [with or without girl(s) :wink: ].
  5. Ladis

    Ladis Well-Known Member

    I don't know what area it is and don't have more pictures (I don't make photos) :(
  6. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    We have many such buildings in France. We call them HLM (habitation à loyer modéré). The oldest date back to the 1970s.
  7. Ladis

    Ladis Well-Known Member

    We call these buildings "paneláky" in CR because they're built from panels :)
  8. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    The concrete panel houses are in Western Europe, too.
    Maybe you remember the disaster in London East End in 1968.

    A corner of Ronan Point collapsed after a gas explosion.
  9. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    (no comment)

  10. TallElf

    TallElf Member

    I believe there is a huge difference in the French/UK version and the Eastern European version. In France and the UK these areas are mainly filled with poor immigrants. In Germany you can find the same. The German government built such places for many of the Turkish workers who moved to Germany.

    The CZ versions are much more massive, filled not with poor immigrants but with average Czechs, and are the result of some sort of communist utopia where every man was supposed to be the same. Trust me, if the average resident who lives in such housing in CZ had been born in France or the UK, they would not be living in similar housing. This is one of the things that interests me about the areas. They seem to be one of the strongest reminders of the old communist regimes.

    I believe that last picture is a Gypsy area. So, if you had something stolen while in CZ you can probably find it in there. :evil:
  11. evian

    evian Well-Known Member

    Just the visual annotation of this screams the foundations of crime, social injustice and poverty. It is so depressing to look at the domiciles of people (^prime example), which are devoid of even such simple luxuries as paint.
    TallElf>>> I think most middle-class Czech-natives do not reside in such abominable abodes. Rather, it is primariliy the older generation of Czechs and those whom live in the transition zone of an urban centre (unable to afford centrally located property, with commuting not an option). Immigrants largely dictate the population of such areas though, even in CR (Roma, Ukrainians etc.). Its always tends to be immigrants from less wealthy nations (for obvious reasons).
  12. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    Yes and no. Originally HLMs were not build for immigrants but for French workers. There are many French people who live in HLMs. The differences that one can perceive and experience comes from the inhabitants, not the buildings.

    If the majority of the inhabitants are French and / or Europeans, it's just an ordinary neighbourhood, and life there is pleasant enough. The number of applicants for such apartments is even higher now due to a marked increase of rents in private buildings.

    If the majority of the inhabitants are Asians (Buddhists or Christians), the neighbourhood is safe and prosperous. French people like to go there.

    If the majority of the inhabitants are Muslims (mainly North-Africans and Black Africans), it becomes a dirty hell where the French police has no access. Young Muslims break and deface everything. Then, when they are numerous enough, they start terrorising Christians.

    Generally the French flee such areas as fast as they can, if they can, because in many cases there is nowhere else to go. Some even convert to Islam to survive. Catholic girls are the primary target of Muslim gang rapists in such neighbourhoods. The number of suicides among young French people trapped there is alarming.

    Like several other European governments, the French governments of the Fifth Republic have been busy spreading Muslims everywhere for the past thirty years, and increasing Muslim immigration as much as they have been able to.

    As a result, for us French people, there are many areas now where we can no longer go. Another result is that these criminals visit other neighbourhoods and the center of big cities thus making these areas unsafe.

    Every year we have the impression that, in practice, our territory is shrinking. The big question is where can we go to flee these invaders if our rulers (actually the international mafia that pulls the strings in the wings) are on their side? :cry:
  13. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    Frankly, the buildings are not that bad, and there is no urgent need to paint concrete.
    What makes the sight of this neighbourhood appalling is that refuse strewn on the lawn. If these people had more respect for their environment, it would different. Perhaps they don't care. There are squats in Paris where Africans throw their garbage in the yards!
  14. evian

    evian Well-Known Member

    Qcumber, so are you saying they [muslim population] are after segregation or succession in France?
    We are having a similar problem here in Australia, predominantly in the states of NSW and Victoria. Recent terror-raids resulted in the arrest of nine suspected individuals related to a series of terror alerts. The principle figurehead, Abdul Nacer Benbrika (Bin Laden affiliate), sanctioned the development of a jihad in Australia. Then there was also the cases of extreme Islamic teachings to Muslim students, which clearly endorsed the desire for total islam succession in Australia and hostility/hatred towards non-muslims.
    Evidentially, such people disapprove of the Australian way of life, as well as Australians in general. To exacerbate this, there is no lawful deportation of immigrant terrorists for those who don't have the birth-right. Whilst one must not draw towards wild conjectures regarding Islam immigration, it really does make you wander...
  15. evian

    evian Well-Known Member

    Hhmm...but aesthetic appeal does reflect on the social status of an area. The unapparence of paint often shows negligence on part of the developer, in this case, the government.
    If such disrespect for the property occurs in the yard, who is to say the interior is any better? One of the rooms in the image above looks like it has ravaged by fire. :?
  16. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

  17. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    Chánov is the biggest settlement of gypsies in CR. The living standard of gypsies is not dependent on housing type. So, I think It is not relavant example to discuss Paneláky (maybe relavant to discuss gypsies).

    In CR there is no typical group of inhabitants in Paneláky. The Structure of society is changed dramatically since revolution but the housing market is very static because of lack of apartments and unconstitutional regulation of rents. There is no problem to found riche people in Paneláky (including prime ministers :) ).
  18. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    Some mistakes in the Charta 77 site (see the original post): the following houses are evidently made from bricks. No concrete panel.

  19. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member

    The Czech communists over the years did indeed have had may undesirable effects on the country and society in general. However, the Panelak was not their invention, but rather a copy of the Gabrini Green project in Chicago (1955), modular high rise housing building.

    Housing Projects in the US (Panelaky), were the solution to house the poor the cheapest way possible (yielding the highest possible profit for the builder), so it looks like the govenment actualy cares. The picture you display of the Czech panelaky, is nothing as compared to the US Housing Projects, where high crime --the Police will not even enter--drugs and extortion is run and operated by street gang thugs. Even today, there are over 25 Million poor Americans living in these conditions


    PS: See & Search for CABRINI GREEN to open your eyes!
  20. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    When you were in Bratislava, did you happen to visit Dlhé Diely in Karlová Ves? The paneláky there are completely the opposite of what you have shown. A little paint and a little creativity in architecture can do wonders. I wish I could find a decent picture ... Anyway, the Czechs and Slovaks are typically much more concerned with what is inside their individual apartments, rather than what the outside looks like.

Share This Page