Part of the headline was taken from the former daily newspaper Večerní Praha, which in the 1980's wrote about the shortcomings of Prague. One of these was public toilets, which were decreasing in number, since it was not considered lucrative. Thus some toilets disappeared from the city centre (e.g. at Jirasek Bridge, Children’s Island, Malý Rynek Arcade and many others). Some of the toilets in the metro were also out of order. At the time of the opening of this most modern means of transport in Prague, the metro toilets were a salvation for many people. Večerní Praha even featured an illustrational of a classic earth-closet with heart-shaped door vent, which was surrounded by barbed wire. This bizarre picture symbolising the inaccessibility of Prague toilets became the topic of discussion of a befriended Korean delegation visiting Prague at that time. One of the city's KSČ secretaries had a hard time explaining to them the content of the article, over which the South Korean comrades shook their heads in disbelief.
The revolutionary days of November 1989 passed and everyday topics began to feature in the newspapers again. And believe it or not, the future of public toilets was also discussed in the 1990's, not only those in the metro, but also those that the city districts inherited. A partial renaissance of some toilets took place.
A French element entered the city, not from Zvonokosy, where the public toilets became an object of high politics, but from Paris. This was the “new fashion” of automatic WCs built in columns covered with advertising. This novelty, which at the time cost an exorbitant five crowns, soon became very popular, because people found that for five crowns, they could be sure that they would get a hygienic toilet with toilet paper and facilities where they could wash their hands. The first WC made by the company JCDecaux was installed in 1997 and it was such a big thing that even representatives of the big town hall came to see it.
The fact is, that the culture of a nation is evaluated on the basis of the quality of public toilets and it needs to be said that we would not always rank well. Yet, the situation is improving. Despite the fact that a number of toilets have disappeared, thanks to such organizations as McDonald’s, KFC or big chain stores, other, relatively good public toilets have emerged. And even many public toilets in petrol stations are in good condition and there are also a number of toilets in private restaurants, that can be used as well. We want to improve the availability and quality of public toilets, recall some historical peripeties and most of all we want to somehow unify the as yet fragmented efforts into some kind of standard for Prague's public toilets. We therefore hope that you, our readers, will contribute to our efforts with your comments and suggestions addressed to email@example.com
As part of our project, we want to inform the public of public toilets currently available and to create a list of them, which may not be absolutely exhaustive, but hopefully sufficient for everybody to find relief.