Prague without a guide-book: the Mayor’s Tram

Tramway Museum, Prague, Czech Republic:  Mayor's Tram no 200

Tramway Museum, Prague, Czech Republic: Mayor’s Tram no 200

During my ramblings round Prague I found my way on to the Historická tramva, the “historic tram”, which charged off up the hairpin slope Chotkova and eventually ground its way into a tram depot at a place called Střešovice.  In the absence of anything else to do, I followed a desultory crowd to the far end of the track fan and found my way into the Prague Tramway Museum, which for a little over £1 displays dozens of trams, trolleybuses, motorbuses and associated paraphernalia in immaculate condition:  

This is no work-in-progress like the Sydney Tramway Museum:  it looks for all the world as if they could run a historic fleet of several dozen trams, but for the fact that there is another, operational historic fleet at the other end of the depot.

The most endearing of these antique vehicles was the Mayor’s Tram, no 200, designed by the leading Art Noveau architect Jan Kotěra (1871-1923) and built by the Ringhoffer Company in 1900. 

Its headlamps are garlanded with delicately moulded metal leaves, and its interior consists of comfortable chairs and occasional tables, designed for the city councillors to meet and converse while riding in state through the streets.

When new it was exhibited at the Paris World Exhibition, and subsequently carried every mayor of Prague until 1951.  Thereafter it became a transport for nursery schoolchildren until it was acquired by the Tramway Museum after it opened in 1993:

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