If you arrive to Prague by train from Berlin or Dresden , at about the same time when the conductor is trying to make his English announcement for the station Praha Holešovice, you can see on your right hand side a building with a five-pointed red star on top (shining in the dark). This is the Crowne Plaza Hotel, formerly Hotel Družba (translates to something like “friendship” or “comradeship”, one of communism’s favourite buzz words).
This building was built between 1952 and 1954 – just around the year of Stalin’s death. Its architectural style has been inspired by a series of structures in Moscow, which served as models for several similar projects in the whole Eastern Bloc. One large example can be found in Warsaw (see image below). The Prague version is only 88 metres high, far smaller than the Polish. I wouldn’t call it even a landmark. You see it only when you are already quite close. It looks to me like the locals have never really been proud of it.